Among all of the wonderful middle schools in Columbia, Crayton Middle School has always been exceptional, but now it’s official – Crayton Middle is a 2016 Schools to Watch® school! Schools to Watch® is an initiative that was launched by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform, to recognize high-performing middle schools across the U.S.
The National Forum’s Schools to Watch® criteria is made up of three attributes: Academic Excellence, Developmental Responsiveness and Social Equity. That means, Crayton is ahead of the curve when it comes to challenging its students academically, sensitive to the developmental challenges that face their students in early adolescence, and provides each and every student with what they need to succeed in future endeavors. One need only look to Crayton’s culture to see these attributes at work. Academic programs like Making Middle Grades Work, which prepares students for high school studies, Richland One’s Digital Learning Environment initiative, which promotes the use of technology in learning, and guidance sessions and Career Interest Inventories for 8th graders to start thinking more about future career paths, allow students a more unfettered path to academic success. Crayton students develop leadership and character-building skills through athletics and activities like the Richland One Fitness Bowl (Crayton finished 2nd overall for middle schools), the 8th Grade Male Empowerment Summit, the “Souper Bowl” where Crayton collected canned goods to benefit Harvest Hope Food Bank, and the school’s monthly Character Trait Award, where teachers vote on students who display actions and attitudes that define a chosen trait.
Wade McGuinn, CEO of McGuinn Hybrid Homes, knows Crayton’s reputation. His company’s Burnside Farms community of homes is zoned for the middle school. “Kudos go to the principal, students and staff of Crayton for this national recognition. With innovative programs and caring professionals, high-performing schools like Crayton are becoming the norm in South Carolina.”