B.L. Gray Junior High School in Sharyland ISD earns National Distinction by being designated a School to Watch!

B.L. Gray Junior High School in Sharyland ISD earns National Distinction by being designated a School to Watch!
Posted on 03/08/2019
This is the image for the news article titled B.L. Gray Junior High School in Sharyland ISD earns National Distinction by being designated a School to Watch!B.L. Gray Junior High School in Sharyland ISD earns National Distinction by being designated a School to Watch!

The National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform and the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals (TASSP) as part of a national recognition program have designated B.L. Gray Junior High School in Mission, TX and Sharyland ISD as a Texas School to Watch! B.L. Gray Junior High joins approximately 30 other campuses across Texas with this distinction and honor.

B.L. Gray Junior High was recognized in Austin at the Making Middle School Matter Symposium hosted by TASSAP on March 3-5, 2019. They were recognized nationally with other Schools to Watch from across the country in Washington DC at the National Forum’s National Schools to Watch Conference on June 27-29, 2019.

State leaders selected B.L. Gray Junior High for its Academic Excellence, Developmental Responsiveness, Social Equity and Organizational Structure and Processes. In Addition, B.L. Gray Junior High has strong leadership, teachers who work together to improve curriculum and instruction, and a commitment to assessment and accountability to bring about continuous improvement.

Billy Pringle, State Director for Schools to Watch in Texas and TASSP Associate Executive Director for Middle-Level Services, stated, “We congratulate principal Julie Carranza and her staff, students and parents for being a campus that does great things for all of their students. This school has demonstrated that a high-performing middle school is a place that focuses on academic growth and achievement. B.L. Gray Junior High 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.” Archie E. McAfee, Executive Director for TASSP also stated, “It is an honor for TASSP to recognize B.L. Gray Junior High in Sharyland ISD, this school is a model for other middle schools across Texas!”

The Schools to Watch selection process is based on a written application that requires schools to show how they meet criteria developed by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. Schools that appeared to meet the criteria were then visited by state teams, which observed classrooms, interviewed administrators teachers, students and parents, and looked at achievement data, suspension rates, quality of lessons, and student work. Schools are also recognized for a three-year period, and at the end of the three years, they must demonstrate progress on specific goals in order to be re-designated. Unlike Blue-Ribbon recognition program, the Schools to Watch program requires schools to not just identify strengths, but to also focus on areas of continuous improvement; thus, the three-year re-designation.