March 14, 2014 – Beachwood Middle School has been re-designated in the national Schools to Watch® recognition program developed by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform. BMS is one of just 20 Schools to Watch in Ohio.
Launched in 1999, the Schools to Watch® initiative identifies schools across the United States that are well on their way to meeting the Forum's criteria for high performance. The Forum members recognizes the following three qualities of high-performing middle-grades schools:
Schools to Watch are recognized for a three-year period, and at the end of three years must repeat the process in order to be re-designated. BMS first earned the designation in 2008 and again in 2011 – both times under the leadership of current Hilltop Elementary School principal Mrs. Linda LoGalbo, who was BMS principal from 2006 until 2013. Mr. Paul Chase has been BMS principal since the start of the 2013-2014 school year and led the school through this most recent re-designation.
- They are academically excellent — these schools challenge all students to use their minds well.
- They are developmentally responsive — these schools are sensitive to the unique developmental challenges of early adolescence.
- They are socially equitable — these schools are democratic and fair, providing every student with high-quality teachers, resources, and supports.
Each school was selected by state leaders for its academic excellence, its responsiveness to the needs and interests of young adolescents, and its commitment to helping all students achieve at high levels. In addition, each school has strong leadership, teachers who work together to improve curriculum and instruction, and a commitment to assessment and accountability to bring about continuous improvement.
Selection and re-designation are based on a written application that requires schools to demonstrate how they meet criteria developed by the Forum. Schools that appeared to meet these criteria are visited by state teams who observe classrooms, interviewed administrators, teachers, students, and parents, and look at achievement data, suspension rates, quality of lessons, and student work.
The site visit team, led by Ohio Department of Education consultant Dan Stacy, noted the school’s use of technology in every school environment, the school’s ethnic and cultural diversity, and the teachers’ collaborative work styles and commitment to student success.