Belmont Ridge Celebrates Re-Designation as a School to Watch
“Now I’ve watched you for the last three years academically outperform all kinds of schools and all kinds of students,” said Belmont Ridge Middle School Principal Timothy J. Flynn as he opened the celebration of the re-designation of Belmont Ridge as a School to Watch on Friday, May 11th, in the school’s auditorium.
The Schools to Watch designation is awarded by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. Belmont Ridge first received this honor in 2009. To maintain its status as a School to Watch, a designated school has to be re-evaluated every three years. Belmont Ridge passed its re-evaluation handily.
“I’ll give you a preview of how well you’ve done this year,” Flynn told students and staff. “You have already done your eighth grade writing testing, correct?
“Well we got the results back…and you know you are at 98.1 percent pass rate…you guys are outstanding, which is exactly why we have to wear sunglasses.”
Flynn said this as he slipped on a pair sunglasses adding “it is because your future is so bright, we have to wear shades.”
“Virginia is one of 19 states that has Schools to Watch programs,” said Sandy Dutemple, Schools To Watch state director. “In the U.S., we have 340 Schools to Watch…in Virginia, we have 28…10 are in Loudoun County. Loudoun County Public Schools has more Schools to Watch than in any school division in the entire United States of America.”
During the ceremony, Flynn introduced the audience to the Belmont Ridge Bright Life Buddies, who were recognized on May 8th by the Loudoun County School Board for their support and encouragement of their special education peers. “These students bring joy, happiness, acceptance into the lives of every kid in the eighth grade.”
Closing the celebration, Loudoun County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Edgar B. Hatrick III said “you here at Belmont Ridge Middle School have demonstrated that you have the character…and you have the fortitude to literally walk the walk. We are so proud of you throughout the school system. And I hope that you will carry into Stone Bridge and Tuscarora high schools the character that you have developed here….the commitment you have developed here to one another so that when you come back one day for your 50th school reunion, everyone will want to be there, because everyone will feel that they were a part of a really great opportunity…and a really great class.”