Powdersville Middle recognized for Excellence


Powdersville Middle School was recently named the Power of ICU Spotlight School of the Month.

Receiving the Spotlight School Award means that the highlights from the way Powdersville Middle School does things is constantly being shared with over 700 other schools in the early stages of implementing the ICU list. ICU stands for Intensive Care Unit and it implies that a student’s academic situation is sick and needs the attention of the school staff.

Just like in a hospital, if a patient is just a little bit sick, only a little bit of professional attention is needed. However, if a patient is very sick, then several doctors and nurses will be needed to get healthy.

Author/Consultant, Danny Hill praised Powdersville Middle, “I work with hundreds of schools across the United States in using the Power of ICU as the catalyst for school improvement. Todd Binnicker and his staff at Powdersville have created one of the best “student centered” cultures I have witnessed. I would want my children at Powdersville Middle.”

“I am so happy Powdersville Middle is receiving national recognition for our work in developing our ICU program.  Our faculty and staff have worked extremely hard in creating a culture where apathy is not accepted and responsibility for learning is the priority,” said Binnicker.”

There are three main criteria for a school to receive the Spotlight School award:

1) Every Student Completes Every Assignment – Research shows that letting students “off the hook” is one of the worst practices within most schools. The Power of ICU was developed in 2004 at Southside School in Lebanon, Tennessee by Hill and his staff. For eight straight years, every student completed every assignment no matter what the circumstances. “All of my students developed responsibility and nobody was “allowed” to just sit and do nothing. The staff at Powdersville Middle is tenacious about staying after every student to complete every assignment. They keep an accurate ICU list of missing assignments and use the list to hold students accountable.

2) Mandatory extra time and extra help for all students – Most schools think they are enabling students if they give them extra time to complete assignments but research says just the opposite. Learning is not a race and the main purpose of our schools is to make sure all students learn the academic standards. Powdersville Middle uses the ICU list to see who needs extra time and/or help and has built in mandatory times before, during, and after school. If a student does not understand something, extra help/time is not just provided but required.

3) Transformation of student grades to reflect learning – Powdersville Middle School has reduced the number of failures each year while holding students accountable for learning the academic standards. The 2011-12 eighth grade class was the first class to use the ICU list for the full three years in middle school. Teachers say they had much less apathy than any eighth grade group in the past resulting in an increase in student success.