The California Department of Education and the California Middle Grades Alliance announced on Friday, January 23 that seven high-performing California middle schools have been newly designated as model middle grades schools in the 2014-15 Schools to Watch-Taking Center Stage (STW-TCS) program. The announcement also includes recognition of the sustained progress of 14 previously chosen STW-TCS schools, including Culver City Middle School, which will allow them to retain their designation.
STW-TCS middle grades schools are high-performing model schools that demonstrate academic excellence, developmental responsiveness to the needs and interests of young adolescents, social equity, and organizational support. These model schools host visitors from California and around the world who are looking for replicable practices that will help them improve their middle grades schools and close the achievement gap.
The California Department of Education and the California League of Middle Schools are the lead agencies in the STW-TCS program, with the support of the California Middle Grades Alliance, a cross-organizational collaborative dedicated to providing policy assistance and encouragement for California’s 1.5 million middle grades students.
In order to become a STW-TCS model middle school, applicants must have met or exceeded the Academic Performance Index (API) schoolwide growth target for three of the previous five years (2008-09 to 2012-13). School administrators must conduct a self-study evaluation and complete an extensive narrative application. Each site is then reviewed by a team of middle grades experts. In order to retain the designation, each school is re-evaluated every three years.
All of the schools will be formally recognized at the California Middle Grades Alliance annual luncheon February 26, 2015, and during the California League of Schools Conference February 27-March 1, 2015. The schools will have an opportunity to showcase their accomplishments and network with other middle grades educators from around the state. Both events will be held in Sacramento.