MONROVIA – Monrovia Unified’s Clifton Middle School is one of only 11 schools in the state to earn a spot on the 2017 California Schools to Watch list. Launched by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform, the list identifies schools across the United States that share three features: academic excellence, developmentally responsive to early adolescence and social equity.

“Our teachers and staff do a tremendous job at elevating and implementing successful programs and instructional models from which other middle schools can benefit,” MUSD Board Vice President Terrence Williams said. “We are so fortunate to have such an excellent team at Clifton Middle School, and they truly deserve this honor for all their hard work.”

Clifton leaders cited programs that drive student success, including intervention programs to help students who struggle in math and English language arts, and enrichment classes such as robotics, conversational Japanese, debate, pilates, Scrabble, wood chip carving, marching band, football and introduction to leadership.

“Everyone at Clifton has worked really hard to ensure every student has a strategic educational plan that is tailored to their unique learning abilities and skills,” Clifton Principal Jennifer Jackson said. “We look forward to growing our curriculum even more so we can continue to be an inspiring model for other middle schools.”

Clifton Middle School has won other honors for its programs. It was named a 2013 California Distinguished School and received Campaign for Business Education Excellence (CBEE) Honor Roll status in 2014 and 2015.

Clifton relies on student performance data to develop and refine instruction, with teachers engaging in regular collaboration. Teachers are also expanding their toolkits through ongoing professional development programs that foster stronger collaboration, data analysis and instructional planning.

“This is one of the highest honors any middle school can receive. Clifton’s success is predicated on the belief that every student can achieve at the highest levels,” MUSD Superintendent Dr. Katherine Thorossian said. “Every staff member contributes to that culture of excellence and support that puts students first.”

Clifton Middle School will accept the award in Sacramento on Feb. 23, hold a school celebration on March 3 and will be honored in Washington D.C. June 21-24.