Pictured Dent Middle School Principal Tamala Ashford.
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Dent Middle is the latest school in Richland School District Two to make the list of Schools to Watch® by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. The school’s emphasis on strong academics, sensitivity to young adolescents’ needs and interests, and commitment to providing all students equal access to a high quality education resulted in this well-deserved recognition.
Dent Middle School Principal Tamala Ashford says receiving this Schools to Watch designation is an extreme honor and testament to all of the great things that teachers do for students each and every day. “Middle school transition can be stressful under normal circumstances but our teachers and staff members remained committed to providing a rigorous and supportive learning environment even through the uncertainty of a pandemic. Our amazing students have shown great resilience as well as progress academically and socially,” said Ashford.
To be selected as a School to Watch, schools are: Academically Excellent in providing a curriculum rigorous and relevant to the real world; Developmentally Responsive in meeting the unique needs of adolescents; Socially Equitable in providing all students access to high-quality classes and the support they need to achieve at high levels; Organized with Supportive Structures where there is shared leadership, collaborative learning communities, targeted professional development and effective organizational structures.
Dent will be showcased as a model throughout the state and the nation to promote its premier approaches to instruction, parent and community involvement, and professional development.
Additionally, Dent will be recognized at the South Carolina Middle School Conference March 5-7, 2021 and will be recognized nationally this summer at the National Schools to Watch Conference sponsored by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform.
In Richland Two, Dent joins Blythewood Middle and Muller Road Middle on the Schools to Watch list. South Carolina now has 29 Schools to Watch and nationwide there are just over 450 schools that have earned this designation. Schools are recognized for a three-year period, at the end of which they must apply for re-designation and demonstrate that they are continuing to meet the National Forum’s rigorous criteria.