Savannah-Chatham County Public School System

Two SCCPSS Middle Schools Re-Designated Georgia Lighthouse Schools to Watch

Published on: 10/29/2021

Two SCCPSS Middle Schools have earned re-designation as Georgia Lighthouse Schools to watch following recent virtual site visits.  The redesignation for Coastal Middle School and the STEM Academy at Bartlett will be in place for three years – through 2024.

Lighthouse Schools to Watch are considered national model middle school programs, and are chosen on the basis of academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity, and highly successful organizational structures and processes. The designation is made by the National Middle School Association in collaboration with the National Forum to Accelerate Middle School Reform.

Coastal Middle Principal Allison Schuster-Jones says as part of their review, “We received great accolades for our work both prior to, and throughout, this pandemic."

STEM Principal Dr. Jimmie Cave says, “I'm so proud of our faculty/staff and students for achieving this designation.  The commitment towards continuous improvement and innovation is inspiring."

Only 19 schools in the state of Georgia have been selected for the designation in 2021.  Once identified as a School to Watch, each site must apply for re-designation every 3 years in order to remain in the program. This is the fourth re-designation for Coastal Middle School and the first for STEM Academy. These schools serve as mentors and models for other schools in the state while at the same time continuing their own journey of excellence.

Georgia Lighthouse Schools to Watch is a state-level partnership that seeks to identify high-performing, middle grades schools in the state of Georgia. Georgia is one of 18 states that have qualified to be part of this prestigious National Forum Schools to Watch® program (  Georgia began participation in the program in 2002 when the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform selected Georgia as one of the first three states to institute the Schools to Watch program.

Lighthouse Schools host visitors and participate in various professional development activities and conferences to work with educators and community members to improve schools throughout the nation. The program also seeks to make all educators, parents, and citizens aware of the characteristics of high-performing middle schools and the special importance of the early adolescence years.

​The schools will be recognized at a National Conference in Washington in June.



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