A local school has been given a big, statewide honor becoming the first SLO County middle school to win the award.
At the end of January, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced 22 new, high-performing, California middle schools were being recognized in the 2017–18 Schools to Watch-Taking Center Stage Program, reads a news release from San Luis Coastal School District. And one of the honored schools was Los Osos Middle School.
LOMS is the first and only middle school in SLO County to have earned this honor and in June, the school will be acknowledged in Washington, D.C. as a “National School to Watch.”
And the man who no doubt watches the school closer than anyone every single day is really happy. “We are thrilled to receive this designation,” said Principal Andre Illig. “Our staff and students worked very hard in an exciting and challenging middle school program to demonstrate strong student achievement.”
Over the past four years, Principal Illig “created a strong teacher team who collaboratively embraced excellence and academic rigor in all areas,” reads the release. “Los Osos Middle School emerged not only as a consistent leader in academic achievement scores, but also social equity and developmental responsiveness for adolescent learners.”
Dr. Irvin Howard, past-president of the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform, said, “Los Osos Middle School is a model of what an outstanding middle school can be. School leaders from across the state will now turn to Los Osos Middle School for guidance on improving their programs to better serve their students.”
Los Osos Middle School has some 600 students in 6th-8th grades, one of two middle schools including SLO’s Laguna M.S., in the district.
The Schools to Watch-Taking Center Stage Program “uses a competitive and rigorous review process to identify high-performing, high-impact middle schools, so all middle schools may have models of real-world success.”
LOMS is one of just 112 schools statewide to have won the distinction since 2003.
The program is provided by the California Middle Grades Alliance, which includes the California League of Middle Schools (the lead agency), California Department of Education, and other statewide educational organizations who are partners in the Middle Grades Alliance.