Last week the State Directors of the National School to Watch program, met in Dallas to finalize the plans for the upcoming National Schools to Watch Conference on June 21-23 in Washington, DC. This will be the 8th Annual conference and it is shaping up to be an incredible event that centers on best practice sharing between some of the most highly effective middle grades schools in the nation. These schools have all demonstrated an evidence-based, quantitative positive-trend trajectory of student achievement and qualitative criteria-based achievement in the four domains of academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity and organizational structures.
Last year six 2011 Colorado Schools to Watch were recognized for their excellence in middle grades education:
- Altona Middle School
- Gypsum Creek Middle School
- Hotchkiss K-8
- Jenkins Middle School
- Russell Middle School
- Steamboat Springs Middle School
This year the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform expects to showcase presentations from a wide spectrum of its 300+ Schools to Watch from across the country. Prior to the conference, these schools will Converge on Capitol Hill to meet with their U.S. Representative from their district to share their stories of success in creating outstanding learning communities that are academically excellent, developmentally responsive, socially equitable and strong organizationally. During the conference they will receive their award of distinction at the National Forum’s Gala Evening.
Any school can attend the National Schools to Watch Conference in Washington, DC. While 65% of the schools in attendance are currently designated as Schools to Watch, 35% of the attendees represent schools desiring to learn the best practices from the Schools to Watch. Registration information can be found on the Schools to Watch website.
On March 15, 2012 Colorado will announce its 2012 Trailblazer Schools to Watch. Our Colorado Association of Middle Level Education members are currently visiting the 2012 school finalists. Keep tuned in for future announcements!