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California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
July 6, 2022

Dear County and District Superintendents and Middle School Principals:

Invitation to Participate in the 2023 California Schools to Watch Program

I am pleased to announce that the California Schools to Watch application for 2023 is now open. This program identifies model middle-grade schools that are academically excellent, developmentally responsive, and socially equitable, and that have a culture of collaborative leadership. The California Department of Education (CDE) has set forth minimum eligibility requirements to apply. They include the following:

  • Junior high schools, middle schools, and K–8 schools, whether traditional schools or public charter schools, are welcome to apply.
  • The school must serve young adolescents 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 meets the Schools to Watch criteria. Schools to Watch serve as models and mentors for middle-grade schools and educators seeking best practices so all young adolescent students may experience whole-child success. Please visit the California Schools to Watch page at https://www.leagueofschools.org/school-profiles to see over 150 model school profiles.

The 2023 applications are due Monday, October 3, 2022. Application information is available on the California League of Schools (CLS), Schools to Watch web page at https://www.leagueofschools.org/stw. The California Schools to Watch program (CA-STW) is led by the CDE and the CLS. The CDE has participated in the CA-STW program since 2002. CA-STW is aligned with the National Schools to Watch Program provided by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform.

If you have questions regarding the program, please contact Scott Steele, Director of CA-STW, at ssteele@leagueofschools.org or 800-326-1880, ext. 105.

Sincerely,

Tony Thurmond
State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Last Reviewed: Wednesday, July 6, 2022

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