Wednesday, February 8, 2023
North Central Middle School has earned the national honor of being designated as a School to Watch by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform.
The school’s emphasis on strong academics, sensitivity to young adolescents’ needs and interests, and commitment to providing all students equal access to a high-quality education resulted in the well-deserved recognition.
“We could not be more proud of the administrators, teachers, staff and students of North Central Middle School for this tremendous accomplishment. North Central Middle models and exemplifies our district’s vision of empowering and challenging all students to become productive members of a globally dynamic society,” said Dr. Harrison Goodwin, KCSD Superintendent.
As part of the Schools to Watch process, North Central Middle School administrators and staff completed an extensive application and participated in on-site visits and interviews by a Schools to Watch team. Schools are recognized for a three-year period, at the end of which they must apply for re-designation and demonstrate that they are continuing to meet the National Forum’s rigorous criteria.
To be selected as a School to Watch, schools must be:
- Academically Excellent. Is the curriculum rigorous and relevant to the real world?
- Developmentally Responsive. Do students have a safe, healthy and personalized learning environment that is responsive to the unique needs and interests of young adolescents?
- Socially Equitable. Do all students have access to high-quality classes and the support they need to achieve at high levels?
- Organized with Supportive Structure. Is there shared leadership, collaborative learning communities, targeted professional development and effective organizational structures?
"We are honored and humbled to be recognized as a School To Watch. I am proud to be a part of the Patriot family as our students, teachers, parents and community strive for excellence on a daily basis. Our teachers and staff consistently search for ways to best serve and love our students. We are all excited to receive this very special award in recognition of our very special school," says North Central Middle Principal Chad Dixon.
North Central Middle joins Camden Middle, Lugoff-Elgin Middle and Leslie M. Stover Middle who received this national recognition in previous years. Kershaw County School District is one of only two school districts in the state to have all of its middle schools receive this prestigious designation. South Carolina now has 36 schools who have received this designation. Nationwide there are just over 550 schools in 19 states and 3 countries who have earned this designation.
North Central Middle will be recognized at the South Carolina Middle School Conference March 3-5, 2023, and in Washington, DC at the National Schools to Watch Conference sponsored by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform.
In South Carolina the Schools to Watch initiative is sponsored by the SC Association for Middle Level Education and the South Carolina Middle Grades Initiative.