Ballston Spa Middle School Selected for Schools to Watch Program
BALLSTON SPA – The Ballston Spa Middle School has earned designation as a 2015 School to Watch by the New York State Education Department after a lengthy review process. The Middle School is one of only twenty-seven schools in New York State, since 2004, to receive the prestigious national honor. The designation is the culmination of over two and half years of self-review, planning, and an in-depth, two day site review from an external review team.
“It takes leadership and courage to engage in a structured self-review process using an external lens, acknowledge bumps and bruises and ultimately reflect on practice to support continuous improvement,” indicated Joseph P. Dragone, Superintendent of the Ballston Spa Central School District. Further, “The entire BSMS school community, from the Building Leadership Team, to every classroom teacher, to everyone on the support staff team, is to be commended for their commitment to moving the work of the district forward.”
The national Essential Elements: Schools to Watch Program identifies schools across the states that meet criteria for high performance. High-performing middle schools have distinguished themselves and excel in the areas of academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity and organization and structure.
“This was a collaborative effort that included every person throughout our school. It took our collective focus, drive and honesty in critiquing our own work while participating in this thorough examination of our school,” said Pamela Motler, Principal of the Ballston Spa Middle School. In addition, “Our improvement process does not end with this designation as we will continue to look for ways to better our school community and serve our students well.”
As a School to Watch, the Middle School is formally recognized as a model of exemplary implementation of the Essential Elements; has made, and continues to make, marked progress in meeting all eligibility criteria, including measurable gains in the academic achievement of all students; is willing to serve as a model and mentor for other schools seeking to improve and is committed to continuing its own efforts to improve and provide an exemplary educational program and learning experience for young adolescents.
Additional information about the program is available on the New York State Middle School Association’s website (www.nysmsa.org ) in the “Schools to Watch” section.