Two middle school students smile at the camera in the school library

Melissa Middle School has been re-designated as a “School to Watch” and will be recognized nationally this summer among distinguished middle schools from across the country.

After receiving the initial distinction in 2016 and being re-designated in 2019, Melissa Middle School was one of approximately 50 schools in Texas that received the “School to Watch” honor this year. Schools are recognized for a three-year period, and at the end of three years, they must demonstrate progress on specific goals in order to be re-designated.

Melissa Middle School will be recognized in Washington, D.C. in June at the National Forum Schools to Watch Conference.

“We are honored to have received this distinguished honor and it is truly a testament to our staff, students, parents and guardians, school district, and community; all of whom are relentlessly committed to continuous educational improvement,” said principal Marcus Eckert. “This prestigious distinction validates our talented, selfless teachers who make a difference in our students’ lives every day, and it affirms the hard work and resilience of our Cardinal students and the unwavering support from our parents and community. I can’t think of a better way to recognize our collective effort to ‘live the INSPIRED life’ at Melissa Middle School and the Sixth Grade Center.”

Melissa Middle School was selected for its Academic Excellence, Developmental Responsiveness, Social Equity and Organizational Structure and Processes.  In addition, the school was recognized for its strong leadership, teachers who work together to improve curriculum and instruction, and a commitment to assessment and accountability to bring about continuous improvement.

The selection process is based on a written application that requires schools to show how they met criteria developed by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. Schools that appeared to meet the criteria were then visited by state teams, which observed classrooms, interviewed administrators, teachers, students and parents, and looked at achievement data, suspension rates, quality of lessons, and student work.

Leticia Menchaca, State Director for Schools to Watch in Texas and TASSP Director for Middle-Level Services, stated, “We congratulate Principal Eckert and his staff, students and parents for being a campus that does great things for all of their students.  This school continues to demonstrate that a high-performing middle school is a place that focuses on academic growth and achievement.  Melissa MS is a place that continuously recognizes the importance of meeting the needs of all students and ensures that every child has access to a challenging high-quality education.”

Pictured above are Ava Rogers and Sameen Hamdani, who are  both sixth grade students at Melissa Middle School.