Brentwood Middle School – 2019 Colorado School to Watch!

“America’s future walks through the doors of Brentwood Middle School each day!” Located in Greeley, this IB World School has been designated as a 2019 Colorado School to Watch. Brentwood is a thriving learning community where staff and students and families work together to provide a rich and robust learning experience for each and every child.

The faculty at Brentwood Middle School engage in deep professional learning, utilizing their collaboration time to design personalized and challenging inquiry-based units of study attuned to the needs of their students. Faculty often visit each other’s classes and observe each other teach.

The professional culture at Brentwood mirrors the student culture based on inquiry and continuous growth. Students regularly engage in reflective practice analyzing their growth as they strive to meet the goals they set for themselves. Students participate in student-led conferences on a regular basis and develop the habit for articulating their personal successes and opportunities for growth.

In addition to strong academics, students have access to a wide range of enrichment opportunities. Over 90% of Brentwood students choose to be involved in their award-winning band and music programs. Each student is expected to participate in at least one extra-curriculum activity which strengthens student-school activity and creates opportunities for passion-based learning that can transcend into high school.

The staff is led by Principal Nicole Petersen, Assistant Principal Heather Severt, and Assistant Principal William Fearn.

 

West Middle School – 2019 Colorado School to Watch!

West Middle School is a thriving community that supports learning for middle grades students at the West Campus in Colorado Springs School District 11. The West Campus is a building with a long and storied history, dating back to 1924, and has been an integral part of the Westside Community and Old Colorado City for over 90 years. It is fitting that this incredible school has been awarded the distinction of being a 2019 Colorado School to Watch!

The West school community is relentless in ensuring that all children have access to effective instructional strategies and challenging academic content. The staff continually strives to prepare children for the challenges of tomorrow. They believe that lifelong learners require a dynamic learning environment to thrive! To ensure this happens West faculty work collaboratively to provide plentiful problem-solving opportunities which are systematically infused across the content, giving students embedded opportunities to critically think and search for creative solutions. Teachers at West meet regularly to collaborate and determine next best learning opportunities for students whether it be additional support or advanced challenge.

West offer programs to meet the needs of diverse learners, these include robust supports and programming for gifted learners and those for whom English is a second language. All students have access to a broad range of activities including art, music (choir, band, and orchestra), physical education for all students and applied engineering & technology, through the Gateway to Technology program as well as the college-prep AVID program to ensure that all students meet their greatest potential.

Before and after school clubs and activities abound at West Middle School. These provide opportunities for students to participate academically, athletically, and socially.  Students can participate in Lego League Robotics, Boat Regatta, Science Olympiad, Cave of the Wind’s Future Problem Solvers, and Girl’s Law Day just to share a few.

West’s “small school atmosphere” is said to be “the best kept secret on the Westside”. West Middle School is a model learning environment for any child in the middle grades.

Flagstaff Academy is recognized as a 2019 Colorado School to Watch

Flagstaff Academy

Flagstaff Academy has been recognized as a 2019 Colorado School to Watch by the Colorado Association of Middle Level Education. The moment you walk in the door at Flagstaff Academy, you start to feel the energy and exuberance for learning that permeates this K-8 school. With 300 of the 900 students enrolled in grades 6-8, Flagstaff truly is a small community that showcases big opportunities for students.

A clear and compelling vision based on three pillars of success provides a strong foundation for learning and growth at Flagstaff. Those three pillars are: Student Success, Professional Environment and Culture, and Financial Stability.

Students are actively engaged in a rich, dynamic learning environment that synthesizes interdisciplinary learning matter into the heart, which for them is a STEM focus. Flagstaff students are curious and caring. They demonstrate inquisitiveness and integrity. They access rigorous core academics and and access a long list of essentials like Beginning Band, Intermediate Band, Advanced Band, Jazz Band, Choir, Drama, Physical Education, Art, Spanish, French, Photography, Animation, Forensic Science, Mythbusters, Computer Science, Creative Writing, Networks & Operating, Yearbook, Journalism, Robotics, Pre Engineering, Speech & Debate, Personal Finance, and Battle of the Books.

