HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (July 2, 2018) – On Saturday, June 30, at the Schools to Watch Conference in Washington, D.C., Henderson County Public Schools was honored as a “Schools to Watch District” – a brand new recognition from the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform.
The “Schools to Watch® District” designation follows the Schools to Watch® initiative, which the National Forum launched in 1999 to recognize high-performing middle-grades schools across United States. “Schools to Watch” are so designated for their consistency in academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity, and strong organizational support. Once given the original designation, schools may reapply for redesignation as a “School to Watch” every three years.
All four HCPS middle schools have been designated “Schools to Watch” by the North Carolina Association for Middle Level Education, and have current redesignated statuses.
“We are so very proud of your schools and the commitment by your district and leadership to the Schools to Watch process and program,” Dr. Ericka D. Uskali, executive director of the National Forum, said to HCPS Superintendent Bo Caldwell in a letter. “It was important to us to celebrate that commitment and the fact that all of the eligible middle-grades schools in your district are actively designated or redesignated schools,” she said. “That is a major accomplishment that is worthy of recognition and praise.”
Rugby Middle’s Principal Scott Moore accepted the “Schools to Watch® District” award on behalf of Henderson County Public Schools at the national conference Saturday. Rugby was the district’s first middle school to earn the original designation in 2003, and has been redesignated every three years since then – making Rugby one of only six schools nationwide and one of two in North Carolina to have earned their fifth redesignation.
Also redesignated this year was Apple Valley Middle, which earned its initial designation in 2009. Flat Rock Middle and Hendersonville Middle were designated “Schools to Watch” in 2007 and 2010, respectively, and are eligible for redesignation in 2019.
“It is truly an honor to be named the National Forum’s first ‘Schools to Watch® District,’” Caldwell said. “It’s a testament to our entire system – from the support of our board to our teachers teaching the whole child. As superintendent, I’d like to personally thank our middle school administrators and teachers who work every day to support the educational, social, and emotional needs of our adolescent students growing into young adults.”