Goshen receives National ‘Schools to Watch’ Award

Goshen Middle School received the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform “Schools to Watch Award” in Washington, D.C. on June 23rd for being a high performing middle school. Goshen Middle School earned this distinction by being academically excellent, developmentally responsive, and socially equitable. They were the only new Ohio middle school named to the list. Sharing first-hand knowledge of how to create and sustain a successful middle school, staff from Goshen Middle School in Goshen joined educators from 465 middle schools across the country that have been nationally recognized as Schools to Watch through the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform.

Goshen Middle School teachers Angela Clark, Kelly Denu, Lisa Edwards and Gina Taylor joined Principal Mark Edwards, Assistant Principal Wendy Flynn, and Superintendent Darrell Edwards in traveling to Washington, D.C., June 21-24 to participate in the Schools to Watch conference and presented to other schools strategies and programs Goshen Middle School utilizes to raise student achievement and support positive student development.  Among other things the Goshen Middle School faculty shared about their innovative practices of helping students develop a growth mindset, bringing educational gaming into the classroom, and their programs to combat bullying in school.

The conference provided the Goshen educators not only with an excellent opportunity to learn from other great schools across the country, but also afforded them the a platform to bring their first-hand knowledge to Capital Hill to discuss best practices and information about the importance of the middle grades.  During the visit to Capital Hill, Principal Mark Edwards and Assistant Principal Wendy Flynn discussed the need to continue to focus on developing strong public schools and the need for more resources to help struggling students.

“I applaud the work of the talented educators recognized by the Schools to Watch program who work tirelessly to provide an environment for their students where they will not only succeed academically, but also prepares them for success in high school and beyond.” stated Ericka Uskali, executive director, National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform.  “The Schools to Watch model presents a tremendous opportunity to improve middle grades schools across the country, and it is my hope that policymakers will listen to the experiences and knowledge of those in the schools who are succeeding at reaching and making a difference in the lives of adolescents.”

The Schools to Watch program identifies and honors schools nationally so all might learn how to achieve academic success through best practices for all young adolescents.  Schools identified as Schools to Watch initiative are academically excellent – challenging all students to use their minds well:  and socially equitable  – democratic and fair, providing every student with high-quality teachers, resources, and supports.  In order to achieve this level of performance, high-performing schools establish norms, structures, and organizational arrangements to support and sustain their trajectory toward excellence.  They have a sense of purpose that drives every facet of practice and decision-making.

Superintendent Darrell Edwards expressed his pride in the staff and students of Goshen Middle School. “In our community, we all know what a great job the staff of Goshen Middle School does to support and bring a high level of expectations and achievement to our students. Our students are excelling and now the state and nation also know as well. Being named a ‘School to Watch’ brings some additional responsibilities as other schools can visit and learn about best practices. We are proud of our students, staff, and parents.”