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Beverly Hills Intermediate Named 'School to Watch'

Beverly Hills Intermediate Named Texas 'School to Watch'

Schools to Watch
Beverly Hills Intermediate School has been designated a Texas "Schools to Watch" campus by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform for academic excellence, developmental responsiveness and social equability. 

Beverly Hills Intermediate Named Texas 'School to Watch'

Beverly Hills Intermediate is among only 12 exemplary middle schools in Texas to be named “Schools to Watch” by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform.

The Schools to Watch program recognizes high-performing middle schools that are academically excellent, developmentally responsive and socially equitable. Stacy Barber, Beverly Hills Intermediate principal, said the school accomplished this level of performance by establishing norms, structures and organizational arrangements that have helped the school achieve excellence.

“We are truly honored to have received this recognition,” Barber said. “Our students, staff and community worked together to make this amazing accomplishment possible. We owe so much gratitude to the strong leadership of the four principals before me who set up the structure, traditions and standards that are still in place today. I am just so lucky to follow in their footsteps and continue those traditions.”

Beverly Hills Intermediate was selected for the designation for demonstrating a clear focus on academic growth and achievement, collaborating with community members and including them in the decision-making process, and providing students with quality teachers, leaders and resources that support students’ learning and growth.

Selection is based on a written application that required schools to demonstrate how they met evaluation criteria. The criterion was divided into four domains established by the National Forum including: academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity and organizational support and processes.

Students, staff and administrators filled the entire gym and celebrated the big announcement with a pep rally. A thunderous applause erupted as Thad Spears, president of the Texas Middle School Association, explained to an enthusiastic crowd that Beverly Hills would be joining only 29 high performing middle schools in the state and several others across the nation selected for the prestigious designation.

“In visiting with administrators from the school and central office, it’s good to see practices in place that have been in place for a long time here,” Spears said. “In the late ‘90s and early 2000s, this was a mentor campus and the procedures that were in place back then continue to be a tradition now. Something that stood out for me about Beverly Hills is students are encouraged to say the U.S. and Texas pledges. There are not a lot of schools that do that, but these traditions have a lasting impact on adolescents and mold them into model citizens.”

In meeting the criteria, Beverly Hills Intermediate was visited by state teams who observed classrooms, interviewed administrators, teachers, students and parents and collected extensive information including suspension rates, quality of lessons, test scores, achievement data, and student work as part of the evaluation process.

Schools are recognized for a three-year period and must repeat the application process in order to be considered for the Schools to Watch state re-designation. The schools vary in size from several hundred to several thousand students and represent urban, suburban, and rural communities.

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.

In 2002, the Forum began working with states to replicate the Schools to Watch program as a way to introduce the Forum's criteria for high-performance and identify middle grade schools that meet or exceed that criteria.

Fast forward nine years later: Texas became the 16th state to participate with the Schools to Watch program when the Texas Middle School Association became the sponsoring organization.

The overall goals of the Texas Schools to Watch® program are to:

  • Create a research-based definition of the characteristics shared by high-performing middle schools.
  • Identify high-performing, high needs middle schools throughout Texas.
  • Share the real-world strategies in place at these sites with educators from middle schools throughout the state via web-based school tours, school site visits, and phone or e-mail consultations.
  • Provide a nationally provenSchool Self-Study and Rating Rubric via the Internet that all middle schools can use to evaluate and improve their school's instructional program.
  • Establish a statewide network of high-performing middle schools, with every high-performing school actively involved in assisting struggling middle schools that share either a geographic region or student population characteristics.

The 2013-2014 Texas Schools to Watch

?  Bailey Middle School, Spring ISD

?  Beckendorff Junior High, Katy ISD

?  Beverly Hills Intermediate School, Pasadena ISD

?  Bowman Middle School, Plano ISD

?  Gorzycki Middle School, Austin ISD

?  Hudson Bend Middle School, Lake Travis ISD

?  Murphy Middle School, Plano ISD

?  Simon Middle School, Hays CISD

School to Watch

Schools to Watch

Schools to Watch

Schools to Watch