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New Glarus schools participate in Schools to Watch program
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NEW GLARUS - Wisconsin has been selected by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform to participate in the Schools to Watch program, and New Glarus Middle School was part of the inaugural training on Aug. 17-18.

The Schools to Watch designation presents an opportunity to showcase middle grade schools that have demonstrated a commitment to excellence for all young adolescents, according to a news release. These high performing schools demonstrate a commitment to research-based best practices for serving young adolescents to include a focus on inclusivity, equity and culturally responsive practices.

Explicit criteria must be met to receive designation as a School to Watch. This criteria was developed by middle-grades experts specifically for middle-grades schools and represent the best thinking of what it takes to promote the academic development and social development of young adolescents, the release said.

Key organizations, including the Wisconsin Association of Middle Level Education, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and the state Department of Public Instruction, are in the process of advancing the state-level initiative modeled after the national Schools to Watch program. School officials will be encouraged to apply to the program, which will identify and recognize high performing middle-level schools.

School districts have already expressed interest in being part of the initiative.

The following school districts joined state co-directors Shelley Joan Weiss and Anne Yehle as participants in the inaugural training that was held this month:

• Antigo school district

• Elkhorn Area School District

• Genoa City school district

• Kohler School District

• New Glarus School District

Rick Amundson and Terri Miller, who are members of the Wisconsin Association for Middle Level Education, also participated. The participants from New Glarus included Mark Stateler, Lexa Speth, Erin Kovach, Katie Johnson and Heather Cassidy.