Dr. Mark Chamberlain, Virginia STW Director

contact: mechambe@gmail.com

What is Schools To Watch?
Current STW Schools in Virginia

In 1999, the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform began a national program to identify high-performing middle grades schools. The Forum developed criteria for identifying these schools, and believes that three things are true of each:


  • They are academically excellent -- these schools challenge all students to use their minds well. 

  • They are developmentally responsive -- these schools are sensitive to the unique developmental challenges of early adolescence.

  • They are socially equitable -- these schools are democratic and fair, providing every student with high-quality teachers, resources and supports.

    For an overview of the program, click here



Elizabeth Davis Middle (Chesterfield County)


Trailside Middle (Loudoun County)

Western Branch Middle (Chesapeake)




Complete list of Virginia schools designated as Schools to Watch







How Can Your School Apply for STW Status?
Additional Information

We encourage schools across the Commonwealth to apply for consideration as a School To Watch! The deadline for new applications is September 15 each year. Principals and staff should spend the previous school year studying their school, completing the application and employing this process as part of an ongoing staff development program. You can find application information and materials below:



Schools that make application for or obtain Schools to Watch credentials will need to be active members of VMSA. Selected schools will be featured in state and national publications, and may be visited by educators seeking role models for good middle level instruction and support for students and staff. Schools will also participate in professional development, and will serve as a standard for other schools using the Schools to Watch Criteria to guide school improvement and reform. Finally, schools selected as STW will be expected to have a representative or representatives at the National STW Conference in June in Crystal City, VA to receive their National recognition and interact with other STW from around the country.




VMSA is an affiliate of the international Association of Middle Level Education (AMLE)