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Middle Grades

Where Young Minds Can Grow, Everyone Wins

Lebanon Middle School, Lebanon, Kentucky

Lebanon Middle School has been named a Kentucky School to Watch by National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform, a whole child partner. Lebanon joins an elite group of Kentucky schools with this award, which recognizes academic achievement and developmental initiatives, among other exemplary factors. County Superintendent Chuck Hamilton commended the students and staff of the Lebanon, Kentucky school for their commitment to achievement and pursuit of excellence. By creating a welcoming community, Lebanon Middle School ensures that its students maximize their academic and personal growth.

Supportive Environment Eases Middle School Transition

Marietta Sixth Grade Academy, Marietta, Georgia

National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform, a whole child partner, has named Marietta Sixth Grade Academy as a Georgia Lighthouse School to Watch. The academy—located in Marietta, Georgia—helps ease the difficult transition from elementary school to middle school. Principal Gabe Carmona emphasized that the school’s achievements have come about largely as a result of the collaborative efforts of students, staff, and the community as a whole. The school was recognized not only for its academic excellence, but also for its supportive environment among other factors.

When Excellence is an Everyday Commitment, Success Follows

Holcomb Bridge Middle School, Alpharetta, Georgia

Whole child partner National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform has selected Holcomb Bridge Middle School as one of its 2013 Georgia Lighthouse Schools to Watch. Holcomb Bridge was previously named a 2012 Beacon School, indicating that progress towards becoming a Lighthouse School was underway. Principal Joy Schroerlucke cites the Alpharetta, Georgia school’s commitment to excellence for every student and emphasis on collaboration as formative factors in the school’s awards record. Holcomb Bridge is also notable for its sensitivity to the needs of individual students and its positive learning environment.

Strengthening Bonds, Growing Confidence

Coastal Middle School, Savannah, Georgia

Coastal Middle School has been named a Georgia Lighthouse School to Watch by whole child partner National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. Located in Savannah, Georgia, the school works to develop well-rounded students through a strong extracurricular program that supports and enhances the academic experience. Principal Kelly Coursey cites the strong bonds and high levels of trust between her staff, the students, and their families as a major factor in the school’s success. This ongoing outreach initiative helps build rapport between the groups, which in turn creates a close-knit, supportive learning environment.

Individual Attention Pays Off for Group Advancement

Redlands Middle School, Grand Junction, Colo.

Redlands Middle School— named a Colorado Trailblazer School to Watch by whole child partner National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform—has proven to be a model of academic and developmental excellence for all middle schools. Located in Grand Junction, Colorado, Redlands is one of two Colorado schools that have been newly added to this impressive record. Diane Lauer, state coordinator of the Colorado Schools to Watch program cited focus on individual needs and growth as a major strength of this school, and one that is crucial in order to provide students with a quality educational experience.

Magnet School Supports and Challenges Its Students for Maximum Development

Corwin International Magnet School, Pueblo, Colo.

Corwin International Magnet School has been designated as a Colorado Trailblazer School to Watch by whole child partner National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. The Pueblo, Colorado school became a magnet school in 2008. Corwin’s recognition was focused in large part on its learning environment that engages and challenges its students and staff. The Colorado Trailblazer School to Watch award recognizes schools that are not only academically excellent, but also work to incorporate student needs and interests, as well as engage in ongoing assessments to keep improving the school in all areas.

Enthusiastic Students Reach for New Opportunities

Tejeda Middle School, San Antonio, Texas

Whole child partner National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform has added Tejeda Middle School to its list of Texas Schools to Watch. Located in San Antonio, Texas, Tejeda provides a range of creative opportunities for its students, including a symphonic band and a glee club. Cecil Floyd, executive director of Texas Schools to Watch, commended Tejeda students for their commitment to excellence and their enthusiasm for their school and learning. Tejeda joins three other Texas schools to be given the award for 2013.

Creative Outlets Help Shape Active Minds

Lopez Middle School, San Antonio, Texas

Lopez Middle School joins top schools across the state and the nation as it receives the designation of a Texas School to Watch from whole child partner National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. The San Antonio, Texas, school is notable for its extensive, creative outlets for students, including a student choir and other fine arts groups. Principal Barry Lanford cites student engagement—a standard at Lopez—as key to the school’s success and ongoing achievements.

Texas School Joins Impressive Group of Academic Innovators

Deerpark Middle School, Austin, Texas

National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform, a whole child partner, has designated Deerpark Middle School in Austin, Texas as a Texas School to Watch. This designation comes as a result of a lengthy evaluation process, during which time 37 indicators in three categories, namely academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, and social equity are considered. There are also requirements for an organizational structure that will support and enhance the school’s future performance. Deerpark joins 20 other Texas middle schools with this award.

Setting Real Goals Makes Success a Standard

Ecker Hill Middle School, Park City Utah

Ecker Hill Middle School—located in Park City, Utah—joins an elite group in being designated as a Utah School to Watch by whole child partner National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. After Ecker Hill implemented a schedule that allows students time to catch up on their work, the school has seen important improvements in student performance. Principal Traci Evans spearheaded these efforts, citing planning time as a crucial factor for successful student development and support programs. The school also views parents as integral players in academic success and employs an open door policy to strengthen those ties.

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