Three more high-performing Chesterfield County middle schools were recognized today as national Schools to Watch by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform. Bailey Bridge, Robious and Swift Creek middle schools were recognized during staff meetings by School Board members, school division leaders and representatives from the National Forum. The three schools recognized this year join Midlothian and Tomahawk Creek middle schools, which were honored in 2016.
“As a former middle school principal, I understand that these years are a pivotal time in a student’s educational journey, and we must provide an authentic, hands-on learning environment that engages students in their work and interest,” said School Board Chair Dr. Javaid Siddiqi, who represents the Midlothian District and Robious Middle. “Congratulations to these schools for doing exactly that.
“Our schools continue to be recognized as high-functioning, high-achieving schools that are models for other school divisions,” added Clover Hill District School Board member Dianne Smith, who represents Swift Creek Middle. “Congratulations to the staff members who have worked hard to get to this point, and thank you to the parents who work in partnership with us to provide high-quality opportunities for our students.”
Schools to Watch® is an initiative launched by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform in 1999 to recognize schools across the country that meet the forum’s criteria for high performance. To achieve this level of performance, high-performing schools establish norms, structures and organizational arrangements to support and sustain their trajectory toward excellence.
“The work done in our middle schools is strategic and purposeful,” said Matoaca District School Board member Rob Thompson, who represents Bailey Bridge Middle. “From academic honors to teacher recognition to support staff members whose practices are noted by national organizations, we have structures in place to educate and assist students as they transition from youth into adolescents who can make a difference in our community.”
“We strive to provide our students with a high-quality education in a safe, nurturing and supportive learning environment,” Superintendent Dr. James Lane added. “The Schools to Watch recognition is external verification that our middle schools are effective in providing a rigorous, challenging education.”
Virginia is one of 18 states participating in the Schools to Watch® program, and the three new Chesterfield County middle schools recognized are now part of a selective group of more than 350 successful middle schools across the country to receive this honor.