John Burroughs Middle School Named one of 16 “Schools to Watch”

In February, John Burroughs Middle School received yet another honor as it was named one of  16 “Schools to Watch” by the California League of Schools.

According to an announcement sent out by the school, “We are the only LAUSD school that is newly recognized with the distinction for this year.”

Dr. Steve Martinez, principal of the school, explained in a letter to the school community that “This distinction is given to high achieving, high need middle schools and allows for schools from all over California to observe and learn the strategies that Burroughs employs to ensure student achievement.” He said a team from the school will attend the “Excellence in Middle Grades” conference in Sacramento on March 14 to accept the award on behalf of all stakeholders.  The school will also hold a celebration of the designation at a future date.

In his letter, Martinez also cited several other honors the school has recently received.

“Throughout my tenure as principal,” he wrote, “my goal has been to lead JBMS to become a world class school of overall excellence. Together with the leadership team, the teacher leader cadre, faculty, students, parents, and with the support of strong community partnerships, we have achieved several milestones to that effect. In 2017, we became a California Gold Ribbon School that included a Title 1 Academic Achievement distinction, and in 2018 we became a National Magnet School of Excellence and were also named to the 2017-2018 California Honor Roll.”

In another announcement about the Schools to Watch award, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond noted that Burroughs and the other 15 schools receiving the Schools to Watch designation join 33 previously chosen schools whose sustained progress leads them to retain their previous “Schools to Watch” designation.

“These middle schools make a great impact on students, and I want to thank the staff, administrators, teachers, and parents at these schools for ensuring all students get the education they need to realize their potential,” Thurmond said. “These schools study and support students’ needs, which helps close achievement gaps and creates a better future for these young students.”

Finally, said Thurmond, “These high-performing model schools demonstrate academic excellence, social equity, and responsiveness to the needs of young adolescents.”

Of the 16 new designees, JB is the only school from LAUSD, and only one of three from Los Angeles County.  Of the previously-named schools, only one – Oliver Wendell Holmes MS – is in LAUSD.

Congratulations to John Burroughs!

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About Elizabeth Fuller

Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - first in the Sycamore Square neighborhood, and since 2012 in West Adams Heights/Sugar Hill. She was long-time board member of the Sycamore Square Neighborhood Association, currently serves on the board of the West Adams Heights/Sugar Hill Neighborhood Association, spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and is the co-owner/publisher of the Buzz.

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