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March 27, 2018
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JP O'Hare

(518) 474-1201



State Education Department Announces 2018 Essential Elements: Schools to Watch

The State Education Department, in collaboration with its New York Essential Elements to Watch partners, recognized three new schools as 2018 Essential Elements: Schools to Watch (EE:STW), Commissioner MaryEllen Elia announced today. The designation is awarded to exceptional middle level schools that meet rigorous criteria and are on a path of continuous improvement. Each EE:STW school is a model of academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, and social equity.  

“Each of these remarkable middle schools is dedicated to the young adolescents they serve,” Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said. “The teachers and school leaders in each of these schools are committed to continuous improvement and sharing their successful practices with other schools across New York.”

“The time students spend in the middle grades is critical to both their personal growth and development as well as their success in high school,” Commissioner Elia said.  “School improvement is a journey, not an event, and these schools have embarked on a journey to a positive outcome of intellectual and personal development for their students.”

New York is proud to designate three new exemplary schools serving the middle grades: 

  • Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Middle School (Verona, NY)
  • Fieldstone Middle School (Thiells, NY)
  • Starpoint Middle School (Lockport, NY)

The three newly designated schools are only a part of the 2018 EE:STW cohort of exemplary schools. Every three years, schools wishing to retain their EE:STW designation must reapply for consideration. For a complete list of this year’s designees, including those schools that have been re-designated, please visit the New York EE:STW website.

EE:STW is a state-administered national program overseen by the New York State Department of Education, the New York State Middle School Association and the Statewide Network of Middle Level Liaisons. The program recognizes schools that demonstrate continuous improvement and excel in the following four domains: academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity, and organizational structure.

EE:STW is an honor designed to promote and guide the school improvement process, as well as highlight characteristics of high performing middle grade schools. Each school earning the designation holds that honor for three years, then must reapply and be reevaluated to continue the “School to Watch” designation.

For more information about this program, and to see a complete list of schools that have been designated and re-designated as Essential Elements Schools to Watch, please visit the New York EE:STW website.


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