Sherwood Middle Academic Magnet School 2009 NBR School

East Baton Rouge Parish School System
East Baton Rouge, Louisiana

With its concrete slabs, flat roof, and retrofitted spaces, the Sherwood Middle Academic Magnet School facility is the antithesis of the life within. Spend five minutes inside and you are witness to a community of high-expectations and vibrant and well-designed learning opportunities.

Drawing from 35 of the district’s 45 elementary schools, Sherwood serves students who meet academic requirements for participation in this middle school magnet program.  Of Sherwood’s more than 700 enrolled students, approximately two-thirds are African American and slightly less than one-third are Caucasian. Roughly half of the students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. The school exceeded state-mandated growth targets for three consecutive years, ranking the third-highest performing middle school in the state. Sherwood is one of eight schools in the district to achieve National Blue Ribbon School distinction.

Now in her 13th year at Sherwood, Principal Phyllis Crawford is the school’s lead engineer and conductor. A teacher at heart, she is credited by parents, staff, and students for the school’s success and well-being. Adept at recognizing and developing the talents of others, she shares both leadership and accountability. Her vision of a community of learners, rigorous curriculum and instruction, and academic, social, and behavioral supports that enable students to reach high standards is realized daily.

“Hire Well”. Although Principal Crawford’s leadership is a finely tuned blend of knowledge, disposition, and skills, she credits her success to her ability to “get the right people on the bus.” She knows that Sherwood’s success depends on the staff’s collective capacity to get the job done – whatever it takes. Professionals are drawn to Sherwood for the opportunities to be part of a high-functioning learning community. Hiring is not done by administrators alone, but by teams of staff members who decide who is best suited to meet the school’s needs. Teachers and staff have a vested interested in the success of new staff members. Read the transcript of “Hire Well.”
A Learning Community. Sherwood teachers and administrators engage regularly during “eat and meet” lunch breaks where they review student progress, plan units of study, and discuss other academic matters. Hallways are arranged by content area to support impromptu, content-based interactions between teachers and students and among teachers. All teachers participate in regular team walkthroughs using a common form to observe and reflect and offer every teacher feedback. Staff use walkthrough data to identify areas of strength and need; administrators use them to identify professional development needs. TRead the transcript of “A Learning Community.”
A Rigorous, Well-Rounded Curriculum. Sherwood’s curriculum ensures that students meet local and state standards and then some. In mathematics, students are expected to exceed grade-level standards, enrolling in double math classes if necessary. Students who succeed in the core curriculum may enroll in enrichment courses such as forensics, pre-law, and marine biology. On a given day, students may be engaged in a mock trial or hunched over laboratory equipment to test forensic material. Sherwood’s school band rivals professional musicians, showing the public what a rigorous program of study can yield. Read the transcript of “A Rigorous, Well-Rounded Curriculum.”
Student Support. While only students with 2.5 GPAs are accepted to this academic magnet school, the high standards can challenge even formerly high-achieving students. Guidance staff offer a sixth-grade support program to help struggling students form relationships and learn study skills and organization. A Positive Behavior Intervention program helps students learn appropriate school behaviors. Parent involvement is seen as key to student well-being, and teachers communicate regularly with parents in person and online, and post homework assignments so parents can see what students are expected to do and can support their work at home. Read the transcript of “School Support.”

Contact Information

Sherwood Middle Academic Magnet School
East Baton Rouge, LA 70815
(225) 272-3090 FAX (225) 273-9459

Student Demographics
2009-2010 Academic Year

Demographic Feature Data
Number of Students 6-8 737
Students eligible for subsidized meals 51%
Limited English proficient students  2%
Students receiving special education services  3%
African American students 58%
White students 30%
Asian students  9%
Hispanic students  3%
Native American students >1%
Average teacher turnover rate, last 5 years  8%
Student:Teacher ratio 17:1