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California Department of Education
News Release
California Department of Education
News Release
Release: # 21-34
April 22, 2021
Contact: Communications
E-mail: communications@cde.ca.gov
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Congratulates
High-Performing Middle Schools Selected as 'Schools to Watch’

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond this week announced that 31 high-performing California middle schools have been recognized by the California Schools to Watch program. One school, Standard Middle School, managed to complete the rigorous application process during the COVID-19 school closure period and is the only new California School to Watch for 2021. An additional 30 existing schools reapplied to the program, demonstrated their sustained progress, and have been re-designated as 2021 “California Schools to Watch.”

"Congratulations to these schools for building systems that support all students in believing in themselves, discovering their individual interests, and working toward their academic, life, and career goals," Thurmond said. "These schools are outstanding examples of how educational innovation and a dedicated school community can keep students engaged and learning through a critical stage in their K–12 journey."

These high-performing model schools demonstrate academic excellence, social equity, and responsiveness to the needs of young adolescents. For example, Fruitvale Junior High School has an outstanding forensic medical science program that allows students to experience science hands-on and use their skills of analysis, inquiry, and observation. Los Osos Middle School has piloted a successful mentorship program that incorporates community members and prepares students for high school and beyond.

The 2021 “California Schools to Watch” schools are:

Newly Designated 2021 California School to Watch
  • Standard Middle School, Standard School District, Kern County
Redesignated 2021 California Schools to Watch
  • Bell Intermediate School, Garden Grove Unified School District, Orange County
  • Castaic Middle School, Castaic Union Elementary School District, Los Angeles County
  • Cerro Villa Middle School, Orange Unified School District, Orange County
  • Clark Intermediate School, Clovis Unified School District, Fresno County
  • De Anza Magnet School, El Centro Elementary School District, Santa Clara County
  • De Anza Middle School, Ontario Montclair School District, San Bernardino County
  • Fedde International Studies Academy, ABC Unified School District, Los Angeles County
  • Fruitvale Junior High School, Fruitvale Elementary School District, Kern County
  • Golden Valley Middle School, San Bernardino City Unified School District, San Bernardino County
  • Granite Ridge Intermediate School, Clovis Unified School District, Fresno County
  • Griffiths Middle School, Downey Unified School District, Los Angeles County
  • Hollydale School, Paramount Unified School District, Los Angeles County
  • Katherine L. Albiani Middle School, Elk Grove Unified School District, Sacramento County
  • Kings Canyon Middle School, Fresno Unified School District, Fresno County
  • Ladera Vista Junior High School of the Arts, Fullerton School District, Orange County
  • Lakeside Middle School, Little Lake City School District, Los Angeles County
  • Liberty Middle School, Lemoore Union Elementary School District, Kings County
  • Live Oak Middle School, Live Oak Unified School District, Sutter County
  • Los Osos Middle School, San Luis Coastal Unified School District, San Luis Obispo County
  • Luther Burbank Middle School, Burbank Unified School District, Los Angeles County
  • Mary R. Stauffer Middle School, Downey Unified School District, Los Angeles County
  • Mountain View Middle School, Moreno Valley Unified School District, Riverside County
  • Paramount Park Middle School, Paramount Unified School District, Los Angeles County
  • San Marcos Middle School, San Marcos Unified School District, San Diego County
  • Sequoia Middle School, Fontana Unified School District, San Bernardino County
  • Tincher Preparatory School, Long Beach Unified School District, Los Angeles County
  • Turlock Junior High School, Turlock School District, Stanislaus County
  • Union Middle School, Union Elementary School District, Santa Clara County
  • Vina Danks Middle School, Ontario Montclair School District, San Bernardino County
  • Woodrow Wilson Jr. High School, El Centro Elementary School District, Santa Clara County

The California Schools to Watch program is sponsored by the California Department of Education, California League of Schools External link opens in new window or tab., and the California Middle Grades Alliance, in association with the National Forum External link opens in new window or tab.. To earn this designation, schools must complete an extensive application and host a site visit by middle grades experts. In order to retain the designation, each school is re-evaluated every three years.

The 2021 schools were recognized by State Superintendent Thurmond today during the California Schools to Watch Celebration (online this year due to COVID-19) that is part of the CLS Embracing Equity & Excellence Conference. For more information about the program, please visit the California Schools to Watch External link opens in new window or tab. web page.

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

Last Reviewed: Thursday, April 22, 2021
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