State Superintendent Tony Evers recently commended 83 middle schools for being named an Exemplary Middle School in Wisconsin based on student academic achievement. Two Sheboygan Area School District schools, Horace Mann Middle School and Urban Middle School were among the 83 schools recognized statewide.
"Middle school is a pivotal time for our students. They need a school environment that nourishes their phenomenal intellectual capacity while supporting their emotional growth and increasing independence," Evers said. "Recognizing schools that have demonstrated success with students helps build strong academic expectations at the middle level."
The Exemplary Middle School program, sponsored by the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators (AWSA) and Department of Public Instruction, is in its third year. The program recognizes middle schools with high growth in reading or math scores in the past school year; reading or math scores in the top 10 percent in the past year; or high growth in scores in reading or math for schools with a high poverty population.
"The Exemplary Middle School recognition program spotlights schools that are doing an exceptional job of preparing our students for the future," said Jim Lynch, AWSA executive director. "The exemplary middle schools recognized by this award have set and met high standards. We will be looking to these schools for their 'best practices' in providing both a rigorous curriculum and the learning culture in which students thrive academically, socially, and emotionally during the middle school years."
Instituted through AWSA's Middle Level Commission, the Exemplary Middle School recognition program reviewed academic achievement records for 306 eligible schools based on grade-level configuration. Of those schools, 83 received certificates indicating their status as Exemplary Middle Schools. These schools are eligible for the 2009-10 Wisconsin Middle School of Excellence Awards, which will be presented at the Middle Level Commission Conference in Appleton on February 18, 2010. Applications for the award will be judged on collaborative leadership and professional learning communities; personalization and the school environment; and curriculum, instruction, and assessment in the schools.