de Portola Middle School in Tierrasanta has been re-designated a model middle school by the California Department of Education's Schools to Watch™−Taking Center Stage (STW™−TCS) program.
The school's academic excellence, responsiveness to students needs were lauded by Tom Torlakson, state Superintendent of Schools, in an announcement from Sacramento. Across California, 11 schools were returned to the "watch" list, while four schools were added to the honor roll. There are more than 1,300 middle schools in California and 95 in San Diego county. dePortola is being joined by Olive Peirce Middle School in Ramona as the only honored schools in San Diego county.
"I commend the students, their parents, teachers, and administrators, for their efforts in helping make these 15 schools models of excellence," Torlakson said. "Their success is amazing, especially considering they are swimming against the tide of massive budget cuts, crowded classrooms, and school employee layoffs."
A "school to watch" for several years, dePortola and all schools in the program are recognized for theirsuccess in four areas: implementing best practices focused onacademic achievement;responding to the developmental needs ofyoung adolescents; offering a fair and equitable education for allstudents; and instituting organizational processes and proceduresthat foster and sustain academic growth.
"dePortola is one of the outstanding schools in our district," said San Diego Superintendent Bill Kowba. "Every day, students, teachers and staff are ready to learn and grow. Principal Elizabeth Gillingham and her team deserve the congratulations they are receiving."
The Schools to Watch™-Taking Center Stage program identifies high-performing school models that demonstrate academicexcellence, developmental responsiveness to the needs and interests ofyoung adolescents, social equity, and organizational support. Model schools host visitors from California and around the world whoare looking for replicable practices that will help them improve theirmiddle grades schools and close the achievement gap.
For more information about the Schools to Watch™−Taking Center Stagemodel school program, visit the California Department of Education Website at California Schools to Watch--Taking Center Stage - Middle Grades.