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Hudson Bend Middle School earns Texas Schools to Watch® re-designation

The National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform and the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals (TASSP) have re-designated Hudson Bend Middle School as a Texas School to Watch®.

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 criteria developed by the Forum. Schools are selected for academic excellence, responsiveness to the needs and interests of young adolescents, and commitment to helping all students achieve at high levels. In addition, Schools to Watch® demonstrate strong leadership, teachers who work together to improve curriculum and instruction, and a commitment to assessment and accountability to bring about continuous improvement.

“This unique designation is a reflection of our school’s commitment to academic growth and achievement,” said Tom Payne, Hudson Bend Middle School principal. “I am proud of our teachers and support staff—and of course, our parents—whose collaborative efforts ensure that each and every child has access to a rigorous, high quality, and socially equitable education. The most telling part of the process was the observance of our school climate where students value the relationships they build with the staff, as well as the staff’s focus on making sure no student falls between the cracks. This truly is a place where all students are known by name and need.”  

Selection is based on a written application that requires schools to show how they met criteria developed by the Forum.  Schools that appeared to meet the criteria were then visited by state teams who observed classrooms, interviewed administrators, teachers, students, and parents, and looked at achievement data, suspension rates, quality of lessons, and student work. Schools are recognized for a three-year period, and at the end of three years, they must demonstrate progress on specific goals in order to be re-designated. Hudson Bend Middle School was originally designated in 2014 and received recertification in 2017.

“We congratulate principal Tom Payne and his staff, students and parents for being a campus that does great things for all of their students,” said Billy Pringle, State Director for Schools to Watch® in Texas and TASSP Associate Executive 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. Hudson Bend 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.”

Hudson Bend Middle School will be recognized with other Schools to Watch® from across the country June 26, 2020 at the National Forum’s National Schools to Watch® Conference in Washington, D.C.

For more information, visit www.middlegradesforum.org.