Tuesday, November 29, 2011

NEWS RELEASE -- de Portola Again a "School to Watch" in California

NEWS RELEASE from the San Diego Unified School District, November 29, 2011


Excellence, innovation puts state Department of Education spotlight on
Tierrasanta school

SAN DIEGO -- de Portola Middle School in Tierrasanta has been
re-designated a model middle school by the California Department of
Education's Schools to Watch-Taking Center Stage (STW-TCS) program.

The school's academic excellence, responsiveness to students needs were
lauded by Tom Torlakson, state Superintendent of Schools, in an
announcement from Sacramento. Across California, 11 schools were returned
to the "watch" list, while four schools were added to the honor roll.
There are more than 1,300 middle schools in California; of the 95 in San
Diego county, dePortola and Olive Peirce Middle School in Ramona are the
only highlighted schools.

"I commend the students, their parents, teachers, and administrators, for
their efforts in helping make these 15 schools models of excellence,"
Torlakson said. "Their success is amazing, especially considering they are
swimming against the tide of massive budget cuts, crowded classrooms, and
school employee layoffs."

A "school to watch" for several years, dePortola and all schools in the
program are recognized for theirsuccess in four areas: implementing best
practices focused onacademic achievement;responding to the developmental
needs ofyoung adolescents; offering a fair and equitable education for
allstudents; and instituting organizational processes and proceduresthat
foster and sustain academic growth.
"dePortola is one of the outstanding schools in our district," said San
Diego Superintendent Bill Kowba. "Every day, students, teachers and staff
are ready to learn and grow. Principal Elizabeth Gillingham and her team
deserve the congratulations they are receiving."

The Schools to Watch-Taking Center Stage program identifies
high-performing school models that demonstrate academicexcellence,
developmental responsiveness to the needs and interests ofyoung
adolescents, social equity, and organizational support. Model schools host
visitors from California and around the world whoare looking for
replicable practices that will help them improve theirmiddle grades
schools and close the achievement gap.

For more information about the Schools to Watch-Taking Center Stagemodel
school program, visit the California Department of Education Website at
California Schools to Watch--Taking Center Stage - Middle Grades at


Elizabeth Gillingham, Principal
de Portola Middle School
(858) 496-8080

# # #

Jack Brandais | Communications Department | San Diego Unified School
District | (619) 725-5570 (Desk) | (619) 607-0477 (Cell)

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