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 Calavera Hills Middle is a ‘School to Watch’

Calavera Hills Middle School in Carlsbad has renewed its status as a model middle grades school in the 2017 Schools to Watch — Taking Center Stage program.

Calavera Hills in the Carlsbad Unified School District is one of 30 California middle grades schools recognized this year as high-performing model schools for demonstrating academic excellence, responsiveness to the needs of young adolescents, and social equity.

“These are 30 fantastic schools that do such a terrific job of helping students succeed with academics and succeed as they face all the other unique challenges of being in middle school,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said. “It’s a significant time in a student’s life, and they need special teachers, staff, and administration to help them prepare for success in 21st-century careers and college. These schools do all of that and more. These outstanding schools serve as role models for middle schools up and down the great state of California.”

Eleven of the high-performing middle schools are newly designated as model middle grades schools. The sustained progress of 19 previously chosen Schools to Watch — Taking Center Stage schools, including Calavera Hills, will allow them to retain their designation.

Model schools have been recognized for programs including high school prerequisite courses such as Algebra II and Chinese II, conflict-resolution courses, after-school tutoring and extracurricular activities, and collaborative working relationships between special education and general education students and teachers.

The Schools to Watch — Taking Center Stage program is sponsored by the California League of Middle Schools and the California Department of Education, in partnership with the California Middle Grades Alliance. Schools must complete an extensive application that is reviewed by middle grades experts to earn this designation. To retain the designation, each school is re-evaluated every three years.

The schools will be recognized Feb. 23 at the California Middle Grades Alliance annual luncheon  in Sacramento and Feb. 24 to 26 during the California League of Schools' annual Conference North.