In celebration of the Month of the Young Adolescent in November, the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform welcomed visitors to take a series of online tours highlighting teaching and learning excellence in the middle grades. “For those interested in seeing innovative successful schools in action but who do not have the time or travel budget for a national tour, this cyber tour is the way to go,” said Deborah Kasak, executive director of the forum. The virtual tours–a feature of the Schools to Watch program, launched in 1999 as a national initiative to identify middle schools that are not only academically excellent, developmentally responsive, and socially equitable, but also have the organizational supports to sustain their success–invite education stakeholders to peek into the classrooms and hallways of four successful middle schools, located across the nation, to observe the practices and procedures that make them stand out from the pack. Members of the National Forum selected the schools based on the extent to which they met a number of criteria, including the promotion of academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, and social equity. The National Forum co-sponsors the Schools to Watch program with the National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Middle School Association, and National Staff Development Council.

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