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California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
June 4, 2021

Dear County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and Middle School Principals:

Invitation to Participate in the 2022 California Schools to WatchTM Program

I am pleased to announce that the California Schools to WatchTM application process for 2022 is now open. This program identifies model middle-grades schools that are academically excellent, developmentally responsive, socially equitable, and have a culture of collaborative leadership. The California Department of Education (CDE) has set forth minimum eligibility requirements to apply. These include the following:

  • The school must serve young adolescents ages ten to fifteen and house any combination of grades five through nine.
  • The school must provide equitable opportunities and whole-child supports (i.e., physical, mental, and social-emotional health) as necessary to enable all students to experience social equity and pursue academic excellence.
  • There are no civil rights violations or adult testing irregularities at the school site.

After eligibility is secured, the final selection of schools will be based on how well each school addresses the Schools to Watch™ criteria in the School Self-Study and Rating Rubric developed by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform. Schools that are designated serve as models and mentors for challenged middle-grades schools whose educators are seeking best practices so all young adolescent students may experience whole-child success. Please visit the California Schools to Watch web page at https://www.leagueofschools.org/school-profiles to see over 130 model school profiles.

The 2022 applications are due October 1, 2021. Application information is available at https://www.leagueofschools.org/schools-to-watch.

If you have questions regarding the program, please contact Scott Steele, Director of the California Schools to Watch program, at ssteele@leagueofschools.org or 800-326-1880, extension 105.

Sincerely,

Tony Thurmond
State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Last Reviewed: Friday, June 4, 2021

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