South Carolina names two of our schools as National Schools to Watch

     South Middle is one of South Carolina’s two newest Schools to Watch, and Indian Land Middle was also re-designated for Schools to Watch.
     The national Schools to Watch program recognizes middle schools that are continuously moving forward in the areas of academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity and organizational structures.      Schools to Watch is sponsored by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform.
     The forum praised South Middle for its efforts in a number of areas including
     •     the school’s academic program and its emphasis on high academic standards and curriculum alignment.
     •     the interventions South has in place to help students with academic issues.
     •     the way South’s administrators and teachers meet frequently to analyze data and monitor student progress.
     •     the school’s strong partnership with Winthrop University.
     •     the inviting school atmosphere the Schools to Watch team observed, an atmosphere where students are valued and respected by the staff.
     •     the fact that the entire staff holds itself accountable for the success of the students.

     Indian Land Middle was also re-designated for Schools to Watch after successfully completing a re-assessment and review of the school’s programs.
     Indian Land was originally designated for Schools to Watch in 2010.
     Indian Land Middle was commended for
     •     its emphasis on rigor, data analysis and interdisciplinary instruction.
     •     its personal and friendly learning community provided for students.
     •     the way respect is modeled for students.
     •     its emphasis on career goals.
     •     the strong community partnerships in place to meet students’ developmental needs.
     •     the equitable access to learning the school provides.
     •     Indian Land Middle’s partnership with Winthrop University through NetSCOPE that actively involves the university in school activities.
     •     The National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform is an alliance of 65 educators, researchers, national associations and officers of professional organizations and foundations dedicated to improving education in the middle grades.
     •     Its website—www.schoolstowatch.org—features online tours of schools and detailed information about the selection criteria used in the recognition program.
     South Carolina’s program is sponsored by the Schools to Watch Association, SC Association of School Administrators-Middle Level Principals, SC Department of Education, SC Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and the Middle Grades Project.
     Dutchman Creek Middle School in the Rock Hill School District was the other South Carolina school designated this year, and Lugoff-Elgin Middle in Kershaw County was the other school re-designated this year.