High performing schools with proven academic excellence while being developmentally responsive and socially equitable.



The Schools to Watch Program® is a copyrighted program of the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. Criteria established by the National Forum are used as the basis for the Forum’s Schools to Watch Program, which focuses on school improvement efforts characterized by a continuous trajectory toward success.


Steps to becoming designated as a Schools to Watch® 


1. Send an email and let us know you would like to apply to become a School to Watch® at

2. We will contact your State Director who will follow-up with you and indicate where you can access your state’s application instructions and the application forms.

3. There is a National Forum Rubric (similar to the hard copy rubric – coming soon) to complete as part of the application process, and information on how to access that rubric is explained in the application instructions you will receive. 


As an alternative, you may contact your State Director yourself. Their email addresses and contact information appear on this website -

Not quite ready to become a Schools to Watch®? Use the Rubric for a Self-study


The rubric is here to share with your administration and faculty if you should want to use it as a self-improvement tool without applying for recognition at this time.

The Schools to Watch self-rating rubric is available as a package with information about the rubric and how to use the tool to support growth in your school. The cost to order your copy of the rubric tool, order in our online store


Sharing and completing the “hard copy” rubric is a great way for the administration and faculty to self-reflect on the implementation of best practices in your middle school or middle-level program.  Use the rubric tool and the results for the development of your own continuous improvement plan. Evaluate the results, revise your improvement plan, and implement changes. When you feel you have developed a trajectory of continuous improvement, consider applying for Schools to Watch® recognition. Again, a copy of the rubric is available from your State Director and they are happy to advise you on the process.