As part of its continuing effort to identify and learn from high-performing middle schools, the National Forum, in collaboration with AMLE, NAESP, NASSP, and Learning Forward, launched its Schools to Watch®State Program in 2002. Through this program, the Forum has trained teams of education leaders to implement Schools to Watch programs in their states.
Through the state Schools to Watch® initiative, schools are identified across the United States that are well on their way to meeting the criteria for high performance. Three things are true of STW, high-performing middle-grades schools:
- They are academically excellent—these schools challenge all students to use their minds well.
- They are developmentally responsive—these schools are sensitive to the unique developmental challenges of early adolescence.
- They are socially equitable—these schools are democratic and fair, providing every student with high-quality teachers, resources, and supports.
To achieve this level of performance, high-performing schools establish norms, structures, and organizational arrangements to support and sustain their trajectory toward excellence. They have a sense of purpose that drives every facet of practice and decision-making.
Each year the National Forum invites state middle-grades associations, state departments of education, post-secondary institutions, and other collaborating organizations to join in expanding the STW program through a state application process. States have the opportunity to participate in a unique professional learning opportunity and identify middle-grades schools that are on a solid upward trajectory.
413 schools have been identified through 2016
Current STW states include: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Virginia.
Invitation to Apply for the State Program
Each year the National Forum invites state middle-grades associations, state departments of education, post-secondary institutions, and other collaborating organizations to join us in expanding our STW program. Through this program, we seek to provide state and local leaders in selected states with a unique professional learning opportunity, while at the same time identifying and honoring middle-grades schools that are on a solid trajectory toward reform. Request for Application form is now available.
For application email Ericka Uskali at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (217) 469-6299 if you are a state that is interested.
PO Box 224