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California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #17-11
February 8, 2017
Contact: Communications
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Congratulates California's 2017 "Schools to Watch™—Taking Center Stage" Model Middle Schools

SACRAMENTO— State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today that 11 high-performing California middle schools have been newly designated as model middle grades schools in the 2016–17 Schools to Watch™—Taking Center Stage (STW™—TCS) program.

Torlakson also announced that the sustained progress of 19 previously chosen STW™—TCS schools will allow them to retain their designation.

"These are 30 fantastic schools that do such a terrific job of helping students succeed with academics and succeed as they face all the other unique challenges of being in middle school,” Torlakson said. “It’s a significant time in a student’s life, and they need special teachers, staff, and administration to help them prepare for success in 21st century careers and college. These schools do all of that and more. These outstanding schools serve as role models for middle schools up and down the great state of California.”

The 11 newly designated STW™—TCS model middle grades schools are:

  • Burlingame Intermediate School, Burlingame School District
  • Chaparral Middle School, Walnut Valley Unified School District
  • Clifton Middle School, Monrovia Unified School District
  • Desert Springs Middle School, Palm Springs Unified School District
  • Downtown College Prep Alum Rock Middle School, Santa Clara County Office of Education
  • Haskell STEM Academy, ABC Unified School District
  • Huron Middle School, Coalinga-Huron Unified School District
  • Mare Island Technology Academy, Mare Island Technology Academy
  • McFarland Middle School, McFarland Unified School District
  • Rancho-Starbuck Intermediate School, Lowell-Joint School District
  • Suzanne Middle School, Walnut Valley Unified School District

The 19 re-designated STW™—TCS model middle grades schools are:

  • Alondra Middle School, Paramount Unified School District
  • Alvarado Intermediate School, Rowland Unified School District
  • Alta Sierra Intermediate, Clovis Unified School District
  • Calavera Hills Middle School, Carlsbad Unified School District
  • Carmenita Middle School, ABC Unified School District
  • Elizabeth Pinkerton Middle School, Elk Grove Unified School District
  • Heber School, Heber Elementary School District
  • Kastner Intermediate, Clovis Unified School District
  • Landmark Middle School, Moreno Valley Unified School District
  • Kennedy Middle School, El Centro Elementary School District
  • La Cañada High School (7-8), La Cañada Unified School District
  • La Paz Intermediate, Saddleback Valley Unified School District
  • Leona Jackson School, Paramount Unified School District
  • Millikan Middle School, Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Rancho Milpitas Middle School, Milpitas Unified School District
  • Tetzlaff Middle School, ABC Unified School District
  • Torch Middle School, Bassett Unified School District
  • Vista Verde Middle School, Val Verde Unified School District
  • Washington Academic Middle School, Sanger Unified School District

STW™ —TCS middle grades schools are high-performing model schools that demonstrate academic excellence, responsiveness to the needs of young adolescents, and social equity. These schools host visitors from California and around the world who are looking to learn practices they can use to improve their middle grades schools and close the achievement gap.

Model schools have been recognized for programs including high school prerequisite courses such as Algebra II and Chinese II, conflict resolution courses, after-school tutoring and extracurricular activities, and collaborative working relationships between special education and general education students and teachers.

The STW™ —TCS program is sponsored by the California League of Middle Schools (CLMS) External link opens in new window or tab. and the California Department of Education, in partnership with the California Middle Grades Alliance.

Schools must complete an extensive application that is reviewed by middle grades experts to earn this designation. In order to retain the designation, each school is re-evaluated every three years.

All of the schools will be recognized in Sacramento at the California Middle Grades Alliance annual luncheon on February 23, 2017, and during the California League of Schools' Annual Conference North on February 24–26, 2017.

For more information about the STW™—TCS program, please visit the CLMS High Performing Middle School Models External link opens in new window or tab. web page.

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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last Reviewed: Friday, August 16, 2019
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