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News Item: Homepage

• Calavera Hills Middle School Redesignated as One of California’s Schools to Watch-Model Schools

Carlsbad Unified School District announces the redesignation of Calavera Hills Middle School (CHMS) as one of California’s Schools to Watch—Taking Center Stage Model Middle Schools.


California’s Schools to Watch-Taking Center Stage program uses a competitive, rigorous review process to identify high performing, high impact middle schools so that all middle schools may have models of real-world success. CHMS was first designated as a School to Watch in 2011, and then reapplied and was re-designated in 2014.  The rigorous application process, involving the entire school staff, requires an in depth self-study in the areas of  Academic Excellence, Developmental Responsiveness, Organizational Structures and Processes, and Social Equity.


“We are honored to receive this prestigious award,” said Principal Michael Ecker. “We are a school that prides itself on its positive culture and relevant approaches to learning. Our success is due to the tireless work of our staff members and the support of our incredible Coyote Community.”


Dr. Irvin Howard, California Schools to Watch Co-Director noted, “Calavera Hills Middle School is a model of what an outstanding middle school can be. School leaders from across the state turn to Calavera Hills Middle School for guidance on improving their programs to better serve their students.”


Here’s what CHMS students have to say about their school:

“This wonderful school is small, and there is a unique sense of family and ‘home.’ You feel a part of something bigger and the feeling is rewarding.”

“Calavera Hills Middle School is cool because students can choose from a variety of electives. Personally, I like how a lot of STEM classes are available.”

“We are a big family and community working together toward a common goal.”

“Calavera spends so much time and effort preparing students for real life situations.”

“I think the teachers really stand out. You can tell that they try their best at teaching the kids, and like their jobs, which makes the class more fun.”

“It’s full of guidance, encouragement, and inspiration.”


The program is implemented by the California League of Middle Schools; California Department of Education; the California Middle Grades Alliance, a partnership of other statewide educational organizations; the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform; and Schools to Watch—Taking Center Stage Model Schools.


Representatives from Calavera Hills Middle School will receive their recognition award from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson at the California League of Middle Schools Conference in Sacramento on February 24, 2017, and will be honored at the National Schools to Watch Conference in Washington, D.C. on June 23-24, 2017.


For more information on the program contact California Schools to Watch Director Carole Carlson (408-893-8512) or Co-Director Dr. Irvin Howard (951-318-7515).

Posted by: Sharan Merchant, District Admin, Carlsbad Unified School District Published:1/26/17
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