top of page


California Schools to Watch is a statewide program implemented by the California League
of Educators, California Department of Education, California Middle Grades Alliance, National Forum, and the California Schools to Watch model schools.
Canyon Hills Junior High School

Designated 2020

Chino Valley Unified School District

San Bernardino County

Todd Finkbiner, Principal

2500 Madrugada, Chino Hills, CA 90042

(909) 464-9938

School Characteristics

Community: suburban. Enrollment: 1,114. Grade Levels: 7-8. School Schedule: The school has a rotating six-period day. For electives, students can either select one of two exploratory wheels or one of three year-long music electives.

School Demographics

Free/reduced lunch: 27%. Students with disabilities: 9%. English learners: 10%.

Replicable Practices

  • Late-start Mondays allow teachers to collaborate in PLCs by departments to identify essential standards, analyze student mastery of standards, and plan interventions and enrichments.

  • The school takes a systematic approach to relationship building with students, starting with “I wish my teacher knew” prompts to identify students in need of connection to a caring adult.

  • Cooperative learning opportunities include project-based learning, simulations, group assignments, and the provision of peer feedback.

  • The school offers more than 30 co-curricular and extra-curricular clubs that meet twice per week and center on academics, civil service, community outreach, sports, and gaming.

  • The second day of school is Canyon Culture Day, and students engage in a scavenger hunt, visiting clubs such as robotics, woodshop, digital design, and orchestra in search of the essentials they need to learn.

  • Pacing, essential standards, and essential standard assessments are aligned in the middle-level district-wide so if students move to another junior high school, they will be prepared.

bottom of page