Palmetto Middle one of nine schools recognized nationally


School improvement initiative

Palmetto Middle School has been selected an Outstanding Making Middle Grades Work (MMGW) School for 2013 and is one of only nine MMGW schools in the nation to receive the award.

The “Outstanding School”award is based on the success of local school leaders and teachers in improving school practices and increasing the quality of experiences provided to students.

The award was presented to Palmetto Middle Principal, Barry Kinght by Dave Spence, president of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), at the 27th Annual High Schools That Work Staff Development Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Spence praised the school for its achievement, pointing out that it takes dedication and hard work on the part of state, district and school leaders, and teachers to make progress in preparing students for success in high school, further studies, work and citizenship. He presented the award before an audience of more than 4,000 educators from across the nation attending the HSTW Conference.

To be recognized as an Outstanding MMGW School, a school had to be nominated by the MMGW state coordinator or by an SREB director for a noteworthy accomplishment such as improving achievement, improving the quality of robust assignments, fully implementing the MMGW design, implementing a signature feature, or extensively implementing the Gates’ Literacy Design Collaborative and/or Mathematics Design Collaborative.

David Havird, Superintendent of Anderson School District One shared “The teachers and administrative staff at Palmetto Middle School have worked diligently to create a culture of high expectations and continuous improvement that prepares middle grade students for high school. They are very deserving of this MMGW Award and the district is proud of this accomplishment”.

“This school has shown what can be accomplished to raise student achievement by deeply implementing the Making Middle Grades Work model for strengthening curriculum and instruction,” said SREB Senior Vice President Gene Bottoms. “The school illustrates the spirit of change that Making Middle Grades Work advocates to get students ready for challenging academic and career/technical courses in high school.”

“Research shows that the ninth grade is a critical transition point for students,” Bottoms said. “Students who struggle in the ninth grade are much more likely to drop out of high school. For that reason, schools in the SREB Making Middle Grades Work initiative devote time and effort in preparing students to be successful in high school.”

More than 450 middle grades schools in 21 states participate in the MMGW school improvement initiative to create a culture of high expectations and prepare middle grades students for challenging high school courses and productive careers.

The largest SREB program, High Schools That Work is a national, comprehensive school improvement design based on the premise that most students can master rigorous academic and career/technical studies if school leaders and teachers create a school environment that motivates all students to make the effort to succeed.

The HSTW initiative is the nation’s first large-scale effort to engage state, district and school leaders in partnership with teachers, students, parents and the community to equip all students with the knowledge and skills needed to graduate from high school and succeed in college and the workplace. More than 1,100 high schools in 30 states and the District of Columbia participate in the HSTW school improvement initiative.