Canaan still School to Watch

Canaan Middle School is a “National and Ohio School to Watch” for a second straight year.

Only 16 middle schools in Ohio have received this distinction. Canaan was one of only four middle schools in Ohio selected for the award in 2006-07.

The National and Ohio Schools to Watch Award was established to recognize high performing middle schools that are academically excellent, developmentally responsive and socially equitable.  

The award criteria state that winners must demonstrate, a passion for student learning, an understanding and ability to meet student needs, an ability to engage all students in a challenging curriculum with high-quality teachers, and the ability to organize themselves as a community in which adults, as well as the students, are learning continuously.

This past year, Canaan Middle School math teachers Nancy Patterson and Susanne Lintz and Principal Bobby Moore presented at the National Schools to Watch Conference in Washington, D.C.  Moore said representatives of more than a dozen middle schools have recently visited Canaan. Additionally, he said he receives at least one call every two weeks from districts around the state asking how Canaan “works their magic.”

“People around the state are familiar with our district, our limited resources and our low per-pupil expenditure,” Moore said.  “When principals and superintendents see our value-added data and Ohio Achievement Scores, they are amazed. The secret to our success is not programs, curriculum or textbooks. It’s high quality teachers, quality instruction and quality assessments in a caring and nurturing environment for kids.”

This past year, the Ohio Department of Education reported Canaan’s value-added growth at above the standard experienced by other districts in fifth-grade and sixth-grade reading and math. Canaan’s sixth-grade math scores and fifth-grade social studies scores were the highest among the 27 school districts in Franklin, Madison, Union and Delaware counties.

Moore said the academic success experienced in his building is not only a result of his fifth- and sixth-grade teachers, but also the efforts of all teachers in kindergarten through fourth grade in the district.  

The Ohio Schools to Watch—Reaching for the Stars program is conducted through a partnership between the Ohio Department of Education, Ohio Middle School Association, Knowledge Works Foundation, Otterbein College and Ohio Federation of Teachers.

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