Flagstaff has developed a culture that is supportive, celebratory, accountable, and welcoming to students, staff, and faculty from all walks of life. Flagstaff Academy utilizes a multi-tiered Restorative Practices approach within the school’s culture and  the result of this approach is a community that is committed to self-responsibility, self-discipline, and self-awareness of how words and actions impact one another. Staff and students embrace the philosophy embedded in 7 Habits for Highly Effective Teens.

Connections are an important part of our the student educational journey at Flagstaff, from the connections they feel with their teachers, their peers, and the very school itself.  Research has shown that this increased sense of connection results in better school performance. Our philosophy is to intentionally build relationships with our students and facilitate them between students every single day through Restorative Practices and a Positive Behavior Support System.

Flagstaff believes in emphasizing the positive and regularly recognizes their students , reinforcing everyday behaviors that exemplify our Dragon Core Virtues. At the same time, Flagstaff Academy is a high achieving school, one that has been awarded the John Irwin School of Excellence three times. Their students are actively involved in a wide variety of academic competitions ranging from VEX Robotics, Science Fairs, Destination Imagination and Future Problem Solvers.

Flagstaff Academy is led by Executive Director, Wayne Granger and Principal Katie Gustafson.

Congratulations to our 2019 Colorado Trailblazer Schools to Watch!

The Colorado Association of Middle Level Education (CAMLE) is proud to honor five schools with distinguished designation of Colorado Trailblazer School to Watch. These schools include Brentwood Middle School in Greeley, Flagstaff Academy in Longmont, Preston Middle School in Fort Collins, Rocky Top Middle School in Thornton, and West Middle School in Colorado Springs.

These five schools will be part of the 100+ schools recognized at the National Schools to Watch Conference on June 28, 2019 in Washington, DC.

“These exceptional schools demonstrate that high-performance is the result of intentional focus on the whole child. Each has created a collaborative learning community where students thrive!” explained Diane Lauer, State Director of the Colorado Schools to Watch program. “These schools excel in providing active, engaging, and rigorous student learning for every student. They have built a powerful, high quality middle school program that are models for our state.”

Selection is based on a written application that requires schools to show how they met criteria developed by the Forum. State teams organized by the Colorado Schools to Watch (www.coloradoschoolstowatch.com) program conduct site visits in order to affirm that they have indeed met the rigorous requirements of the award. These teams observe classrooms, interview administrators, teachers, and parents, review achievement data, suspension rates, instructional quality, and student work. Schools are recognized for a three-year period, and at the end of three years must repeat the process in order to be re-designated.

“These Schools to Watch are indeed special; they make education so exciting that students and teachers don’t want to miss a day. They have proven that it is possible to achieve a high degree of educational excellence, and any middle-level school can truly learn from their example,” said Ericka Uskali, Forum executive director. “We are pleased that our Schools to Watch program have shown that schools can meet high academic expectations while preserving a commitment to healthy development and equity for all students,” Uskali said.

Launched in 1999, Schools to Watch began as a national program to identify middle-grades schools across the country that were meeting or exceeding 37 criteria developed by the Forum. The Forum developed a web site (www.middlegradesforum.org) that features online tours of schools, as well as detailed information about the selection criteria used in the recognition program. Nineteen states are currently involved in the program and the addition of these schools raises the total number of Schools to Watch to over 400 nationwide.

The National Forum sponsors the Schools to Watch state program with the support of members, the National Association for Elementary School Principals, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the Association of Middle Level Education, Learning Forward, and the State Schools to Watch programs.

The National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform is an alliance of 65 educators, researchers, national associations, and officers of professional organizations and foundations dedicated to improving education in the middle grades. (www.middlegradesforum.org)

CAMLE 2018 – Owning It! Empowering Students and Teachers in the Middle Grades

Join middle level educators from across the state at the 2018 CAMLE Annual Conference, Owning It: Empowering Students & Teachers in the Middle Grades on Saturday, November 3 at Casey Middle School in Boulder, CO. Select from 32+ sessions presented by school practitioners, regional experts and national organizations.

Register Today! https://www.eventbrite.com/e/camle-2018-tickets-46021698138

Register Today! https://www.eventbrite.com/e/camle-2018-tickets-46021698138

Seeking Presenters for CAMLE 2018 Annual Conference

On Saturday, November 3 2018 the Colorado Association of Middle Level Education will host it’s annual conference with the theme: Owning it! Empowering Students & Teachers in the Middle Grades.

