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Middle grades educators gather together to work on relationship-based problems of practice that are student-centered and equity-based.

The To&Through Middle Grades Network (MGN) is a cohort of middle grades practitioners working in Chicago’s public schools dedicated to creating more equitable and responsive learning environments where middle grades students thrive. 

Our aim is for partner schools to increase the number of students with attendance at or above 90% and GPAs at or above 3.0 (i.e. on-track)  through a meaningful increase in students' sense of belonging. We partner with schools to build their capacity to understand the developmental, social-emotional, and non-academic factors critical for student success and to make changes in practice that improve middle grades indicators for success in high school and beyond.

Through quarterly network sessions and dedicated coaching, teams of practitioners use qualitative and quantitative data to understand student experiences, develop a problem of practice, and test change ideas that impact the mindsets of students and educators alike.  Schools also receive support in how to co-design systems that respond to the unique and diverse needs of young people by nominating 2-4 middle grades students to participate in the MGN Student Fellowship.

Selected partner schools participate in a three-and-a-half year improvement journey that includes four distinct phases:


MGN middle grades network Timeline

MGN Schools

Each MGN cohort develops and tests change ideas - or shifts in practice -  related to our network aim and customized to meet the unique needs of each school community.

Middle Grades Success Resources

Our collection of middle grades success resources includes guides, research briefs, and professional development activities that are curated or produced by the MGN. The resources are centered around providing educators with research-based knowledge and strategies they need to move the metrics that matter most for middle grades success.