Dutchman Creek Middle School has been redesignated as a School to Watch by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. The school’s emphasis on strong academics, sensitivity to young adolescents’ needs and interests, and commitment to providing all students equal access to a high-quality education resulted in the well-deserved recognition. Schools are recognized for a three-year period, at the end of which they must apply for redesignation and demonstrate that they are continuing to meet the National Forum’s rigorous criteria. Dutchman Creek Middle was one of only four schools in South Carolina to be redesignated.

To be selected as a School to Watch, schools need to be:

  • Academically Excellent. Is the curriculum rigorous and relevant to the real world?
  • Developmentally Responsive. Do students have a safe, healthy and personalized learning environment that is responsive to the unique needs and interests of young adolescents?
  • Socially Equitable. Do all students have access to high-quality classes and the support they need to achieve at high levels?
  • Organized with Supportive Structure. Are there shared leadership, collaborative learning communities, targeted professional development and effective organizational structures?

According to the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform, “the principal, teachers and staff members, along with their communities, have dedicated themselves to being strong exemplars for sustaining growth and development of their students.”

Schools to Watch are showcased as models throughout the state and the nation to promote their approaches to instruction, parent and community involvement, and professional development.