Frankfort’s Hickory Creek again among elite Schools to Watch
June 14, 2013 8:36AM
Hickory Creek Middle School Principal Kevin Suchinski; John Viano, executive director of the Association of Illinois Middle Schools; and Hickory Creek Middle School Assistant Principal April Mahy. | Supplied photo
Updated: July 17, 2013 6:02AM
Frankfort School District 157C received a plaque for the recertification of Hickory Creek Middle School as a Horizon School to Watch from John Viano, executive director of the Association of Illinois Middle Schools.
Exemplary middle grade schools in 17 states were named Schools to Watch as part of a signature program developed by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform, according to a news release. Launched in 1999, Schools to Watch began as a national program to identify middle grade schools that were meeting or exceeding 37 criteria developed by the forum.
Each Schools to Watch choice was selected by state leaders for academic excellence, responsiveness to the needs and interests of adolescents, and commitment to helping all students achieve at high levels. In addition, each school has strong leadership, teachers who work together to improve curriculum and instruction, and a commitment to assessment and accountability to foster continuous improvement, the release said.
Selection is based on a written application that required 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, after which they must repeat the process to be re-designated. Hickory Creek, 22150 S. 116th Ave., Frankfort, first earned the distinction in 2009.
“You epitomize what middle school is all about,” Viano said. “It is important to recognize that you are one of only 23 districts in Illinois and one of only 284 schools in the United States that has attained this recognition.”
Hickory Creek Middle School Principal Kevin Suchinski and educators from the school were recognized at a Schools to Watch Conference last summer.
For more information, visit www.schoolstowatch.org.