SMS Annual Report

2021-2022 Annual Education Report (AER)

February 11, 2022

Dear Parents and Community Members:

We are pleased to present you with our Annual Education Report (AER), which provides key information on the 2020-21 educational progress for Saugatuck Middle School. The AER addresses the complex reporting information which is required by federal and state law. The school’s report contains information about student assessment, accountability, and teacher quality. If you have any questions about the AER, please contact Principal, Mark Neidlinger for assistance.

The AER is available for you to review electronically by visiting the following web site or you may review a copy in the main office at your child’s school.

For the 2020-21 school year, schools were identified using definitions and labels as required in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). A Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) school is one that has at least one underperforming student subgroup. An Additional Targeted Support (ATS) school is one that has three or more underperforming student subgroups. A Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) school is one whose performance is in the lowest 5% of all schools in the state or has a graduation rate at or below 67%. Some schools are not identified with any of these labels. In these cases, no label is given.


Saugatuck Middle School students continue to demonstrate academic proficiency and growth in state assessments at a much higher rate than schools with similar demographics and the state of Michigan average. Due to Covid-19, all state assessments were optional. We look forward to sharing our students’ progress with you next year. In the meanwhile, previous years data tells us that economically disadvantaged students at SMS scored nearly 20% above the state average in the category of “economically disadvantaged” students over the past two years; they still underperform on state assessments compared to their Saugatuck peers. High expectations for student learning, combined with high support from teachers and support staff including differentiated instruction, team teaching, paraprofessional support, social-emotional supports, advisory periods, transportation from homework club, office hours, formative assessment and re-teaching strategies are all being implemented daily to support our students and to close the achievement gap. In 2018-2019, the gap between males and females overall academic performance on the M-STEP showed an advantage for female students down from a 19% gap two years ago.

“Prepare students for life”
State law requires that we also report additional information.

  1. Process for assigning pupils to the school; Students are assigned to our school based on the boundaries of our school district. In addition, students come to Saugatuck Middle School as students of choice from neighboring districts. Juniors and seniors may elect to attend Careerline Tech Center, dual enroll at nearby colleges, or attend South Ottawa County Early College for part of their school day.
  2. The status of the 3-5 year school improvement plan; Our 2020-2021 School Improvement Plan serves as framework to guide our efforts to improve in all curricular areas. Our teachers review and analyze data annually to adapt our curriculum to meet the needs of our students. SMS continues to have goals in math, reading, writing, science and teacher use of educational technology, which has been meaningful through the Covid-19 pandemic.
  3. Specialized Schools; we do not provide specialized schools.
  4. Core Curriculum; At Saugatuck Middle School, we are continually working to shift our curriculum to meet the requirements of the Common Core curriculum adopted by the state of Michigan. Common Core standards can be reviewed by visiting the Michigan Department of Education website (
  5. Parent Teacher Conferences; during the 2020-2021 school year, we experimented with an online appointment system that showed a drastic improvement in our spring attendance, which bolstered the overall attendance count. On average 77% of our students’ parents attend Parent/Teacher conferences, or approximately 85% of our students’ parents.

I am extremely proud of the work ethic, creativity, academic achievement, character and    attitude displayed by our students each and every day. I am also deeply appreciative of the many charismatic adults, parents, teachers, coaches, and support staff that all make a difference with our students’ day in and day out.

Mr.Mark Neidlnger
Principal, Middle & High School
Saugatuck Public Schools