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January 24, 2017
Acton Middle School  
The Granbury ISD school board lauded Acton Middle School for recently being named to the list of “Texas Schools to Watch” by the Texas Middle School Association.  The recognition came at the school board meeting on January 23, 2017.
Principal Jimmy Dawson presented background and requirements for the school’s designation.
As part of the commendation only bestowed upon a handful of middle schools in the state, AMS is honored as a high achieving school, designated as a model school, and recognized as a school for others to visit.  The campus was chosen following an extensive application process, which culminated with a site visit in early December.
Each year, the program identifies middle schools that are academically excellent, developmentally responsive, socially equitable, and structured for success. The sites selected to be Texas Schools to Watch model schools meet the unique challenges of their student populations and share a strong, ongoing record of student achievement.  Designated schools are not perfect, but they are on a trajectory toward excellence and have a passion for sharing what works on their campuses.
The program is implemented by TMSA along with the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform. Dawson and other school officials will be asked to present at future TMSA conferences as well as a national conference to be held in Washington, D.C. in June.
In addition, AMS will host a workshop/campus highlight visit sometime in the next three years and will also partner with other middle schools to share best practices and ideas for student excellence.
The program strives to:  create a research-based definition of the characteristics shared by high-performing middle schools; identify high-performing, high needs middle schools throughout Texas; share the real-world strategies in place at these sites with educators from middle schools throughout the state; provide a nationally proven self-study and rubric that all middle schools can use to evaluate and improve their school's instructional program; and establish a statewide network of high-performing middle schools, with every high-performing school actively involved in assisting struggling middle schools that share either a geographic region or student population characteristics.
Pictured above are (left to right) Dawson, Julie Morris, assistant principal Kristy Berryman, counselor Jeri Ann Dewberry, Scott Carpenter, Rosa Magallanes, instructional specialist Mindy Badgett, Autumn Lane, and Kristen Callihan.
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