District celebrates Moravia Middle School's School to Watch redesignation
May 15, 2018 -- Board members, administrators, students, teachers and representatives from Rep. John Katko and state Sen. James Seward's offices gathered in the Moravia Middle School gym Tuesday to celebrate the school's redesignation as a School to Watch by the Essential Elements program administered by New York state.
The Essential Elements Schools to Watch program seeks to identify middle grades schools that adhere to a rigorous set of criteria and are on a pathway of continuous improvement. Each school earning the designation holds that honor for three years, then must reapply and be reevaluated to continue the honor of calling itself a School to Watch.
Moravia has been redesignated four times.
To mark the unveiling of the school's fifth School to Watch banner, the Moravia Marching Band and middle school choir performed; students took turns at the lectern describing what makes Moravia Middle School great; and several adults offered their congratulations, including: Joel Weiss from the Schools to Watch program; John Haag, a representative from Rep. John Katko's office; Luann King, from state Sen. James Seward's office; Superintendent of Schools John Birmingham; and middle school Principal Bruce MacBain.
Although earned by the middle school alone, the designation "is cause for district celebration and that's why I stand in front of you," Mr. Birmingham said. "When I thought about a few words to say, one of the things that came to mind was the idea that this school continues to innovate, re-create. The energy that comes from the students and the staff is to me refreshing. We always have different initatives, different challenges coming our way, and I feel that this group of individuals, including the students that stand before me, always roll their sleeves up and continue to try and push themselves to be better and be a better school."
"We are above average everywhere you look," Mr. MacBain said. "We've got teachers winning individual awards all over the place. ... When you combine the talent with the program we've established here ... when you put those things together, that is why we're one of the few schools that can do these things."
Ms. King read excerpts of a resolution that Mr. Seward introduced in Albany congratulating Moravia Middle School on its accomplishment, and Mr. Haag read from similar remarks that Mr. Katko officially entered into the congressional record in Washington.
Click here to learn more about the Essential Elements program, which is administered by the New York State Department of Education (NYSED) in partnership with the New York State Middle School Association, the Statewide Network of Middle Level Liaisons, the New York State United Teachers and the School Administrators Association of New York State.