National Group Says Elkton, Montevideo ‘Schools To Watch’
By ERIN FLYNN
ELKTON — Elkton Middle School and Montevideo Middle School are hoping to start a trend in the Shenandoah Valley: being named Schools to Watch.
Schools to Watch is an ongoing school improvement program launched by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform.
The forum consists of more than 60 educators, researchers and national associations that track students’ academic success, according to the organization’s website.
Middle schools interested in applying must meet four criteria: academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity and organizational structures.
In addition, they must submit an application and perform an anonymous teacher survey. A committee also visits the school, where it interviews parents, teachers, and division and community leaders.
Schools must reapply every three years, which allows the forum to track each school’s progress, said Sandra Dutemple, the director for Virginia Schools to Watch.
Validation For Schools
Dutemple, who met with administrators of both schools on Thursday, said the recognition shows that the schools are on the right track.
MMS Principal Drew Miller said Friday that being named a School to Watch speaks well of the community.
“We have a great staff here and a great parent community, and for us it was both validation for what we’re doing here and what we need to work on to get better,” said Miller, who added that the process helped MMS have a more clear vision statement.
EMS Principal Ramona Pence said the recognition, though exciting, goes beyond her school.
“This is for our community,” she said. “ It’s not just for Elkton Middle School, per se, it’s for Rockingham County.”
Superintendent Carol Fenn visited both schools Thursday and applauded the faculty, students and community members for this achievement.
“The communities of Elkton and Montevideo Middle School deserve this recognition,” she said.
While two of the division’s four middle schools were named Schools to Watch, Pence said this is only the beginning and expects J. Frank Hillyard and Wilbur S. Pence middle schools to apply in the coming years.
Contact Erin Flynn at 574-6293 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Reposted with permission.