Union Middle School in San Jose, San Lorenzo Valley Middle School in Felton and Scotts Valley Middle School were each named a model middle grades school under the state Schools to Watch - Taking Center Stage, or STW-TCS, program, for the first time this year, state education officials said. Also joining the list, both for the sixth year, are Canyon Middle School in Castro Valley and Edna Hill Middle School in Brentwood.
The five schools made the list of 21 middle schools statewide this year that have consistently shown academic excellence and provided "developmental responsiveness to the needs and interests of young adolescents, social equity and organizational support," according to a statement from the California Department of Education.
"My congratulations and admiration go out to these schools for continually striving to improve student performance," Torlakson said. "Their success is a result of effective and innovative practices that motivate their students to learn and excel.
School administrators must conduct a self-study evaluation at their schools and complete a comprehensive application in order to be considered under the STW-TCS program.
Each of the schools will be honored in Sacramento at the California Middle Grades Alliance annual luncheon on Feb. 28 and at the California League of Middle Schools Conference from March 1-3.