Indio Middle School has been named a 2018 California School to Watch Taking Center Stage. The school joins a select group of high-performing middle schools from across the state. Only 18 school were named to the list with Indio the only valley school.

Each year the program identifies middle schools that are academically excellent, developmentally responsive, socially equitable, and structured for success. The presentation will take place on Feb. 27 at 9 a.m. in the school’s multi-purpose room. In June the school will be recognized in Washington DC.

“We are thrilled to have received this recognition,” Principal Jesus Jimenez said in a prepared statement. “Our staff and students have worked very hard in an exciting and challenging middle school program to demonstrate strong student achievement. This ceremony is an affirmation of the fine work so many have done in the school, district and larger community.” Jimenez also noted the upcoming celebration of the school’s 50th blood drive since 2004. The event will take place on Feb. 2 from 1:45 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the school.

The School to Watch celebration will feature an address to the student body on their school’s selection as a model and the presentation of a banner. Dr. Irvin Howard, Past-President of the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform, noted, “Indio Middle School is a model of what an outstanding middle school can be. School leaders from across the state will now turn to Indio Middle School for guidance on improving their programs to better serve their students.”

Indio Middle School, located at 81-195 Miles Avenue in Indio, serves students in sixth through eighth grade in Desert Sands Unified School District. California’s Schools to Watch-Taking Center Stage program uses a competitive, rigorous review process to identify high performing, high impact middle schools so that all middle schools may have models of real-world success. Indio Middle School is one of just 112 model schools that has been identified statewide since 2003.

Among the benefits of receiving this distinction are complimentary site team registration to the California League of Middle Schools)annual conference, professional development opportunities provided by CLMS, along with the availability of professional coaching.

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 California Middle Grades Alliance.