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Brentwood Middle School named "School to Watch"

Brentwood Middle School was recognized as a 2022 Colorado Trailblazer School to Watch by the Colorado Association of Middle Level Education. 


Press Release from the Colorado Association of Middle Level Education: 


Denver, CO – Brentwood Middle School has been recognized as a 2022 Colorado Trailblazer Schools to Watch! The Colorado Association of Middle Level Education is proud to honor Brentwood with this distinguished designation. Brentwood Middle School is one of 100+ schools that will be recognized nationwide at the National Schools to Watch Conference on June 23rd, 2022 in Washington, DC. 


Colorado School to Watch at Brentwood Middle School May 2022

“Brentwood is a successful middle school because it is truly a place where every child belongs. From strong academic practices and effective academic discourse to the Bengal Cafe and a focus on students as individuals, Brentwood is in tune with the needs of middle school students” explained Katie Gustafson, State Co-Director of the Colorado Schools to Watch program. “Brentwood Middle School is a school with replicable practices that are a model for other middle schools in our state.” 


Selection is based on a written application that requires schools to show how they met the criteria developed by the Forum. State teams organized by the Colorado Schools to Watch ( program conduct site visits in order to affirm that they have indeed met the rigorous requirements of the award. These teams observe classrooms, interview administrators, teachers, and parents, review achievement data, suspension rates, instructional quality, and student work. Schools are recognized for a three-year period, and at the end of three years must repeat the process in order to be re-designated. This year four schools were designated as Colorado Schools to Watch: Basalt Middle School, Brentwood Middle, Flagstaff Academy, and Preston Middle School. 


"These Schools to Watch are indeed special; they have navigated the COVID Pandemic admirably and always kept student needs at the forefront of their practice. They have proven that it is possible to achieve a high degree of educational excellence even in the most challenging of times, and any middle-level school can truly learn from their example," said Diane Lauer CAMLE Board President. “We are pleased that our Schools to Watch program has shown that schools can meet high academic expectations while preserving a commitment to healthy development and equity for all students," Lauer said. 



Launched in 1999, Schools to Watch began as a national program to identify middle-grades schools across the country that were meeting or exceeding 37 criteria developed by the Forum. The Forum developed a website ( that features online tours of schools, as well as detailed information about the selection criteria used in the recognition program. Nineteen states are currently involved in the program and the addition of these schools raises the total number of Schools to Watch to over 425 nationwide. 


The National Forum sponsors the Schools to Watch state program in 18 states with the support of members, the National Association for Elementary School Principals, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the Association of Middle Level Education, Learning Forward, and the State Schools to Watch programs. 


The National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform is an alliance of 65 educators, researchers, national associations, and officers of professional organizations and foundations dedicated to improving education in the middle grades. (