Bill Sybert School in the Socorro Independent School District has been recognized as a Texas School to Watch by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform and the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals.
Bill Sybert School earned the national recognition for its academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity and organizational structure and processes.
“I am extremely proud of Scorpion Country for their accountability in ensuring that every child’s needs are met,” said Gabriela Elliott, principal of Bill Sybert School. “Our teachers, staff, and parents work together to eliminate excuses, reach every child and bring their best every day that creates a culture of continuous growth for all of our scholars exemplifying our motto #WeBeforeMe.”
The school joins some 50 other campuses across Texas with the distinction and will be recognized at the Making Middle School Matter Symposium hosted by TASSP from Feb. 27 to March 1, 2022. They will be recognized nationally with other recognized STW schools across the country at the National Forum Schools to Watch Conference in Washington D.C. June 23 to 25, 2022.
The application process was rigorous, including a written submission and then an in-campus visit, Elliott said. STW state teams visited the school to observe classrooms, interview administrators, teachers, students, and parents, and looked at achievement data, suspension rates, quality of lessons, and student work.
Bill Sybert School demonstrated strong leadership, teachers who work together to improve curriculum and instruction, and a commitment to assessment and accountability to bring about continuous improvement.
“We congratulate Principal Elliot and her staff, students and parents for being a campus that does great things for all of their students,” said Leticia Menchaca, State Director for Schools to Watch in Texas and TASSP Director for Middle-Level Services. “Bill Sybert Middle School is a place that recognizes the importance of meeting the needs of all students and ensures that every child has access to a challenging high-quality education.”
Texas Schools to Watch are recognized for a three-year period, and at the end of three years, they must demonstrate progress on specific goals to be re-designated. Unlike the Blue-Ribbon recognition program, “Schools to Watch” requires schools to not just identify strengths, but to also focus on areas of continuous improvement; thus, the three-year re-designation.
“The loudest applause goes to our scholars for showing up and facing any obstacle that comes their way,” Elliott said. “They have shown their resiliency and perseverance and never cease to surprise us with their ongoing achievements academically in class, socially with friends, artistically through extracurricular activities and athletically through sports. Scorpions are going places and seizing their endless opportunities.”