The Adairville and Chandlers middle schools were recently re-designated as Kentucky Schools To Watch.
This was the fourth time Adairville has been named a School to Watch and the second time for Chandlers.
“I think that’s wonderful,” said Logan County Schools superintendent Marshall Kemp. “It’s a good thing because that means they are doing the things that the middle grades are supposed to be doing with their students.”
Because of budget cuts, the program stopped designating new schools as Schools to Watch last year, but it will re-designate schools that are already on the list and continue to meet the criteria.
Four of Logan County’s five middle schools are on the list. Auburn was re-designated last year and Olmstead was re-designated in 2011.
The only one not on the list is Lewisburg, but Kemp hopes the program will start adding new schools in the future so that Lewisburg will also make the list.
“With the cuts in education, the state department isn’t able to get out and make the visits that they require to add schools,” Kemp said. “If it happens for Lewisburg, we might have have to pay for the visit.”
Kemp said the school board would consider paying for the visit, depending on the cost.
Schools to Watch is an initiative launched by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform in 1999.
The National Forum is an alliance of more than 60 educators, researchers, and officers of national associations and foundations dedicated to improving schools for young adolescents across the country. The National Forum‚s mission is to unite key stakeholders to speak with a common voice to leverage research, policy, leadership, and replicable model practices to drive middle grades reform.
In order to prepare students to be lifelong learners ready for college, career, and citizenship, the National Forum seeks to make every middle grades school academically excellent, responsive to the developmental needs and interests of young adolescents, and socially equitable.
Through the Schools to Watch initiative, the National Forum identifies schools across the United States that are well on their way to meeting the Forum’s criteria for high performance. Forum members believe that three things are true of 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.