January 15, 2015
State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Congratulates California's 2015 "Schools to Watch™—Taking Center Stage" Model Middle Schools
SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced 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.
Torlakson also announced that the sustained progress of 15 previously chosen STW™—TCS schools will allow them to retain their designation.
"These 22 schools are being recognized for their outstanding work in keeping students engaged and motivated during this critical juncture in education," Torlakson said. "I congratulate them for their efforts to exceed challenging goals, narrow the achievement gap, and set their students on a solid path toward high school and future success."
The seven newly designated STW™—TCS model middle grades schools are:
- De Anza Middle School, Ontario, Ontario-Montclair School District.
- Fedde International Studies Academy, Hawaiian Gardens, ABC Unified School District.
- Hawthorne School, Beverly Hills, Beverly Hills Unified School District.
- Kings Canyon Middle School, Fresno, Fresno Unified School District.
- Lakeside Middle School, Norwalk, Little Lake City School District.
- Luther Burbank Middle School, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Unified School District.
- Wilson Junior High School, El Centro, El Centro Elementary School District.
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.
STW™—TCS program is sponsored by the California League of Middle Schools (CLMS) and the California Department of Education, in partnership with the California Middle Grades Alliance.
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 five most recent years scores were calculated (from 2007–08 to 2012–13). In addition, schools must have met or exceeded the API growth targets for three of the five most recent years scores were calculated (from 2007–08 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 in Sacramento at the California Middle Grades Alliance annual luncheon February 26, 2014, and during the California League of Schools' Annual Conference North, February 26–March 1, 2015. The schools will have an opportunity to showcase their accomplishments and network with other middle grades educators from around the state.
For more information about the STW™—TCS program, please visit the CLMS High Performing Middle School Models Web page.
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Tom Torlakson —
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100