Culver City Middle School has been redesignated as one of only 15 exemplary middle-grades schools in California named “Schools to Watch” as part of the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform’s signature program.
CCMS joins 102 middle schools in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Virginia to receive the honor.
Each school was selected by state leaders for its academic excellence, its responsiveness to the needs and interests of young adolescents, and its commitment to helping all students achieve at high levels. In addition, each school has strong leadership, teachers who work together to improve curriculum and instruction, and a commitment to assessment and accountability to foster continuous improvement.
Linda Hopping, Chair of the National Forum’s Schools to Watch Oversight Committee said, “These schools demonstrate that high-performing middle grades schools have a clear focus on academic growth and achievement. They also recognize the importance of meeting the needs of all of their students and ensuring that each and every child has access to a rigorous, high-quality education. We are proud to have these schools serve as models from which others can learn.”
Selection is based on a written application that required schools to show how they met criteria developed by the Forum. Schools that appeared to meet the criteria were then visited by state teams who observed classrooms, interviewed administrators, teachers, students, and parents, and looked at achievement data, suspension rates, quality of lessons, 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. Fifty-seven of the 103 schools recognized have maintained or increased their levels of excellence and are being re-designated.
“We are pleased that our Schools to Watch program has shown that middle-grades schools can meet high academic standards while preserving a commitment to healthy development and equity for all students,” said Dr. Deborah Kasak, Forum executive director. “These Schools to Watch are indeed special; they make education so exciting that students and teachers don’t want to miss a day. These schools have proven that it is possible to overcome barriers to achieving excellence, and any middle-grades school in any state can truly learn from their examples.”
Schools to Watch from throughout the country will be recognized at the National Forum’s annual conference in June in Washington, D.C.
“This is an impressive honor made even more impressive by the fact that the Middle School was redesignated to receive this honor again,” said Superintendent Patricia Jaffe. “Schools from throughout the country are looking right here to Culver City to see how to increase student performance, inspire learning and create a culture of success. That speaks volumes about the hard work our Middle School teachers, staff and administrators do every day to benefit Culver City’s students.”
Congratulations to Principal Jon Pearson and his entire team of teachers, staff, parents and students on this well-deserved honor!