The Ohio Department of Education has announced the list of middle schools being recognized by the Ohio Schools to Watch (OSTW) and the National Schools to Watch (STW) programs. Van Wert Middle School was announced as one of only 17 Ohio Middle Schools to achieve this prestigious recognition and has earned this honor for the 15th straight year. According to the National Forum’s website https://www.middlegradesforum.org/schools-to-watch-states “In order to prepare students to be lifelong learners ready for college, career, and citizenship, the National Forum seeks to make every middle-grade school academically excellent, responsive to the developmental needs and interests of young adolescents, and socially equitable.” The OSTW program identifies high-performing, middle grades schools that meet the expectations of the National Forum and have organizational structures in place to meet the needs of middle school students. Schools must complete an extensive application and reflection process. Selected schools are then visited by a team of trained evaluators who rate the school on the rubric and give specific feedback on ways the school can continue growing.
“Congratulations to staff and leadership for being redesignated as both an Ohio School to Watch and National School to Watch. Your schools written application is strong evidence of the quality of your school.” Said Dan Stacy, consultant for the Ohio Department of Education. The team of 3 professionals who visited VWMS included these comments in their feedback “Van Wert Middle School is a high performing school that is concerned about maintaining high quality and success for all students. The staff and leadership are addressing their need to move student success to advanced levels and have a continued commitment to work together to provide a solid base for students to build their success in high school and beyond.” Mark Bagley, Principal of VWMS expressed his appreciation “We are honored to be recognized by the Ohio Department of Education and the National Forum. Our entire staff works hard every day to meet the needs of every students we serve. It is always great when others recognize these efforts.”
Van Wert Middle School was formally recognized at the National School to Watch Conference in Washington DC on Friday June 28. Darla Dunlap, Assistant Principal and Anita Zuber, teacher and member of the Leadership Team accepted the award on behalf of the staff, students, and families of Van Wert Middle School. At the conference, schools had the opportunity to learn from each other and share evidence based practices. Van Wert Middle school was asked to share and the team presented at the conference, sharing their journey with providing students extra time and help in reaching high expectations. While at the conference, the two Van Wert educators also met with Representative Robert Latta to discuss legislation that could support the work of middle schools in their quest to improve education for all students.
Van Wert Middle School administration, staff, and students thank the Van Wert City Schools Community for your continued support!
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