National and Colorado "School to Watch" press release

Please see attached press release regarding the National and Colorado "School to Watch".  Go Eagles!

Contact: Diane Lauer, 970-222-6422

Northglenn, CO – Wellington Middle School School has been recognized as a 2018 Colorado Trailblazer Schools to
Watch. The Colorado Association of Middle Level Education congratulates Wellington for continuing its trajectory of
success over the course of 9 years.

Wellington challenges students to use their minds well, creates a learning environment sensitive to the unique
developmental needs of early adolescence, and delivers a high-quality learning experience for every child. Wellington
is one of 100+ schools that will be recognized nationwide at the National Schools to Watch Conference on June 29,
2018 in Washington, DC.

“Wellington excels in providing rich, engaging, and rigorous student learning for every child. They have built a
responsive, high quality middle school that is a model for our state,” explained Diane Lauer, State Director of the
Colorado Schools to Watch program. “Wellington demonstrates that excellence is the result of intentional focus on the
whole child and a strong partnerships with the community. A caring environment that cultivates student curiosity, strong
social-emotional supports, and thoughtful intellectual development results in a dynamic school where students thrive!”
Selection is based on a written application that requires schools to show how they met criteria developed by the
Forum. State teams organized by the Colorado Schools to Watch ( program
conduct site visits in order to affirm that they have indeed met the rigorous requirements of the award. These teams
observe classrooms, interview administrators, teachers, and parents, review achievement data, suspension rates,
instructional quality, and student work. Schools are recognized for a three-year period, and at the end of three years
must repeat the process in order to be re-designated. This year three schools were redesignated, Wellington Middle
School and Basalt Middle School for a third time, and Russell Middle School for a fourth time.
"Schools to Watch are special; they make education so exciting that students and teachers don't want to miss a day.
They are model middle-level schools and anyone can learn from their example," said Ericka Uskali, Forum executive
director of the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. “We are pleased that our Schools to Watch
program has shown that schools can meet high academic expectations while preserving a commitment to healthy
development and equity for all students," Uskali said.

Launched in 1999, Schools to Watch began as a national program to identify middle-grades schools across the country
that were meeting or exceeding 37 criteria developed by the Forum. The Forum developed a web site
( that features online tours of schools, as well as detailed information about the selection
criteria used in the recognition program.

Twenty states are currently involved in the program and the redesignation of Wellington raises the active number of
Schools to Watch to over 450 nationwide.

The National Forum sponsors the Schools to Watch state program with the support of members, the National
Association for Elementary School Principals, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the Association
of Middle Level Education, Learning Forward, and the State Schools to Watch programs.
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. (

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