According to an announcement sent out by the school, “We are the only LAUSD school that is newly recognized with the distinction for this year.”
Dr. Steve Martinez, principal of the school, explained in a letter to the school community that “This distinction is given to high achieving, high need middle schools and allows for schools from all over California to observe and learn the strategies that Burroughs employs to ensure student achievement.” He said a team from the school will attend the “Excellence in Middle Grades” conference in Sacramento on March 14 to accept the award on behalf of all stakeholders. The school will also hold a celebration of the designation at a future date.
In his letter, Martinez also cited several other honors the school has recently received.
“Throughout my tenure as principal,” he wrote, “my goal has been to lead JBMS to become a world class school of overall excellence. Together with the leadership team, the teacher leader cadre, faculty, students, parents, and with the support of strong community partnerships, we have achieved several milestones to that effect. In 2017, we became a California Gold Ribbon School that included a Title 1 Academic Achievement distinction, and in 2018 we became a National Magnet School of Excellence and were also named to the 2017-2018 California Honor Roll.”
In another announcement about the Schools to Watch award, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond noted that Burroughs and the other 15 schools receiving the Schools to Watch designation join 33 previously chosen schools whose sustained progress leads them to retain their previous “Schools to Watch” designation.
“These middle schools make a great impact on students, and I want to thank the staff, administrators, teachers, and parents at these schools for ensuring all students get the education they need to realize their potential,” Thurmond said. “These schools study and support students’ needs, which helps close achievement gaps and creates a better future for these young students.”
Finally, said Thurmond, “These high-performing model schools demonstrate academic excellence, social equity, and responsiveness to the needs of young adolescents.”
Of the 16 new designees, JB is the only school from LAUSD, and only one of three from Los Angeles County. Of the previously-named schools, only one – Oliver Wendell Holmes MS – is in LAUSD.
Congratulations to John Burroughs!