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Middle School ICU Program Info

Power of ICU LogoDear Parents,

This year, our 7th and 8th grade middle school students will be expected to complete all assignments. While traditionally we are diligent in retrieving assignments from students, this year we will work to provide more support to further student success.  This is one portion of a larger goal to create students who are more engaged in their own learning and educational success.

The Middle School Team, including myself, view this approach as a way to change the conversation around assignments, moving them from being about completion to being about student success. In a typical middle school, when students do not hand in work, they are many times “let off the hook”, meaning they cannot participate in the day’s lesson or a specific activity. This leads to gaps in proficiency and students falling behind.

On the instructional end, teachers giving zeros for incomplete or missing assignments are not grading students on the NYSED learning standards. Instead, the instructor is giving a zero to express an assignment that wasn’t completed, and in turn dramatically impacting the student’s average.  Essentially, zeros in an overall average do not show an accurate measure of what the student is learning.

With a change in procedure such as this, several supports needed to be put in place for our students. To this end, the district worked with The Power of ICU (, which is a full plan to assure the success of our students. Last year, our middle school instructors participated in a book review about The Power of ICU, and studied all components of the plan. We troubleshot and altered the plan as well, to better accommodate our students. Below, please view the supports outlined in The Power of ICU which PHCS will be using for our students:

  • The Power of ICU Database: The ICU Database acts as a storage warehouse for all assignments in need of completion to further support our students. When a student does not complete an assignment they are put on the “ICU”. This means that the student’s name, as well as the assignment, will be input into the database. All assignments in the ICU also include the name of the teacher who is in need of the assignment. Upon submission of the entry, an email and/or text message will be sent home alerting the parent to the missing assignment.  The database also acts as a central area where all teachers in the building can see who is in need of help on assignments. This is of great assistance when students are in study halls with other instructors. The study hall monitor can check the database to see if a student needs to work on an ICU assignment.

  • ICU Lifeguard: The ICU lifeguard is a person on staff who regularly checks the ICU Database and checks in with students who need to complete assignments. At PHCS, Ms. Scott in the library will be our head ICU Lifeguard.

  • Common Study halls: This year, almost all of our 7th and 8th grade students will have a study hall during the day. Most study halls are with our middle school instructors. This is a time where students can see their teachers for assistance on assignments as necessary.

  • Blitz Days: Every 10 weeks, students will be given an opportunity to participate in something other than scheduled programming for a portion of their school day, should they not be on the ICU list. Blitz Days might include free time to socialize, playing games or watching movies. We are also hoping to get our students out of the building for a portion of the day to further our character education with students. One “practice” Blitz Day will be before the 10 weeks, and every student will be allowed to participate. This will act as an opportunity for all students to see what a Blitz Day consist of prior to the 10 week period.

Our goal is to better assist our students with the demands of middle school, while changing their approach to academics. Many times, our youngest students have difficulty adjusting to the demands of middle school. The ICU both builds in support for our students while also improving their overall approach to academics and preparing them for high school. We are hopeful this will also assist you at home...I know many of you struggle to get accurate information about assignment completion from your students; The ICU should close this gap!

Thank you! Please feel free to contact me anytime with questions about the ICU.


Virginia L. Doll

PHCS 7-12 Principal


12 County Route 47
Parishville, NY 13672
Phone: 315-265-4642
Fax: 315-268-1309

Mission Statement:
The PHCS community strives to instill in all students the knowledge and skills necessary to become caring, conscientious, and creative citizens.

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