Ohio Schools to Watch (OSTW)

Ohio Schools to Watch Reaching for the Stars is a program that seeks to recognize diverse, high-performing, growth-oriented middle level schools to demonstrate what all middle level schools are capable of achieving.


Schools to Watch® is an initiative launched by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform in 1999. Through the Schools to Watch initiative, the National Forum identifies schools across the United States that are well on their way to meeting the Forum's FOUR CRITERIA for high-performing, middle level schools.

  • Academic Excellence
  • Developmental Responsiveness
  • Social Equity
  • Organizational Structures and Processes

If you believe your school is a model for others and is on the move toward success that supports middle level school reform, we encourage you to complete the School Self-Study and Rating Rubric, located below, and apply to be an Ohio School to Watch.

Eligibility requirements:

The OSTW program seeks high-performing, public middle grades schools in Ohio that are constantly "on the move" toward higher achievement of all students. School must satisfy the following minimum eligibility requirements to apply to be an OSTW:

  1. Contain at least one of the following grade levels within the school: grades 6, 7 or 8.
  2. On the most recent building report card the school must earn a "C" or better on the Overall Value-Added or Progress Component. For applications submitted for the 2014-15 school year the Overall Progress Component letter grade from the 2013 building report card will be used to determine eligibility.

Pre-application Resources 

Interested but still curious?

Current Ohio Schools to Watch (OSTW) continuously opened their doors to invite Ohio middle level educators and community members to learn and share practices that impact school improvement in grades five through nine. See list and map of current Ohio Schools to Watch schools above.

Your school can become an Ohio School to Watch! 
Application Deadline: October 16

  • Redesignation Form and Process (for years one and two following designation; year three and beyond)


"Promoting Excellence in the Middle Grades"
Tour Ohio Schools to Watch criteria through the following series of video programs.

Click on the video links below to learn more about each OSTW criterion and see evidence of these high-performance schools.

There are two links to choose from for each video: 
wmv - a smaller, faster loading file that typically launches in Windows Media Player, a free software program from Microsoft; and 
mp4 - a larger size file with higher resolution that typically launches in Apple Quicktime or DVD player software.

  • OSTW Overview Video wmv|mp4
  • Academic Excellence Video wmv|mp4
  • Social Equity Video wmv|mp4
  • Developmental Responsiveness Video wmv|mp4
  • Organizational Structures & Processes Video wmv|mp4  


Last Modified: 3/11/2015 5:44:56 PM