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Middle Grades

School’s Active, Caring Environment Guarantees Student Success

Reading Middle School, Reading, Ohio

The mission of Reading Middle School, an active and caring community, is to guarantee the development of all students as successful, lifelong learners who become contributing citizens after graduation. A 2013 School to Watch, whole child partner The National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform gave this school this recognition for providing a challenging, comprehensive curriculum; best practice instruction; and quality extracurricular activities supported by an exceptional staff in state-of-the-art facilities in partnership with parents and community.
 

Resource Center Unites School and Families in the Pursuit of a Successful Future

McLoughlin Middle School, Vancouver, Wash.
 

McLoughlin Middle School joins other top Washington schools in receiving the Supported Students Award from Washington State ASCD. Located in Vancouver, Washington, McLoughlin strives to connect with its students and their families on multiple levels. The school’s family community resource center serves as a central access point for the numerous support services offered in the area, from free school supplies to dental care. During the school day, students who have been identified as needing additional academic assistance are paired with mentoring advocates or attend support classes to help them boost their grades and succeed.

Harnessing Leadership Potential to Keep Teens in School

Fontana Unified School District, Fontana, Calif.

Fontana Unified School District, located in Fontana, California, has been awarded a grand prize grant in whole child partner National School Board Association’s 2013 Magna Awards. The district has developed and implemented the Fontana Leadership Intervention Program (FLIP). FLIP, which is directed at middle and high school students, offers students a variety of classes ranging from ethics to drug and alcohol resistance. The program also requires participation in community projects and seminars for parents as well. This multifaceted outreach has already made a visible difference in behavior issues at both the middle and high school levels.

Student Engagement and Moral Leadership Set the Bar High

Elizabeth Forward Middle School, Elizabeth, Penn.

Elizabeth Forward Middle School has been named a Pennsylvania School to Watch by whole child partner National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. Located in Elizabeth, Pennsylvania, the school is one of only 33 in the state to receive this title. Pennsylvania Schools to Watch Director Bruce Vosburgh cited the students’ ambition and strong sense of community as factors in the school’s selection. Elizabeth Forward is notable for its engaging and effective anti-bullying campaign, which works to create a safe and supportive environment for all learners.

Respect and Support Frame Academic Achievement

South Middle School, Lancaster, South Carolina

South Middle School has been named a South Carolina School to Watch by whole child partner National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. The Lancaster, South Carolina school maintains a partnership with Winthrop University in order to continue its pursuit of academic excellence and high standards for students and staff alike. Visitors to the school immediately note the culture of mutual respect among students and staff. Students receive support from individualized interventions designed to keep all learners on track for success.

School Focuses on More Than Just Academic Achievement

Port Jervis Middle School, Port Jervis, N.Y.
 

Port Jervis's school improvement efforts over the past few years have completely changed the school into a thriving learning environment that focuses on more than just student academic achievement. One of the first recipients of the NYSASCD Whole Child for the 21st Century Award, the school has initiated programs that fully prepare students for work, college, and citizenship by keeping them healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. The culture motivates students and engages them in learning through programs such as the Seven Habits of Highly Effective Students, community outreach activities, health fairs, and proactive assemblies.
 

School Recess Shows Students How to Work Hard and Play Hard

Alexander Graham Middle School, Charlotte, N.C.
 

Alexander Graham Middle School (PDF), a 2012 North Carolina Middle School Association Redesignated School to Watch, is a diverse school that draws from a diverse population in Charlotte, N.C. The school has does an excellent job of establishing a culture that meets all students' needs, which allows students to coexist and get along. The school provides a rigorous curriculum to students at all levels, yet is one of the few schools we've seen that has stayed committed to the concept of recess. At Alexander Graham, "Fresh Air Time (FAT)" is taken seriously, and students truly enjoy their breaks. They have managed to find the balance between hard work, high achievement, and physical activity.
 

Rich Culture Inspires Students

Indian Lake Middle School, Indian Lake, N.Y.
 

If a middle school needs tips on how to improve, it can turn to the Indian Lake school district for help. Indian Lake, a K–12 school in New York, has been picked for the “Essential Elements: 2012 Schools to Watch” program, an initiative that recognizes middle schools that demonstrate excellence. This is the first time this school has been recognized for this honor for its practical and cultural experiences that address the mental and physical needs of each student. Although the school is small in population, the culture is rich in academic excellence and expectations. Students leave the school feeling inspired in self sufficiency, lifelong learning, creativity, responsibility, and citizenship.
 

New Leadership Revives Storm Devasted School

Lafayette Academy Charter School, New Orleans, L.A.
 

Established as a public charter school in 2006 after Hurricane Katrina devastated the New Orleans community it serves, the true rebirth of this preK–7 school of 800 occurred in 2007 with the appointment of a new head of school. Since then, the student body, which is nearly 100 percent economically disadvantaged, has been the beneficiary of a shared leadership model, intensive staff development, strengthened community connections, and equal access to rigorous coursework. The results are an impressive upward trend from the disappointing 33 percent passing rate on the required 4th grade state tests in 2006 to a 100 percent passing rate in 2010 and 2011, earning the state’s top designation as a Center of Excellence. 

An Education Community Aids Student Transition

Pleasantville Middle School, Pleasantville, N.Y.
 

Pleasantville Middle School is an education community that is dedicated to understanding and facilitating the positive transition from childhood to adolescence. Community and staff are committed to providing educational experiences where learning is valued, differences are accepted, wellness is encouraged, and accountability is realized, to assure the development of each students’ intellectual, educational, physical, personal, and social growth.
 

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