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Hawaiian Gardens Council Honors Fedde Middle School

Fedde MS principal, teachers, and staff listen to ABCUSD Superintendent Dr. Mary Sieu talk about Fedde achieving Schools to Watch. Photo by Tammye McDuff.

Fedde MS principal, teachers, and staff listen to ABCUSD Superintendent Dr. Mary Sieu talk about Fedde achieving Schools to Watch. Photo by Tammye McDuff.

 

By Tammye McDuff

Once considered a “low performing school,” Fedde International Studies Academy in Hawaiian Gardens has been recognized as one of the seven model schools in California and was recognized at City Council January 27, 2015 with a “Schools to Watch” achievement award.

Fedde had been named a model middle grades school in the 2014-15 Schools to Watch—Taking Center Stage program. It is one of just seven California schools newly designated a “School to Watch.” ABC Unified Superintendent Mary Sieu explained, “to be recognized as a School to Watch means that Fedde is a real life example for other schools in the State, and across the nation. Other schools with similar populations and conditions will be able to duplicate the curriculum and perform to their highest level.”

The California Department of Education along with the California League of Middle Schools partnered with California Middle Grades Alliance, to sponsor California’s Schools to Watch – Taking Center Stage program. The parent group for this program is The National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. To become nominated, a school must consistently meet standardized test scores, completed a self-study assessment; and undergo an application and visitation process. “To achieve this award,” stateed Sieu, “means Fedde has been recognized by experts as a student-centered and high-performing middle school with a record of academic excellence, organizational support and social equity. “

Principal Ricardo Lois called everyone up that was in attendance at the Council meeting stating, “this award is the combined efforts of the entire staff and administration, a tribute to their hard work.” Fedde is one of 66 schools in California and one out of 400 in the nation to receive this award. The ABCUSD is the only school district in California to have three schools nominated. Dr. Irvin Howard, President of California’s Schools to Watch – Taking Center Stage told HMG in a phone interview that the selection of Fedde was very specific. “We were very impressed with the programs and the teachers commitment. The community support and the extraordinary efforts put forth by the students really confirmed their nominations, there are 39 conditions in the selection process and Fedde met all 39.”

ABCUSD contains five middle schools within the district; however Fedde has struggled for many years. President of the Board Maynard Law credited Fedde Principal Ricardo Lois with helping the school turn the tide during his tenure saying, “ it is no longer that type of school. Everyone has been involved and the community has gotten behind a worthwhile cause and that is the education of our children.”

Lois mentioned that the school will be hosting a Schools To Watch Celebration February 13, 2015, which will be open to the public.

 

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