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Lugoff-Elgin Middle School again receives prestigious national recognition; first school in SC to be re-designated as a “School to Watch” four times

December 14, 2018

Lugoff-Elgin Middle School again receives prestigious national recognition; first school in SC to be re-designated as a “School to Watch” four times

National Forum Schools to Watch logo It may be a mouthful to say that Lugoff-Elgin Middle School (LEMS) has been “re-designated” for a fourth time, but in a nutshell, it means the school continues to be recognized nationally for its outstanding work.

In fact, as the first school in the state to be named as a “School to Watch” and having earned the honor every three years thereafter, LEMS is the only South Carolina school to have been recognized by the National Forum to Accelerated Middle-Grades Reform five times.

Project Lead the Way - STEM Family Night "We are excited to continue to meet the criteria to be a School to Watch," LEMS Principal Gene Cameron said. "It is truly a team effort involving our community, students, teachers, staff and district to continually evolve in meeting the ever changing needs of our students. The tradition of empowering our students to reach their full potential and inspiring our students to achieve excellence remains strong at Lugoff-Elgin Middle School."

LEMS Band Winter Concert According to the National Forum, Schools to Watch have outstanding academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, socially equity and organizational structure. LEMS was first recognized in 2007.

At LEMS, students play an active role in their achievement of academic excellence through goal setting and reflection during a weekly advisory period where they create and develop individualized academic portfolios. Through the STEM classes, students are engaged with critical thinking, problem-solving and creative and collaborative skills. The school's Postive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program helps students achieve social, emotional and academic success while all students participate in a class called SPOT (Show respect, Practice safety, Organize yourself, Take responsibility) that supports school-wide behavioral expectations.

Flag Detail Training by the LEHS Army JROTC Schools to Watch began in 1999 as a program to identify middle grades schools across the country that were meeting or exceeding a set of strict criteria for excellence. South Carolina was one of three states to join the National Forum in 2006, which currently includes 18 states. To date, only 20 middle schools in South Carolina have earned the Schools To Watch award.

The National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform is an alliance of 65 educators, researchers, national associations and officers of professional organizations and foundations dedicated to improving education in the middle grades. Its website——features online tours of schools and detailed information about the selection criteria used in the recognition program.

South Carolina's program is sponsored by the South Carolina Association for Middle Level Education and the South Carolina Association of School Administrators-Middle Level Principals.

Medical Detectives (PLTW) making diagnoses

Mary Anne Byrd