College Park Middle School named “School to Watch”

College Park Middle School named "School to Watch" (Image 1)
College Park Middle School named "School to Watch" (Image 1)

It’s national recognition for one Berkeley county school. College Park Middle School is a School to Watch. We’re in Berkeley county for our Cool School of the week.

From arts to academics, College Park Middle School is moving in the right direction. That’s according to a national organization. Principal Ingrid Dukes says, “Our biggest recognition as a school is that we have been named a national School to Watch by the Council for Middle School Reform.”

Schools to watch is an initiative launched by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. The organization identifies schools across the country that are well on their way to meeting the forum’s criteria for high performance. Academic excellence is one of the criteria. Eighth grade student Kenedi Laribo says, “Right now in ELA, my favorite, we’re reading Romeo and Juliet, and we do tests on that watch the movie, and science we’re doing report on a book called, “Life as we knew it,” and we’re doing power points with a partner. Right now in math, we’re doing linear equations, and functions and graphing. Social Studies we’re learning about the cause of the civil war.”

According to the Schools to Watch website, schools must also be developmentally responsive, sensitive to the unique developmental challenges of early adolescence. Also they have to be socially equitable, fair, providing every student with high-quality teachers, resources, and support. Designations are awarded every three years. Dukes says, “It’s a really big accomplishment. It means that we are doing the right thing for kids in middle school, and we are on the continuous track for improvement and excellence.”

College Park Middle has a comprehensive academic and arts program, and thanks to a grant from Boeing, they offer a pre-engineering class, through Project Lead the Way. Teacher Kelly Hankins says, “It’s a national award. We are the only school in the Lowcountry to receive this award, and we work to focus on our students, focus on our community, and improve our student and community relations. That’s really the goal, to make sure you’re focus is always your student.” Eighth grade student Kurt Walker says, “It’s nice. It’s good to know that they are looking out for me, and they’re doing their best to meet my needs, and prepare me for high school and college.”

College Park Middle School first became a School to Watch in 2010. Schools are designated every three years, and CPM recently received it’s second award.

Coming up Friday on News 2 Today, we will present the College Park Middle School Squires with our Cool School award.

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