SOCSD is proud to announce that South Orangetown Middle School is among eleven schools nationwide recognized by the Association for Middle Level Education as 2023 Schools of Distinction!
“The Association for Middle Level Education has been a valuable partner of ours for many years,” noted Superintendent of Schools Brian Culot, Ed.D. “It is a great accomplishment to earn the prestigious School of Distinction designation. Congratulations to all of our amazing SOMS staff on this well-deserved recognition.”
The Schools of Distinction program recognizes exemplary schools while supporting them through a process of strategic vision setting to help foster ongoing growth and success. Last year, SOMS completed a rigorous review process that measured implementation of middle grades best practices and continuous improvement plans. After advancing from the initial application, the school community participated in a series of group interviews which included staff, students and families.
“In our continued pursuit of excellence, we seek opportunities to evaluate ourselves through research-based best practices for middle school. It’s rooted in a mindset of continued growth, so it is very exciting to receive this recognition!” explained SOMS Principal Chad Corey, Ed.D. “It reaffirms the value of the work that we’re doing and challenges us to further expand and sustain our efforts.”
The review highlighted SOMS’ strengths, including the structure and work of the school support team and efforts to incorporate student voice into the school culture and foster a welcoming, inclusive and affirmative school environment.
“AMLE also identified areas for future development,” Assistant Principal Danielle Rodriguez-Page, Ed.D. noted. “The report highlighted that although staff focus on creating strong relationships with students and an attitude of advocacy, there isn’t a formal system of advisory in place. The report encouraged us to explore options of advisory practices to further support relationship building and students’ social-emotional well-being.”
Corey and Assistant Principal Danielle Rodriguez, Ed.D. will present on SOMS’ exemplary practices at AMLE50: The 50th Annual Conference for Middle Level Education in Maryland this fall.
“We would like to thank our dedicated SOMS community of teachers, families and staff for their continued work to support our students and to exemplify the characteristics and attributes of a successful middle school. We look forward to continuing our partnership with AMLE in implementing best practices for the middle level,” Corey said.
The AMLE School of Distinction is a four-year designation. SOMS is also in the recertification process for National Forum Schools to Watch recognition, a three-year designation which it earned in 2018 and 2021.
View SOMS’ AMLE 2023 School of Distinction profile here.