Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo
California Department of Education News Release (with no CDE logo)
California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #18-06
January 29, 2018
Contact: Jonathan Mendick
E-mail: communications@cde.ca.gov
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Schools Chief Torlakson Congratulates High-Performing Middle Schools Selected as 'Schools to Watch'

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced that 22 new high-performing California middle schools have been recognized in the 2017–18 Schools to Watch-Taking Center Stage program. They join 24 previously chosen schools whose sustained progress will allow them to retain their “Schools to Watch” designation.

"Congratulations to these schools for doing excellent work to help students believe in themselves, set high goals, and dream big," Torlakson said. "These schools are outstanding examples of how educational innovations can keep students engaged and learning throughout a transitional time in their lives."

These high-performing model schools demonstrate academic excellence, social equity, and responsiveness to the needs of young adolescents. For example, Fruitvale Junior High School in Bakersfield has created an outstanding forensic medical science program allowing students to experience science hands-on and use their skills of analysis, inquiry, and observation. And San Marcos Middle School in San Marcos has implemented a curriculum challenging students to think critically which resulted in high performance in student writing.

The 22 newly designated “Schools to Watch” schools are:

  • Traweek Middle School, Covina-Valley Unified School District, Los Angeles County
  • Hollydale School, Paramount Unified School District, Los Angeles County
  • Paramount Park Middle School, Paramount Unified School District, Los Angeles County
  • Sierra Vista Middle School,Covina-Valley Unified School District, Los Angeles County
  • El Segundo Middle School, El Segundo Unified School District, Los Angeles County
  • Griffiths Middle School, Downey Unified School District, Los Angeles County
  • Mary R. Stauffer Middle School, Downey Unified School District, Los Angeles County
  • San Benancio Middle School, Washington Union School District, Monterey County
  • Liberty Middle School, Lemoore Union Elementary School District, Kings County
  • Mountain View Middle School, Moreno Valley Unified School District, Riverside County
  • Indio Middle School, Desert Sands Unified School District, Riverside County
  • Golden Valley Middle School, San Bernardino City Unified School District, San Bernardino, County
  • Vina Danks Middle School, Ontario-Montclair School District, San Bernardino County
  • Sequoia Middle School, Fontana Unified School District, San Bernardino County
  • Los Osos Middle School, San Luis Coastal Unified School District, San Luis Obispo County
  • De Anza Magnet School, El Centro Elementary School District, Imperial County
  • Live Oak Middle School, Live Oak Unified School District, Sutter County
  • Hilton D. Bell Intermediate School, Garden Grove Unified School District, Orange County
  • Cerro Villa Middle School, Orange Unified School District, Orange County
  • Ladera Vista Junior High School of the Arts, Fullerton School District, Orange County
  • Fruitvale Junior High School, Fruitvale Elementary School District, Kern County
  • San Marcos Middle School, San Marcos Unified School District, San Diego County

The 24 re-designated “Schools to Watch” schools are:

  • Fedde Academy, ABC Unified School District, Los Angeles County
  • De Anza Middle School, Ontario-Montclair Unified School District, San Bernardino County
  • Kings Canyon Middle School, Fresno Unified School District, Fresno County
  • Wilson Jr. High, El Centro Elementary School District, Imperial County
  • Hawthorne School, Beverly Hills Unified School District, Los Angeles County
  • Lakeside Middle School, Little Lake City Elementary School District, Los Angeles County
  • Luther Burbank Middle School, Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles County
  • Turlock Junior High School, Turlock Unified School District, Stanislaus County
  • Andrew Carnegie Middle School, San Juan Unified School District, Sacramento County
  • Granite Ridge Intermediate School, Clovis Unified School District, Fresno County
  • High Desert School, Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District, Los Angeles County
  • Olive Peirce Middle School, Ramona Unified School District, San Diego County
  • Katherine Albiani Middle School, Elk Grove Unified School District, Sacramento County
  • Clark Intermediate School, Clovis Unified School District, Fresno County
  • Tincher Preparatory School, Long Beach Unified School District, Los Angeles County
  • Dartmouth Middle School, Union Elementary School District, Santa Clara County
  • McKinleyville Middle School, Mckinleyville Union Elementary School District, Humboldt County
  • Richard Henry Dana Middle School, Wiseburn Unified School District, Los Angeles County
  • Toby Johnson Middle School, Elk Grove Unified School District, Sacramento County
  • De Portola Middle School, San Diego Unified School District, San Diego County
  • Bernice Ayer Middle School, Capistrano Unified School District, Orange County
  • Castaic Middle School, Castaic Union School District, Los Angeles County
  • Culver City Middle School, Culver City Unified School District, Los Angeles County
  • Silverado Middle School, Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District, Placer County

The Schools to Watch program is sponsored by the California Department of Education, California League of Middle Schools (CLMS) External link opens in new window or tab., and the California Middle Grades Alliance External link opens in new window or tab.. To earn this designation, schools must complete an extensive application that is reviewed by middle grades experts. 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 March 1, 2018. For more information about the program, please visit the CLMS High Performing Middle School Models External link opens in new window or tab. Web page.

# # # #

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

Last Reviewed: Thursday, February 1, 2018
Recently Posted in News Releases