Dorseyville Middle School named among ‘Schools to Watch’

Fox Chapel Area School District  |  Posted on

Dorseyville Middle School in the Fox Chapel Area School District has been designated among the PA “Don Eichhorn Schools: Schools To Watch.” A total of 11 exemplary middle grade schools in Pennsylvania are being recognized for 2023-24 as part of a recognition program developed by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform.

This is the third time Dorseyville has received Schools to Watch recognition. Dorseyville was named among the Schools to Watch (STW) in 2010, and was then redesignated for 2013-2016. Schools to Watch state leaders selected each school for its academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity, and organizational structures and processes. In addition, each school has strong leadership, teachers who work together to improve curriculum and instruction, and a commitment to assessment and accountability to bring about continuous improvement.

According to Fox Chapel Area School District Superintendent Dr. Mary Catherine Reljac, this prestigious recognition is the result of a collaborative and thoughtful approach to education.

“We are so proud of the commitment that is demonstrated daily by our students, teachers, administrators, support staff members, parents and guardians, school board members, and our entire school community,” Dr. Reljac said. “Everyone works together to facilitate learning, teaching and growth for our students, and that is reflected in this recognition, for which we are incredibly grateful.”

Since 2006-07, a total of 62 schools across Pennsylvania have been honored as part of the program. The 11 schools designated in 2023 will be recognized at the Pennsylvania Association for Middle Level Education’s State Conference on February 24-26, 2024. Each of these schools will have a local celebration in either May or June of 2024 in their school. They will also be recognized nationally with all the other recognized STW schools across the country in Washington, D.C., at the National Forum’s National Schools to Watch Conference in June.

According to Bruce Vosburgh, PA state Schools to Watch director, “We congratulate these schools for being places that do great things for all of their students. These schools demonstrate that high-performing middle grades schools are places that focus on academic growth and achievement. They are also places that recognize the importance of meeting the needs of all of their students and ensure that every child has access to a challenging, high-quality education.”

The Schools to Watch selection process is based on a written application that required schools to show how they met criteria developed by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. Schools that met the criteria were then visited by a state team, which observed classrooms; interviewed administrators, teachers, students and parents; and looked at achievement data, quality of lessons, student work and other criteria. Schools to Watch requires schools to not just identify strengths, but to also focus on areas for continuous improvement. Each designation lasts for three years.

In partnership with the Pennsylvania Association for Middle Level Education, Kutztown University and the Horace Mann Service Corporation, PA Schools to Watch has been recognizing schools since 2006-07.