McLean Middle School is one of 22 schools nationally and one of four in Fort Worth to be nominated for the 2016 National Excellence in Urban Education award.
The award presented by the National Center of Urban Schools Transformation (NCUT) recognizes schools with a significant urban population who can prove that their school has maintained high standards in academics, attendance and faculty instruction.
The center reviews the school’s previous two years of test scores and academics along with video submissions and an essay from the principle.
The NCUT also evaluates the success of students learning English as a second language as well as families of students with low income, among other categories.
McLean has won state awards before, but this is the first time they have been recognized on a national scale.
Principle Melissa Bryan said her faculty has been working hard and that she is excited for the opportunity for that work to be recognized.
She added that McClean has always had a high standard for academic excellence, despite many kids being economically disadvantaged. More than 60 percent of students at McLean qualify for either free or reduced lunch.
She also said she is looking forward to the award committee seeing the work that the faculty is doing with the students.
Megan Ngo, a science teacher at McLean, said it is their rigorous curriculum and teaching style that is what has lead to the school’s success.
Bryan agrees with Ngo.
“My faculty could match up against any faculty in the nation,” Bryan said. “It’s our teachers that really make the difference.”
In late February the the award committee will visit the four schools that have been nominated from Fort Worth. The visit will include interviewing teachers and students about their learning experiences at McLean.
Bryan said winning the award would mean a lot to her and the rest of the faculty, but more importantly, the community and the parents of the students.
The committee will award either bronze, silver or gold grades to the finalist in March. The Silver Award schools receive a check for $2,500 and are eligible to receive the Gold Award in their category.