January 19, 2020
Batesburg-Leesville Middle School in Lexington School District 3, Beck International Academy in Greenville County School District, Muller Road Middle School in Richland 2, and Sevier Middle School in Greenville County School District are the latest South Carolina middle schools to be named Schools to Watch® by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform.
The schools’ emphasis on strong academics, sensitivity to the needs and interests of young adolescents, and commitment to providing equal access to a high-quality education resulted in well-deserved recognition.
Schools are recognized for a three-year period, at the end of which they must apply for re-designation and demonstrate that they are continuing to meet the National Forum’s rigorous criteria. The following 4 South Carolina middle schools were re-designated as Schools to Watch:
- Blythewood Middle School (Richland School District 2) has been re-designated for the fourth time, first recognized twelve years ago.
- Palmetto Middle School (Anderson School District 1) has been re-designated for the fourth time, first recognized twelve years ago.
- Castle Heights Middle School (York School District 3) has been re-designated for the third time, first recognized nine years ago.
- College Park Middle School (Berkeley School District) has been re-designated for the third time, first being recognized nine years ago.
- League Academy (Greenville County School District) has been re-designated for the third time, first being recognized nine years ago.
- Campobello-Gramling School (Spartanburg School District 1) has been re-designated for the second time, first being recognized six years ago.
- Chapin Middle School (Lexington/Richland 5 School District)—first recognized three years ago—was re-designated for the first time.
- Crayton Middle School (Richland School District 1)—first recognized three years ago—was re-designated for the first time.
- Mid-Carolina Middle School (Newberry School District)—first recognized three years ago—was re-designated for the first time.
South Carolina currently has twenty schools that have received this designation. Nationwide there are nearly 450 schools that have earned this designation. To be selected as a School to Watch, schools need to be:
Is the curriculum rigorous and relevant to the real world?
Organized with Supportive Structure
Is there shared leadership, collaborative learning communities, targeted professional development, and effective organizational structures?
In 2006, South Carolina became a Schools to Watch state by the National Forum to replicate the Schools to Watch program as a way to identify high-performing middle grades schools to serve as models of excellence for other schools. Currently, 17 states are involved in this school reform and recognition initiative. The program is sponsored by the South Carolina Association for Middle-Level Education and the Center for Educational Partnerships at USC.
For more information about the state’s Schools to Watch program, please contact SC Schools to watch director Dr. David McDonald at email@example.com.