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Olive Peirce Receives 'School to Watch' Banner

Representatives from the program presented the honor, making Olive Peirce one of 36 special California middle schools.

Olive Peirce Middle School on Friday received its 2012 "California School to Watch" banner at a ceremony in its amphitheater.

The school was named one of four middle schools in San Diego County to receive the honor at the end of 2011.

Representatives of the state program joined students, staff, PTA and district board members on Friday to celebrate and present the banner.

A team from the program toured Olive Peirce in November.

"At the end of the visit, we all walked out of the campus and posed the question to ourselves, 'Is this a school where you would want your kids to be at?'" Irvin Howard, director of the state program, told the 900 students gathered on the grassy bank of the amphitheater.

"'Absolutely' was our answer," he said.

The state program is under the umbrella of the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform, which operates in 19 states. Olive Peirce teachers and administrators will go to Sacramento to get their state recognition and they'll also travel to Washington, D.C. to receive national recognition, along with more than 300 other chosen schools around the country, Howard said.

"There is a unique culture of caring here," Peter Murphy, executive director of the California League of Schools told the assembly.

California Schools to Watch—Taking Center Stage recognizes high performing middle schools that meet certain criteria. The program is sponsored by the state Department of Education, in conjunction with the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform and in partnership with California Middle Grades Alliance.

"The real heroes are the 900 faces in front of us today," Ramona Unified School District Superintendent Robert Graeff told the audience, referring to the students.

Students brought colorful college flags into the amphitheater and staff wore their college T-shirts, to encourage a college-bound environment at the event.

greg Chick February 18, 2012 at 07:08 PM
See, I told you so. Now lets get them a Skate Park, they have earned it. We could offer discounts for students with good grades and attendance. Idea, uh! We the adults have a responsibility to make best possible environment for the youth as they are at an impressionable age. Things done now will change the world tomorrow. Greg Chick, one who has direct experience with being a youth in troubled times, (60's).
Drew S. February 24, 2012 at 01:55 PM
As a parent struggling with a runaway teen with now a drug problem in Ramona, Greg is correct in saying our teens need something to do. As a skater, he was kicked out of and off of parking lots, loading docks, sidewalks and anywhere else he tried to skate. I drove him and his friends to PQ when I could, 20 mikes away, but eventually drugs overtook that interest. He's been gone 14 days now with an occasional sighting at the popular drug hangouts, but since it's not a crime to runaway, it's a catch and release program with the sheriff. A skate park, or anything else interesting in Ramona, would go a long way to keeping kids busy and too occupied to want ro try the recreational boredom activities.
greg Chick February 24, 2012 at 11:02 PM
We could rally together to do something like the stuff Parnts should do. I have no real place saying what since I have never been a parent. I just see the kids and see the results and remember being a kid. I tried to get the kids in the parking lot to organize and get a group together make a plan then contact me. I suggested that is they looked serious and were organized with a workable plan I would introduce them and the plan to possible funding sources. I have never gotten a call. Does anybody really care? or is it just kinda wish someone else would do something? Greg Chick

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