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.
Cerro Villa Middle School

Redesignated: 2021

Designated 2018

Orange Unified School District

Orange County

Jeffrey Jones, Principal

17852 Serrano AVenue, Villa Park, CA 92861

(714) 997-6251

School Characteristics

Community: Suburban. Enrollment 1050; Grade Levels; 7-8. School Schedule: Seven period day with one day late start for collaboration.

School Demographics

Free/Reduced lunch: 38%; English Learners: 13%

Replicable Practices

  • With assistance from a technology coach, peer assistance, and consistent staff development, teachers have been able to integrate technology into instruction.

  • Once a month, Wednesday professional development session is devoted to reviewing and reinforcing strategies utilized schoolwide such as thinking maps, Cornell notes, and marking the text. Additionally, more than 19 staff members have been trained in AVID strategies assisting in the implementation of schoolwide AVID strategies.

  • Cerro Villa has become a model for STEM project-based learning with over two hundred students in Project Lead the Way, fashion design and other STEM-oriented classes.

  • Cerro Villa “Gear N Up” classes offer guidance and academic support to struggling students. In addition, math intervention classes are offered every Tuesday and Thursday after school and five days a week, tutoring is offered for EL students after school.

  • Through the teacher-developed program, Viking Visitations, teachers observe their peers during conference time and offer recommendations and commendations.

  • The schoolwide PBIS plan is supported by students touring campus and discussing the rules for each area, direct instruction in the classroom, and student-written supports in the student planner.

  • Students share their goals with parents during “A Taste of CV,” the fall student-led conference, during which individual academic and personal goals are established. These goals are reviewed, and reflection occurs again in the spring. To maintain a high level of involvement and connections, parents and students are also invited to attend workshops focused on study skills, growth mindset, and campus information.

  • Positive student behavior is recognized in the “Hero” program. Utilizing student behavior management software, students are given points for following guidelines of the school, including homework completion, class rules followed, or random acts of kindness.

  • Professional learning communities utilize data from SBAC, interim assessments, SRI, SMI, common benchmark assessments, and various types of teacher-generated assessments during late start and professional learning days.

bottom of page