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Seneca Valley Middle School earns national recognition a second time

| Saturday, March 1, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
Allison Burkhiser and other seventh-grade students in Megan Fiochetta's Advanced English class learn to perform research tasks on a computer at Seneca Valley Middle School, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014.
Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
Peyton Moore, left, and Ana Harrison use magnifying glasses to study the individual pixels of a smartphone photograph during a lesson on how the human eye functions Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014. They are students in Kate Wilson's eighth-grade Integrated Science class at Seneca Valley Middle School.
Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
Derrick Hawk holds a pen in a beam of colored light from an overhead projector during a lesson on how the human eye processes color during Kate Wilson's eighth-grade Integrated Science class at Seneca Valley Middle School, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014.
Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
Teacher Kate Wilson helps students Derrick Hawk, center, and Caleb Cekella use magnifying glasses to study the individual pixels of a smartphone photograph during a lesson on how the human eye functions at Seneca Valley Middle School, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014.
Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
Teacher Andrew Russell works with students during his French class at Seneca Valley Middle School, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014.
Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
Cameron Vozel works on a project in George Williams' seventh-grade art class at Seneca Valley Middle School, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014.
Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
Zach Brezina works on a project in George Williams' seventh-grade art class at Seneca Valley Middle School, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014.

A national group advocating for middle-school reform has honored Seneca Valley Middle School.

The National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform named Seneca Valley as a “School to Watch.”

“We are proud of the teachers, staff and students who have worked so hard over the years to make Seneca Valley Middle School an example of educational excellence,” said Seneca Valley Superintendent Tracy Vitale.

The school earned the same distinction three years ago, said Linda Andreassi, Seneca Valley spokeswoman.

Since 1999, the “Schools to Watch” program has recognized more than 340 schools in 19 states.

It identifies schools that meet the group's criteria for high performance, including academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, outstanding organizational structure and social equity.

“They make education so exciting that students and teachers don't want to miss a day,” said Deborah Kadak, National Forum's executive director.

Seneca Valley Middle School scored a 90.5 as part of its Pennsylvania School Performance Profile.

Schools are assessed on a 100-point scale, and scores of 70 or higher met standards for 2012-13. The profiles replaced Adequate Yearly Progress goals mandated by the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Rachel Farkas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-779-6902 or rfarkas@tribweb.com.

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