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California Department of Education
News Release
California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #22-11
February 16, 2022
Contact: Communications
E-mail: communications@cde.ca.gov
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Congratulates High-Performing Middle Schools Selected as 2022 “Schools to Watch”

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today announced that 16 high-performing California middle schools have been recognized by the California Schools to Watch program. Another 31 schools reapplied to the program, demonstrated their sustained progress, and have been re-designated as 2022 “California Schools to Watch.”

“Congratulations to these innovative and exceptional schools for creating systems that support the needs of all students—all while navigating extraordinarily challenging conditions during the pandemic," 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, Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in San Bernardino offers multiple supports for students to master curriculum, including daily afterschool tutoring, reteaching, scaffolding, intersessions, individual monitoring plans, and support classes in English and math. Weaver Middle School in Merced has myriad opportunities for parent involvement, including tours in English and Spanish with their students to local universities.

The 2022 “California Schools to Watch” schools are:

Newly Designated 2022 California Schools to Watch
  • Actis Junior High School, Panama-Buena Vista Union, Kern County
  • Bernardo Yorba Middle School, Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified, Orange County
  • Christensen Middle School, Livermore School District, Alameda County
  • Del Mar Middle School, Reed Union School District, Marin County
  • Fulton & Alsbury Academy of Arts and Engineering, Lancaster School District, Los Angeles County
  • Kairos Public Schools Vacaville Academy, Vacaville Unified School District, Solano County
  • Lagunita School, Lagunita School District, Monterey County
  • Mitchell Senior Elementary School, Atwater Elementary School District, Merced County
  • Newton Middle School, Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, Los Angeles County
  • Orange Grove Middle School, Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, Los Angeles County
  • Peggy Heller Elementary School, Atwater Elementary School District, Merced County
  • Russell Parks Junior High School, Fullerton Elementary, Orange County
  • Sequoia Middle School, Fresno Unified School District, Fresno County
  • Tuffree Middle School, Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, Orange County
  • University Heights Middle School, Riverside Unified School District, Riverside County
  • Valley Middle School, Carlsbad Unified School District, San Diego County
Re-designated 2022 California Schools to Watch
  • Badger Springs Middle School, Moreno Valley Unified School District, Riverside County
  • Culver City Middle School, Culver City Unified School District, Los Angeles County
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, San Bernardino City Unified School District, San Bernardino County
  • Edna Hill Middle School, Brentwood Union School District, Contra Costa County
  • Fairmont School, Sanger Unified School District, Fresno County
  • Firebaugh Middle School, Firebaugh Las-Deltas Unified School District, Fresno County
  • Frank J. Zamboni Middle School, Paramount Unified School District, Los Angeles County
  • Glick Middle School, Empire Union Elementary School District, Stanislaus County
  • High Desert School, Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District, Los Angeles County
  • John Glenn Middle School, Desert Sands Unified School District, Riverside County
  • Lake Center Middle School, Little Lake City School District, Los Angeles County
  • Las Palmas Middle School, Covina-Valley Unified School District, Los Angeles County
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes International and Humanities Magnet Middle School, Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles County
  • Palm Middle School, Moreno Valley Unified School District, Riverside County
  • Quail Lake Environmental Charter, Sanger Unified School District, Fresno County
  • Reyburn Intermediate School, Clovis Unified School District, Fresno County
  • Richard H. Dana Middle School, Wiseburn Elementary School District, Los Angeles County
  • Sanger Academy Charter, Sanger Unified School District, Fresno County
  • Santiago Charter Middle School, Orange Unified School District, Orange County
  • Serrano Middle School (Highland), San Bernardino City Unified School District, San Bernardino County
  • Sierra Vista Middle School, Covina-Valley Unified School District, Los Angeles County
  • Southridge Tech Middle School, Fontana Unified School District, San Bernardino County
  • Thurston Middle School, Laguna Beach Unified School District, Orange County
  • Toby Johnson Middle School, Elk Grove Unified School District, Sacramento County
  • Traweek Middle School, Covina-Valley Unified School District, Los Angeles County
  • Vista Heights Middle School, Moreno Valley Unified School District, Riverside County
  • Wayne Ruble Middle School, Fontana Unified School District, San Bernardino County
  • Weaver Middle School, Weaver Unified School District, Merced County
  • Wendy Lopour Doty Middle School, Downey Unified School District, Los Angeles County
  • Willis Jepson Middle School, Vacaville Unified School District, Solano County
  • Yorba Linda Middle School, Placentia Yorba Linda Unified School District, Orange County

The California Schools to Watch program is sponsored by the California Department of Education, the California League of Schools External link opens in new window or tab., and the California Middle Grades Alliance, in association with the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform 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 2022 schools will be recognized by State Superintendent Thurmond during the School to Watch Leadership Celebration Day on Thursday, March 3. For more information about the program, please visit the California Schools to Watch web page External link opens in new window or tab..

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

Last Reviewed: Wednesday, February 16, 2022
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