SAN DIEGO–de Portola Middle School in Tierrasanta has been re-designated a model middle school by the California Department of Education’s Schools to Watch-Taking Center Stage (STW-TCS) program.
The school’s academic excellence, responsiveness to students needs were lauded by Tom Torlakson, state Superintendent of Schools, in an announcement from Sacramento. Across California, 11 schools were returned to the “watch” list, while four schools were added to the honor roll.
There are more than 1,300 middle schools in California; of the 95 in San Diego county, de Portola and Olive Peirce Middle School in Ramona are the only highlighted schools.
“I commend the students, their parents, teachers, and administrators, for their efforts in helping make these 15 schools models of excellence,” Torlakson said. “Their success is amazing, especially considering they are swimming against the tide of massive budget cuts, crowded classrooms, and school employee layoffs.”
A “school to watch” for several years, de Portola and all schools in the program are recognized for their success in four areas: implementing best practices focused on academic achievement; responding to the developmental needs of young adolescents; offering a fair and equitable education for all students; and instituting organizational processes and procedures that foster and sustain academic growth.
“de Portola is one of the outstanding schools in our district,” said San Diego Superintendent Bill Kowba. “Every day, students, teachers and staff are ready to learn and grow. Principal Elizabeth Gillingham and her team deserve the congratulations they are receiving.”
The Schools to Watch-Taking Center Stage program identifies high-performing school models that demonstrate academic excellence, developmental responsiveness to the needs and interests of young adolescents, social equity, and organizational support. Model schools host visitors from California and around the world who are looking for replicable practices that will help them improve their middle grades schools and close the achievement gap.