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 Sweetwater Campus is a School to Watch

​​Granger Junior High School in National City has renewed its status as a model middle grades school in the 2015-16 Schools to Watch—Taking Center Stage program.

Granger Junior High, in the Sweetwater Union High School District, is one of 33 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 33 schools excel at keeping students engaged and motivated during this critical juncture in a student's school career," State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said. "I congratulate them for their efforts to exceed challenging goals, narrow the achievement gap, and set their students on a solid path toward high school and future success."

Thirteen of the middle schools are newly designated as model middle grades schools. Twenty schools, including Granger, retained their Schools to Watch status thanks to sustained progress. To earn a Schools to Watch designation, schools must complete an extensive application that is reviewed by middle grades experts. A school is re-evaluated every three years in order to retain the designation.

A handful of other San Diego County Schools remain on the Schools to Watch list. In 2015, Olive Peirce Middle School in the Ramona Unified School District received its first redesignation for three years of continuous improvement; and Gaspar DePortola Middle School in the San Diego Unified School District earned its third redesignation for nine years of continuous improvement. Granger was first designated a School to Watch in 2010; and Calavera Hills Middle School in the Carlsbad Unified School District was designated in 2011.

Schools to Watch—Taking Center Stage campuses draw visitors from California and around the world who are seeking to learn practices they can use to improve their middle grades schools and close the achievement gap.

The schools will be recognized Feb. 25 in Sacramento at the California Middle Grades Alliance annual luncheon and Feb. 26-28 during the California League of Schools' Annual Conference North. The Taking Center Stage program is sponsored by the California League of Middle Schools (CLMS) and the California Department of Education, in partnership with the California Middle Grades Alliance.