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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.
Colton Middle School

Redesignated: 2019

Designated 2014

Colton Joint Unified School District

San Bernardino County

Erica MacDonald, Principal

670 West Laurel St., Colton, CA 92324


School Characteristics

Community: Suburb of a Large City. Enrollment: 984. Grade levels: 7-8. School schedule: Seven periods, 52 minutes. Tuesdays are minimum days with 38-minute classes.

School Demographics

Free/reduced lunch: 91%. English learners: 18%.

Replicable Practices

  • Response to Intervention (RtI) Pyramid: Teachers and counselors use the RtI Pyramid to address the needs of struggling students, ensuring timely and targeted interventions to support their academic progress.

  • Explicit Direct Instruction with TAPPLE Method: School-wide implementation of Explicit Direct Instruction enhances the standards-based instructional program. The TAPPLE method, emphasizes teaching first, questioning, pausing, picking non-volunteers, listening, and providing effective feedback, promoting effective learning.

  • Technology Integration for Engaging Lessons:Teachers leverage various technologies, including LCD projectors, interactive boards, and specific devices, to energize lessons and create dynamic learning environments.

  • Regular Common Assessments and Differentiated Instruction:  Teachers conduct frequent common assessments, allowing for timely re-teaching and reassessment. Differentiated instruction, guided by the Icons of Depth and Complexity, adds rigor to the curriculum.

  • Parent Engagement and Support Strategies: Strategies such as before-school tutoring, tailored English learner and RSP student tutoring, and a "first quarter parent check-off sheet" during Open House promote strong parent-school communication and involvement, fostering a supportive learning environment.

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