Robin Mickle & His School

We would like to welcome you to Robin Mickle Middle School and are thankful that you were willing to talk with us today.  A little bit about ourselves…in September of 1960, Robin Mickle Junior High was opened and became the third junior high school built in Lincoln.  Mr. Mickle was the director of counseling at Northeast High School when it opened in 1940 and later became principal from 1945 until 1957.  As is symbolic of the strong Northeast Lincoln community ties, 94% of our current eighth graders will choose to attend Lincoln Northeast High School.  In 1960, our Mickle mascot was chosen as the “missile”.  The rationale was that Mickle students grow to later become Northeast Rockets.  In many of our current building representations, we hold to that ‘rapid travel’ theme.

Early on, Mickle established a reputation as a strong junior high school.  This reputation encouraged a rapid growth of homes in our Northeast Lincoln area.  Four years after opening, enrollment grew quickly and ten additional rooms were needed.  The “East Wing” of the building was ready for classroom use in January 1964, growing Mickle’s capacity from 750 students to 1000 students.

In September of 1993, Mickle transitioned away from ‘junior high’ to the ‘middle level’ philosophy.  “Houses” were introduced and more developmentally appropriate curriculum was adopted.  Sixth graders entered Mickle and ninth grade students and courses were transferred to Northeast High School.  Ten years later, the entire LPS district moved to the current model of elementary at K-5, middle at 6-8, and high school at grades 9-12.

In 2009, a $12.5 million dollar renovation of Mickle finished that included an addition of 14 classrooms, a counseling center, a gym, a fitness room, elevator access to the “East Wing”, and adding a ground-coupled heat pump system to provide efficient heating and air-conditioning to the entire facility.  In 2021-22 we will have renovations to the cafeteria and elective classrooms.

Getting Mickle Ready For The Future!  Behind the scenes, the building’s wireless internet has increased and is now capable of handling 30-40 wireless units per room.  Also added teacher presentation projectors/monitors to each room.  Audio enhancement speaker systems exist  in each classroom for even distribution of the teacher voice and video clips.  In the future, presentation video recording capabilities may be installed.  These efforts are in concert with the LPS 1-1 student technology initiative (CLASS).  Currently, all students have individual Chromebooks.  Teachers independently participate in training to grow their skills with technology and future learning.

Of course, student and adult learning are the primary focus of Mickle.  Our school improvement goal is to improve achievement in all areas through the use of literacy strategies & increase the engagement level of all students in all classes.   Within our professional learning communities, the narrower focus exists to eliminate education gaps between sub-groups.  As is done throughout LPS, Mickle teachers meet monthly in professional learning communities (PLCs) and in flexible times to collaborate on the best strategies to meet the needs of our students.   Our want is to improve equitable instruction and assessment to ensure that all students leave Mickle prepared for success in high school and beyond.  The best practice to meet these needs is by following the district’s template for lesson design.  We also grow in our classroom abilities by implementing the works of Anita Archer’s “Explicit Instruction”.  All of these learnings tie into the district belief that the best instruction comes from building teachers that use a common lesson planning design.

To assist students who are struggling, we have an extensive Student Assistance Process that provides a number of support levels. The use of data has become more focused on true concerns and less on “gut feeling” for individualized student needs and communication within school and with adults at home.  Academic proficiency is a main identifier of students for support in and outside of the classroom.  We do this by scheduling students in grade like groups throughout the day to avoid the imbalance of different ages, sizes, and maturity levels.  This includes before school grade-level gathering, lunch-time, recess and class locations in the building. Outside of the school day, we also partner with the North Lincoln YMCA and offer CLC (Community Learning Centers) to our students.

Mickle is an MTSS (Multi-Tier Student Support) school.  Our model is based on the tenets of Be Safe, Be Responsible, Be Respectful.  Our focus is being a Learner today and growing into a Leader tomorrow.  We have school wide processes in place to celebrate successes as do individual classrooms.  The program is based on the philosophy that most students have correct school habits and have the knowledge and ability to regulate their behavior. We work to let students know that WE recognize their correct habits.  When students need reminders on how their choices affect themselves and those around them, we also have a strategy for teachers.  The terminology used for the beginning phases of this process is called ‘Restore’.  It provides students with the opportunity to separate from a situation, reset themselves to being “productive during learning”, and then rejoin with limited interruption of the learning climate for themselves or others.  Separately, teachers and student meet to restore relationship barriers that keep classroom learning out of focus.  

The Mickle campus layout supports the ability to host common grade level students in grade specific hallways with easy access to their lockers close to core teacher classrooms. Core curriculum courses include English, math, science, and social studies teachers.   We also offer a full complement of academic connection classes for students.  Teachers do find common planning time and can cooperatively plan activities for students, celebrate student successes, and coordinate SAT support for struggling students.  Our counselors transition with their grade level students and families during their middle school years.  

Working at Mickle is a special combination of challenge and reward.  Now entering our next 60 years…we know that Mickle is a transition period for young adults.  Our staff (new and veteran) have ideas and perspectives that we value. We thank you for interest in us at Mickle where, together, we are the future without limits!