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Salvador H. Sanchez Middle School earns national distinction by being designated a Texas School to Watch

Salvador H. Sanchez logo

Salvador H. Sanchez Middle School in the Socorro Independent School District has been named a Texas School to Watch by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform and the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals as part of a national recognition program.

Salvador H. Sanchez Middle School earned the designation for its academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity and organizational structure and processes. The school joins 55 other campuses across Texas with this distinction.   

“This honor speaks volumes to the hard work that the teachers do every single day and the rituals and routines that are embedded in the learning process with our students,” said Salvador H. Sanchez Middle School Principal Lisa Estrada-Batson. “Most importantly, the relationships built here between the educators and our students are very reflective of the trust we get from our parents and the teamwork that happens. The community, the teachers, and the students are so in sync with wanting to achieve greatness and having those high-level expectations for students.”

Salvador H. Sanchez Middle School will be recognized at the Making Middle School Matter Symposium hosted by TASSP from March 5 to 7, 2023, in Austin Texas.  They will be recognized nationally with the other STW schools from across the country at the National Forum for Schools to Watch Conference in Washington D.C. June 22 to 24, 2023.

“We congratulate Principal Estrada-Batson and her staff, students, and parents for being a campus that does great things for all their students,” said Leticia Menchaca, State Director for Schools to Watch in Texas and TASSP Director for Middle-Level Services. “This school has demonstrated that a high-performing middle school is a place that focuses on academic growth and achievement.  Sanchez Middle School is a place that recognizes the importance of meeting the needs of all students and ensures that every child has access to a challenging high-quality education.”

The Schools to Watch selection process is based on a written application that requires schools to show how they met criteria developed by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform. In meeting the criteria, state teams visited Salvador H. Sanchez Middle School where they observed classrooms, interviewed administrators, teachers, students, and parents, and looked at achievement data, suspension rates, quality of lessons, and student work.

Salvador H. Sanchez Middle School demonstrated strong leadership, teachers who work together to improve curriculum and instruction, and a commitment to assessment and accountability to bring about continuous improvement.

Texas Schools to Watch are recognized for a three-year period, and at the end of three years, they must demonstrate progress on specific goals to be re-designated.  Unlike the Blue-Ribbon recognition program, “Schools to Watch” requires schools to not just identify strengths, but to also focus on areas of continuous improvement; thus, the three-year re-designation.

Launched in 1999, Schools to Watch began as a national program to identify middle-grades schools across the country that were meeting or exceeding 37 researched based criteria developed by the National Forum.

“We are pleased that our Schools to Watch program has shown that schools can meet high academic expectations while preserving a commitment of healthy development and equity for all students,” said Scott Steele, National Forum Board President. “These Schools to Watch are indeed special; they make education so exciting that students and teachers don’t want to miss a day. 

Published January 11, 2023

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