Lemoore Elementary School District contingent visits Washington D.C. for national conference

By The Leader Staff

June was a pretty good month for local educators, especially a few educators from Liberty Middle School and the Lemoore Elementary School District. A contingent of teachers and administrators from the local school district earned a sort of working vacation, traveling to Washington, D.C. in June for a conference that honored their recent achievements.

A Lemoore Elementary School District contingent of teachers and administrators visited Washington D.C. recently for a National Schools to Watch conference.
A Lemoore Elementary School District contingent of teachers and administrators visited Washington D.C. recently for a National Schools to Watch conference.
Photo Contributed

It was in Washington that the local district officials attended the 2018 Schools to Watch Conference sponsored by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform.

The National Forum has recognized high performing middle schools since 1999, and in that time only 465 middle schools across the United States have been designated as “Schools to Watch.” 

It turns out Lemoore’s Liberty Middle School was also a 2018 California School to Watch, earning its designation earlier this spring.

"Attending the National Schools to Watch conference was a fantastic opportunity for our staff to network and learn from various high performing middle schools from throughout the country,” said a pleased Cheryl Hunt, the district’s superintendent. “Our team from Liberty Middle School also showcased their best practices. We also met with David Valadao, our U.S. Congressman regarding middle school education, and we were able to share our specific needs as they relate to the Central Valley. I am extremely proud of our Liberty Middle School staff and their focus on learning at all levels.”

The National Forum uses the following categories when designating a middle school as high performing:  academically excellent, developmentally responsive, and socially equitable.

While at the conference, Liberty Middle School was officially designated as a 2018 National School to Watch. 

Liberty Middle School educators spent their time in D.C. advocating for the importance of funding middle grades education. Consequently, they met with Congressman Valadao, and he took the time to provide them with a tour of the Capitol.

Furthermore, Liberty Middle School was able to present to other educators from around the country about the “Liberty Way,” which includes the “3C’s”: Culture, Collaboration, and Coaching.

“The National Schools to Watch Conference gave the opportunity for the staff from Liberty to share their nationally recognized instructional coaching model,” said Liberty School Principal Ben Luis. “Members of the staff were also able to learn from other nationally recognized middle schools about their signature practices.”

 Through the “3C’s” Liberty Middle School teachers and administrators have been helped to create a school where learning is the primary focus for all; students, teachers, office staff and support staff included, and teachers work together to do whatever it takes to ensure high levels of learning for all students.

Liberty Middle School also uses an Instructional coaching model which provides coaching during actual instruction and real-time feedback to teachers in the classroom, leading to increased student success.  Early in March, Liberty Middle School was also recognized as a California State School to Watch.  

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