Holcomb Bridge Middle School is now one of three schools in Georgia named in the state “Lighthouse Schools to Watch” program, joining Roswell's Crabapple Middle School and Webb Bridge Middle School in Alpharetta.
Developed by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform, the program identifies middle schools that are excelling and that are models for other schools seeking to improve.
The Georgia Middle School Association and Georgia Alliance for Middle Level Excellence selected its newest school, Holcomb Bridge, for its academic excellence, responsiveness to the needs and interests of young adolescents, and its commitment to helping all students achieve at high levels. In addition, the school was recognized for its leadership and teaching staff, positive school climate, and a commitment to assessment and accountability.
“This is a tremendous honor for the Holcomb Bridge Middle students and staff as well as our parents and community,” said Joy Schroerlucke, school principal. “Cultivating excellence and having a ‘pulse’ on every student is what we do! Our daily focus is instruction, collaboration, communication, data, and individual student growth.”
School selection was based on a written application showing how the school met various criteria developed by the National Forum, including student performance. Finalists were visited by state teams who observed classrooms, interviewed administrators, teachers, parents, and students, and looked at sample lessons and student work. The schools represent urban and rural communities.
Before earning the prestigious distinction, Holcomb Bridge was named a 2012 Beacon School, an award that meets much of the same criteria as a Lighthouse School and allows the school to be monitored toward its progress to become a Lighthouse School.
The National Forum sponsors the “Schools to Watch” program in nine states with the support of the National Association for Elementary School Principals, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National Middle School Association, and the National Staff Development Council.
Launched in 1999, Schools to Watch began as a national program to identify exceptional middle schools across the country that were meeting or exceeding criteria developed by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform, an alliance of educators, researchers, national associations and officers of professional organizations and foundations dedicated to improving education in the middle grades.
Crabapple Middle School and Webb Bridge Middle School first received the distinction in 2008 and were re-authorized as Lighthouse schools in 2012.