Source: Sherman Publications

Oakview Middle School on national watch for third time

March 12, 2014

Lake Orion’s Oakview Middle School is the first middle school in Michigan to be recognized as a “National School to Watch” three times beginning in 2006, again in 2010 and now in 2014.

The distinction came from the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform (, which started the Schools to Watch program in 1999. This organization identifies schools across the United States that meet its criteria for high performance, schools with high academic excellence, challenging students to use their minds well; responsiveness, sensitive to the unique developmental challenges of early adolescents; and and that are socially equitable, providing every student with high-quality teachers, resources and support.

“Our school does a really nice job of treating each student as an individual,” Oakview principal John Bernia said. “We really take the time to get to know every single kid at our school.”

Oakview received the first award for being a successfully opened middle school just after four years of being open. The middle school received the second award it was a matter of refining and maintaining, Bernia said, and the most recent award recognizes Oakview’s perseverance through budget cuts and limited resources.

“I’m lucky in a sense that I’ve worked in all our middle schools, and I’ll tell you that we won this recognition, but you will have a great experience no matter which one they go to,” Bernia said. “That’s kind of the calling card of our level as we work together to promote ourselves and promote what we do,” he said.