Bullitt County Public Schools has nearly 13,000 students in grades kindergarten through 12. There are 25 school facilities, a certified staff of over 900 and a classified staff of over 850 working every school day to make the district the leader in educational excellence.
MWMS Receives Award
There are four new Schools to Watch in Kentucky and Mt.Washington Middle School is one of them. Principal Denise Allen described the feeling among staff at her facility as fabulous.
“When we found out late Friday afternoon (February 19) many of our teachers had gone home for the weekend,” she said. “They returned to celebrate!”
Only 15 Kentucky middle schools have been recognized as STW’s since the program commenced in 2003. Completing the application engages schools in a process of evidence gathering and self-study that is beneficial in helping schools to identify their strengths and areas needing improvement.
The MWMS SBDM council gave the go ahead to apply and they went about the process in a unique way.
“There is quite a large criterion to complete,” she explained. “We required every teacher to complete a portion and then had Language Arts teachers Robin Miller, Michelle Chitwood, Billie Lee and Science teacher Robert Korwatch proof read the application page by page to ensure each criterion was met.”
Assistance was also given by former Eastside Middle School Assistant Principal Cheri Lineweaver who helped steer EMS to a 2008 School to Watch ranking.
“Ms. Lineweaver gave us very good advice and good feedback,” Ms. Allen noted. “We had complete buy-in by all teachers. There was a lot of expertise from everyone involved.”
Each application process begins in the fall. Schools then wait to see if they are contacted for a site visit.
Prior to the MWMS site visit, First Baptist Church volunteers spent a day (not just any day in Kentucky but the date of the UK/U of L basketball game) painting the interior.
“It takes a commitment from the staff and the community to earn such an honor,” Ms. Allen said in praise.
During the official STW site visit, Allen said they saw that the school is all about serving the academic needs of students.
“They learned that Mt.WashingtonMiddle School is truly focused on students,” she said.
The STW observance is good for three years. Schools then must apply for re-designation status.
An STW celebration will be held at MWMS on Monday, March 29 at 1:00 p.m. Allen and some of her colleagues will attend the National STW June Conference in Washington, D.C.
Congratulations have been steadily pouring in to the MWMS staff.
“It really is not a surprise but it is certainly a pleasant occurrence to have MWMS recognized for its outstanding performance,” said Superintendent Keith Davis. “The school staff and administration are a credit to our county’s school system. We are very proud.”
“I knew it was just a matter of time! I truly felt it would happen. Great things are happening at MWMS and it’s because of the people involved with that school…from the administration to the teachers to the support staff to the students to the parents. It is truly a team effort and I’m extremely blessed to be a part of it. I’m happy to say I’ve had a son, now a freshman at BEHS, who was very successful at MWMS and now have an eighth grade daughter who is also very successful there,” said Bullitt County Board of Education member Tim Wiseheart.
“What GREAT news! The naysayers had better start paying attention to what’s happening in BullittCounty! We are a force to be reckoned with, and MWMS is a shining example,” said Bullitt County Board of Education member Lorraine McLaughlin.
The Kentucky Schools to Watch program is the state’s implementation of the National Forum’s Schools to Watch program and is one of the most prestigious honors a middle school can earn. The truly high-performing middle-level school embodies the intersection of academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity, and organizational structure. The state STW program began when a proposal developed by five groups (Kentucky Department of Education, Collaborative for Teaching and Learning, Kentucky Forum, Kentucky Middle School Association, and Center for Middle School Academic Achievement) was accepted by the National Forum.