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Fort Settlement Middle School earns national distinction as a 2020 School to Watch (1/29/2020)

FORT BEND ISD (January 29, 2020) – Fort Settlement Middle School (FSMS) has been designated a 2020 Texas School to Watch by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform, in partnership with the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals (TASSP). The Fort Bend ISD school is among approximately 45 in Texas to receive this distinction, and is recognized for its academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity, and organizational structure and processes. In addition, Fort Settlement is recognized for having strong leadership, a collaborative teacher team focused on improving curriculum and instruction, and a commitment to assessment and accountability to bring about continuous school improvement.


“We congratulate Principal Michael Hejducek and his staff, students and parents for being a campus that does great things for all of their students,” said Billy Pringle, State Director for Schools to Watch in Texas and TASSP Associate Executive Director for Middle-Level Services. “This school has demonstrated that a high-performing middle school is a place that focuses on academic growth and achievement. Fort Settlement Middle School is a place that recognizes the importance of meeting the needs of all students and ensures that every child has access to a challenging high-quality education.”


The Schools to Watch 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 received visits from state teams that observed classrooms, interviewed stakeholders (including administrators, teachers, students and parents), and looked at achievement data, suspension rates, quality of lessons, and student work. Schools are recognized for a three-year period and must demonstrate progress on specific goals to be re-designated after the three-year period expires. Unlike the Blue-Ribbon recognition program, Schools to Watch requires schools to not just identify strengths, but to focus on areas of continuous improvement; thus, the three-year re-designation.


“We are pleased that our Schools to Watch program has shown that schools can meet high academic expectations while preserving a commitment of healthy development and equity for all students,” said Ericka Uskali, National Forum Executive Director. “These Schools to Watch are indeed special; they make education so exciting that students and teachers don’t want to miss a day. These schools have proven that it is possible to overcome barriers in achieving excellence, and any middle-level school in any state can truly learn from their examples,” Uskali said.


Fort Settlement will be recognized at the Making Middle School Matter Symposium, hosted by TASSP in Austin on March 1-3. The school will also be honored along with all other national Schools to Watch at the National Forum Schools to Watch Conference, June 24-27 in Washington, D.C.


Learn more about Schools to Watch at