Apply to Present today!  — Click to fill out your proposal — http://bit.ly/CAMLEPresent2018

Conference Focus – Ownership!

We are looking for dynamic and engaging 60 minute presentations focused on topics including but not limited to:

  • building student ownership
  • student motivation
  • self-reflection
  • formative assessment
  • providing quality feedback
  • goal setting
  • cooperative learning
  • collective staff efficacy
  • teacher collaboration
  • teacher teaming
  • teacher professional development
  • other systemic school structures that empower students and teachers!

Apply to Present today!  — Click to fill out your proposal — http://bit.ly/CAMLEPresent2018

Conference Location

The conference will be held at Casey Middle School, just steps from Pearl Street Mall in downtown Boulder . Casey Middle School, part of the Boulder Valley School District is a gorgeous school that blends traditional architecture from the 1920’s with 21st Century LEEDS design standards.

Casey  has been recognized as a Colorado School of Excellence in Arts Education and Colorado School to Watch in 2004 and 2006. Casey is a Formative Assessment School – All staff are trained in how to maximize student engagement, student thinking and student ownership. Teachers regularly use video to reflect on their instructional practices in professional learning teams. Casey offers a wide range of electives to engage learners: Leadership, Technology, Art, Baile Folklorico, Band, Guitar, Applied Science, Physical Education, Advanced Fitness, Publications and Orchestra. Casey provides AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) programming, preparing first-generation college students.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apply to Present today!  — Click here to fill out your proposal — http://bit.ly/CAMLEPresent2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CAMLE Announces 2018 Colorado Trailblazer “Schools to Watch”

The Colorado Association of Middle Level Education is pleased to announce its 2018 Colorado Trailblazer “Schools to Watch”:   Basalt Middle School, Russell Middle School and Wellington Middle School.

Each of these schools challenge students to use their minds well, create a positive learning environment sensitive to the unique developmental needs of early adolescence, and deliver a high-quality learning experience for every child. Wellington is one of 100+ schools that will be recognized nationwide at the National Schools to Watch Conference on June 29, 2018 in Washington, DC.

“Basalt, Russell and Wellington Middle Schools excel in providing rich, engaging, and rigorous student learning for every child. They have built a responsive, high quality middle school that is a model for our state,” explained Diane Lauer, State Director of the Colorado Schools to Watch program. “All three demonstrate that excellence is the result of intentional focus on the whole child and a strong partnerships with the community. A caring environment that cultivates student curiosity, strong social-emotional supports, and thoughtful intellectual development results in a dynamic school where students thrive!”

Selection is based on a written application that requires schools to show how they met criteria developed by the Forum. State teams organized by the Colorado Schools to Watch (www.coloradoschoolstowatch.com) program conduct site visits in order to affirm that they have indeed met the rigorous requirements of the award. These teams observe classrooms, interview administrators, teachers, and parents, review achievement data, suspension rates, instructional quality, and student work. Schools are recognized for a three-year period, and at the end of three years must repeat the process in order to be re-designated. 

“Schools to Watch are special; they make education so exciting that students and teachers don’t want to miss a day. They are model middle-level schools and anyone can learn from their example,” said Ericka Uskali, Forum executive director of the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. “We are pleased that our Schools to Watch program has shown that schools can meet high academic expectations while preserving a commitment to healthy development and equity for all students,” Uskali said.

Launched in 1999, Schools to Watch began as a national program to identify middle-grades schools across the country that were meeting or exceeding 37 criteria developed by the Forum. The Forum developed a web site (http://www.middlegradesforum.org) that features online tours of schools, as well as detailed information about the selection criteria used in the recognition program.

Twenty states are currently involved in the program and the designation of Wellington, Russell, and Basalt raises the active number of National Schools to Watch to over 450 nationwide.

The National Forum sponsors the Schools to Watch state program with the support of members, the National Association for Elementary School Principals, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the Association of Middle Level Education, Learning Forward, and the State Schools to Watch programs.

The National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform is an alliance of 65 educators, researchers, national associations, and officers of professional organizations and foundations dedicated to improving education in the middle grades. (www.middlegradesforum.org)