Olive Peirce Middle School in the Ramona Unified School District was recently redesignated as a California "School to Watch" by the California Department of Education, California League of Middle Schools, and the California Middle Grades Alliance.
Olive Peirce is one of only 24 middle schools statewide to receive this re-designation, which is based on a written application that requires schools to show how they continue to meet criteria that includes academics, responsiveness to needs of students, and commitment to helping all students achieve.
According to the Schools to Watch website, schools meeting those criteria are visited by state teams who observe classrooms; interview staff, students and parents; and review achievement data, suspension rates, quality of lessons, and student work.
Schools are recognized for a three-year period and must demonstrate progress on certain goals to be re-designated. Olive Peirce was initially recognized in 2012, received a re-designation in 2015, and is being recognized for a third time in 2018.
Olive Peirce has had the distinction of being visited by other middle school teachers and administrators as an example of best practices as a middle school. In addition, Olive Peirce staff members have made presentations throughout the state highlighting the school’s practices. Ramona Unified Superintendent Dr. Anne Staffieri remarked, “We are incredibly proud to extend congratulations to Olive Peirce for nine years of excellence in meeting the needs of all students and ensuring that every child has access to a challenging, high-quality education.”
De Portola Middle School in San Diego Unified was also re-designated as a School to Watch.
The schools will be honored at the California League of Middle Schools State Conference in Sacramento in March and at the National Forum’s National Schools to Watch conference in Washington, D.C. in June.