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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.
Chaparral Middle School

Redesignated: 2020, 2023

Designated 2017

Walnut Valley Unified School District

Los Angeles County

Robby Jung, Principal

1405 South Spruce Tree Drive, Diamond Bar, CA 91752


School Characteristics

Community: Suburban; Enrollment: 1210; Grade Levels: 6-8; School Schedule: Rotating block schedule four days per week with one six-period day per week. Daily “advocacy period.” Students are scheduled into “cores” to provide school within a school. Zero-period leadership class. Weekly late start for teacher collaboration.

School Demographics

0.5% American Indian, 62% Asian, 3.5% African American, 4.3% Fillipino, 19% Hispanic, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 10% White; 4.6% Free/reduced lunch; 12.6% English Learners.

Replicable Practices

  • Chaparral focuses on academics, activities, athletics, and arts for every student, with 90% of students participating in the arts.

  • Students may choose a design-based learning core that utilizes a hands-on story-building approach to enhance student content knowledge and make connections across disciplines.

  • All teachers have been trained in the implementation of Depth of Knowledge protocols and design instruction that targets Level 3 DOK or greater.

  • Math teachers utilize computer-based math diagnostics and data analysis to provide targeted, timely interventions. The department is currently pioneering a coding curriculum to supplement math instruction.

  • Supported by the block schedule, science teachers offer hands-on labs enhanced by grade-level outdoor education programs.

  • Core units of study are designed collaboratively, Common Core-aligned, and sequenced per common assessments. School-wide learning initiatives are published in the student handbook and posted in classrooms.

  • Teachers share common prep periods and a weekly late-start day to provide time for collaboration and coaching by on-campus curricular experts and technology coaches.

  • Focusing on the whole child, Chaparral groups students into smaller core groups to foster positive student-teacher relationships and provide core activities to build a positive culture.

  • The Character Counts program permeates the school through school and team activities, curriculum, and advocacy classes.

  • Parents are active on campus and supported by Facebook; Twitter; e-mails; newsletters; and face-to-face visits and conferences. Parent groups, including the Chinese American Parent Association, Hispanic Parent Group, and Community Club, complete the parent/school partnership.

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