Schools are selected for academic excellence, responsiveness to the needs and interests of young adolescents, and commitment to helping all students achieve at high levels. In addition, each school demonstrates strong leadership, teachers who work together to improve curriculum and instruction, and a commitment to assessment and accountability to bring about continuous improvement.
These schools demonstrate that high-performing middle grades schools have a clear focus on academic growth and achievement. They also recognize the importance of meeting the needs of all of their students and ensuring that each and every child has access to a rigorous, high-quality education. These schools serve as models from which others can learn.
Selection is based on a written application that required schools to show how they met criteria developed by the Forum. Schools that appeared to meet the criteria were then visited by state teams who observed classrooms, interviewed administrators, teachers, students, and parents, and looked at achievement data, suspension rates, quality of lessons, 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. The schools vary in size from several hundred to several thousand students and represent urban, suburban, and rural communities.
Hudson Bend MS was originally designated in 2014 and has fulfilled all the requirements to be re-designated for the next three years.