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CALIFORNIA SCHOOLS TO WATCH

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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 Middle School

Redesignated: 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019

Designated 2007

Castro Valley Unified School District

Alameda County

April Wong, Principal

19600 Cull Canyon Road, Castro Valley, CA 94552

510-538-8833

School Characteristics

Community: Suburban; Enrollment: 1,411; Grade Levels: 6-8; School Schedule: Six periods with daily zero period

School Demographics

28% White; 24% Asian; 23% Hispanic/Latino; 10% Two or more races; 9% African American; 5% Filipino; 0% Pacific Islander; 0% American Indian/Alaska Native; 25% Free/Reduced Lunch; 5% English Learners

Replicable Practices

  • Many staff have participated in Guided Language Acquisition and Design (GLAD) trainings to help build students’ literacy in a culturally responsive and supportive manner.

  • School science staff benefit from the Science Partnership for Instructional Innovation grant through California State University, East Bay, as well as institutes on NGSS.

  • At-risk students can access Math Booster Classes to support the pre-teaching and re-teaching they need to benefit from their “regular” math classes.

  • Counselors “loop” with students to provide continuity and build relationships. They monitor students’ academic and social progress and serve as liaisons between home and school.

  • Counselor directed programs such as WEB, Random Acts of Kindness Club, Beyond Differences group, and PBIS, contribute to a positive school environment.

  • Electives have been redesigned to align with CTE pathways developed at the feeder high school by focusing on: heath, art, computers, and cultures. In addition, students benefit from Middle School Career Pathway Camp during the summer.

  • A lunchtime “Zeros Aren’t Permitted” program assists students in completing all assignments.

  • Parents have benefited from the creation of groups designed to address the specific needs of underserved student populations such as: African American Alliance Network, Padres Unidos, and English Learner Advisory Committee.

  • The school supports a variety of avenues for staff input. In addition to the school Leadership Team, teachers work on the AVID team, PBIS team, technology team, and participate in weekly PLC meetings.

  • Support is provided to staff by two Teachers on Special Assignment who help teachers in literacy, math and science, and coordinate teacher peer observations.

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