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Calavera Hills Middle School Named One of CA’s Schools to Watch

Students working with English teacher Mr. Allen at Calavera Hills Middle School (CUSD)
Students working with English teacher Mr. Allen at Calavera Hills Middle School (CUSD)

Students, staff, parents, district leaders, school board members and community members are celebrating the redesignation of Calavera Hills Middle School as one of California’s Schools to Watch-Taking Center Stage model middle schools.

“We are thrilled to have received this recognition,” said Principal Michael Ecker. “Our student-centered model is a flexible one, attuned to each student’s pathway to academic achievement. This award is a testament to the hard work of our staff and students in making this exciting and challenging program a success.”

Dr. Irvin Howard, President of the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform, noted, “Calavera Hills Middle School is a model of what an outstanding middle school can be. School leaders from across the state will now turn to Calavera Hills Middle School for guidance on improving their programs to better serve their students.”

Calavera Hills Middle School serves six through eighth grade students in Carlsbad Unified School District. California’s Schools to Watch-Taking Center Stage program uses a competitive, rigorous review process to identify high performing, high impact middle schools so that all middle schools may have models of real-world success. Calavera Hills Middle School is one of just of 59 model schools that have been identified statewide since 2003. It is the only middle school in San Diego County and one of only 12 California schools to be honored this year.

Calavera Hills Middle School was first designated as a School to Watch in 2011, and was invited to re-apply to the program in the fall of 2013.  The rigorous application process, involving the entire school staff, requires an in depth self-study in the areas of  Academic Excellence, Developmental Responsiveness, Organizational Structures and Processes, and Social Equity.

The program is provided by the California Middle Grades Alliance, which includes the California League of Middle Schools (CLMS; the lead agency), California Department of Education, and other statewide educational organizations who are partners in the California Middle Grades Alliance.

Representatives from Calavera Hills Middle School will receive their recognition award from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson at the California League of Middle Schools conference in Sacramento on February 28.

 For more information on the program, contact Dr. Irvin Howard, director, at (951) 318-7515 or STWCAL@gmail.com  or contact Katie Winchell, director of communications, CLMS, at (800) 326-1880 or editor@clms.net; or visit www.clms.net/stw.

–CUSD press release

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