Rogers Middle School receives national recognition as School to Watch
Rogers Middle School was recently recognized as a School to Watch by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform and the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals (TASSP) as part of a national recognition program. Rogers is among only about 45 other schools across Texas to earn this distinction and honor.
Leaders selected Rogers for its academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity and organizational structure and processes. In addition, Rogers has proven to have strong leadership, teachers who work together to improve curriculum and instruction and a commitment to assessment and accountability that brings about continuous improvement.
“Being named a ‘School to Watch’ is a great honor to Rogers Middle School. This designation actually encompasses our mission to work collaboratively with our students and parents to develop all aspects of our students,” Rogers principal, Dr. La'Kesha Henson-Vaughn, said. “Our goal each and every day is to provide an enriching academic curriculum with the highest learning standards for all so that our students are prepared to perform at their maximum potential, as well as to create a safe learning environment that empowers all of our students to become contributing members of our culturally diverse world.”
The Schools to Watch selection process is based on a written application that requires schools to show how they meet criteria developed by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. Schools that appeared to meet the criteria were then visited by state teams, which observed classrooms, interviewed administrators, teachers, students and parents, and looked at achievement data, suspension rates, quality of lessons and student work. Schools are recognized for a three-year period and, at the end of three years, they must demonstrate progress on specific goals in order to be re-designated.
“Rogers’ vision to ‘empower our students to strive, thrive, advocate and collaborate’ sets our campus apart,” Dr. Henson-Vaughn said. “We also allow students to become world-class citizens who embrace challenges and are able to problem-solve. Lastly, we work hard to prepare our students to be innovative forward thinkers who are culturally responsive in an ever-changing, diverse society.”
Rogers administration will be recognized in Austin at the Making Middle School Matter Symposium hosted by TASSP on March 1-3. The school will also be recognized nationally with other Schools to Watch from across the country in Washington DC at the National Forum's National Schools to Watch Conference on June 24-27. Additionally, campus and district officials will be holding a ceremony and celebration towards the end of the school year, which will welcome key community members and stakeholders to celebrate this achievement.
“I’m really proud of Rogers’ staff ability to meet our students where they are socially, emotionally and academically each year and help them grow in each area. Our faculty and staff are big on building positive relationships with all of our students, making them know that we care, we are family and we will hold them accountable to be and do their very best each and every day,” Dr. Henson-Vaughn said.
About Schools to Watch
Launched in 1999, Schools to Watch began as a national program to identify middle-grade schools across the country that were meeting or exceeding 37 research-based criteria developed by the National Forum. The Forum developed the website www.middlegradesforum.org featuring online tours of schools, as well as detailed information about selection criteria used in the recognition program. There are now 17 states which have trained Schools to Watch State Teams with more than 480 schools recognized across the country.