E.T. Richardson Middle School recognized at annual PAMLE Conference
E.T. Richardson Middle School recognized at annual PAMLE Conference

This winter, E.T. Richardson Middle School was well represented at the annual PAMLE (Pennsylvania Association for Middle Level Education) Conference. The event was held from February 26 through 28 in State College, PA. Four students, Connor Farrell, Mary Curran, TaNia Sudler, and Gabby Rizzio, presented about the student-led advisory program, which started this school year in our 6th grade homerooms. In addition, Joe Pizzica presented about engaging students in math class through a digital portfolio. At the awards ceremony ETR was recognized as a re-designated a PA Don Eichhorn Schools: "Schools to Watch" (PA STW)
through 2020. For information on the designation, please see the article below.

For the second time, E.T. Richardson Middle School has been named a PA Don Eichhorn Schools: "Schools to Watch" (PA STW) as part of a program created by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform. ETR is one of seven schools to earn re-designation, having been recognized previously. Only 38 schools across the Commonwealth have earned the honor, joining over 400 nationwide.

"These schools demonstrate that high-performing middle grades schools are places that focus on academic growth and achievement," explained Bruce Vosburgh, President of the National Forum. "They are also places that recognize the importance of meeting the needs of all of their students and ensure that every child has access to a challenging, high-quality education."

Schools earn the recognition only after reaching a strict set of standards that emphasize high achievement and continual growth. The process is rigorous; schools must submit a written application in which they evidence the ways that they meet criteria set forth by the National Forum Schools to Watch Oversight Committee. After passing the written application process, state teams schedule visits with the schools, during which they conduct interviews, observe classrooms, and assess data. After a school's initial selection, they hold the recognition for three years. During that period, the school is expected to set goals and evidence development towards those goals, after which they can earn re-designation.

"The Schools to Watch re-designation does not represent a finish line but instead represents a passion for constant improvement," shared Dan Tracy, principal at E.T. Richardson Middle School. "The staff at ETR is dedicated to serving the Springfield and Morton communities and will continue to strive for excellence. We are honored to be recognized by Schools to Watch for our efforts."

E.T. Richardson Middle School will be honored at the Pennsylvania Association for Middle Level Education State Conference at the Penn State Conference Center in State College on February 26. On the national level, they will be honored at the National Forum's National Schools to Watch conference on June 22-24 in Washington, D.C.

"We would like to thank the STW committee for this prestigious designation," said Dr. Anthony Barber, Superintendent of Schools for the Springfield School District. "We are keenly aware of the exceptional work that occurs at ETR on a daily basis, and this recognition echoes our belief that ETR is an outstanding learning environment. We could not be happier for our staff, students, and families."
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