Tagged “National Forum To Accelerate Middle Grades Reform”

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With Performance on the Rise, Urban School Seeks to Close the Achievement Gap

Frank J. Zamboni Middle School, Paramount, Calif.

Frank J. Zamboni Middle School—located in Paramount, California—has the distinction of being the only urban school to be designated as a 2013 California School to Watch by whole child partner National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. In just five years, the school’s Academic Performance Index (API) scores have risen from a low average to at or above the state target level in nearly every demographic group. Concern for the school’s large disadvantaged population has sparked a renewed focus on overcoming the socioeconomic issues facing many Zamboni students.

Sharing Ideas for Higher Achievement

Sanger Academy Charter School, Sanger, Calif.

As one in a trio of Sanger, California schools to be designated a California School to Watch by whole child partner National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform, Sanger Academy Charter School proves the efficacy of a commitment to quality education. Collaboration between Sanger Academy and its two sister schools—also designated as California Schools to Watch—can be seen on all levels, from middle school sports tournaments to monthly meetings between the three principals to share ideas and techniques.

Rural Schools Team Up for Success

Quail Lake Environmental Charter School, Sanger, Calif.

As one of whole child partner National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform’s California Schools to Watch, Quail Lake Environmental Charter School joins a commendable group of educational innovators. Located in Sanger, California, Quail Lake faces many of the same challenges commonly seen across small, rural schools. But with professional development and a collaborative strategy for instruction, Quail Lake and similar institutions in the area have come together and made significant progress in closing the achievement gap.

High Expectations Yield Valuable Lessons

Fairmont Elementary K–8 School, Sanger, Calif.

Fairmont Elementary K–8 School, recently named a California School to Watch by whole child partner National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform, sets the bar high for educational achievement. Located in Sanger, California, Fairmont works to help its students succeed by providing them with a safe learning environment, diverse intellectual opportunities, and a strong partnership with families and the local community. Students understand the high expectations held by their teachers and school administrators, and they strive to work at that level each day.

Community Stakeholders Motivate Middle School Excellence

Vilonia Middle School, Vilonia, Ark.

Vilonia Middle School joins twelve other exemplary Arkansas schools as one of whole child partner National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform’s Diamond Schools to Watch for 2013. Located in Vilonia, Arkansas, the school prides itself on its staff’s “can-do” attitude and passion for learning and teaching. Principal Cathy Riggins cites the school’s ties to the local community as a source of support and motivation for continuing educational excellence.

Technology Guides Students to a Bright Future

Owl Creek School, Fayetteville, Ark.

Located in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Owl Creek School joins a select group of Arkansas schools as a 2013 Diamond School to Watch with whole child partner National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. The Owl School promotes growth and achievement in its students through a strong commitment to technology-based instruction and a positive campus community. This supportive, in-school environment is bolstered by high levels of engagement with families and the local community through workshops; family activity nights; and a strong, involved Parent Teacher Organization.

Culture of Respect Brings Arkansas School to the Top

Crossett Middle School, Crossett, Ark.

As one of whole child partner National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform’s 2013 Diamond Schools to Watch, Crossett Middle School—located in Crossett, Arkansas—is a model for middle-level education. The criteria for this commendation fall into three main categories: academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, and social equity. Principal Lou Gregorio cites the positive and respectful culture of the school (PDF) as the main factor in student, As one of the 2013 Diamond Schools to Watch, Crossett Middle School is a model for middle-level education and school culture.parent, and educator satisfaction.

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