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Wellington Middle School has earned a second designation as a national and Colorado trailblazer “School to Watch.” The designation is effective for three years, making WMS an honoree from 2012-2018. It is especially difficult to receive this award more than once, as a school must demonstrate a continued trajectory of success for three years.
In order to receive the honor, a school must complete a rigorous application process and host a day-long school visit. Guests are invited and visitors speak to staff members and see all learning spaces. Lesher is the only other middle school in the Poudre Valley School District that has received the honor.
Designated schools are asked to open their doors and share their practices with other middle schools across the state.
In a letter congratulating WMS, the Colorado Association of Middle Level Education shared its pleasure in validating the school for its continued growth and to have it included in the network of designated schools across the nation. WMS prides itself on student-created learning goals, self-determining and monitoring levels of achievement, high-level thinking and emphasis on diversity. The atmosphere at the school is one of rigor and high expectations. Specific characteristics of Schools to Watch are listed as academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity and strong organizational structures.
Forty-four percent of WMS students are on free or reduced lunch, and nine percent are English language learners. WMS is also an Advancement Via Individual Determination demonstration school offering techniques to help close academic gaps and prepare students for college.
A contingent of three staff members, including Principal Alicia Durand, will attend the National Schools to Watch conference in Washington, D.C., in June. They will receive their school’s award and have an opportunity to go to Capitol Hill and speak with Colorado state representatives about educational issues.