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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.
Dartmouth Middle School

Redesignated: 2012, 2015, 2018, 2023

Designated 2009

Union Elementary School District

Santa Clara County

Scott Boggs, Principal

5575 Dartmouth Drive, San Jose, CA 95118

(408) 264-1122

School Characteristics

Community: Large city. Enrollment: 808. Grade Levels: 6-8. Schedule: Six periods; optional zero period; late-start Wednesdays for common planning time.

School Demographics

Free/Reduced Lunch: 16%; English Learners: 8%.

Replicable Practices

  • Integrated Writing Focus and 6-Traits Writing Training: Instruction emphasizes writing across all subjects, incorporating academic vocabulary, literacy, and interdisciplinary teaching. All staff members undergo training in 6-Traits Writing to enhance writing skills throughout the curriculum.

  • Pacing Guides and Common Assessments: All departments use pacing guides and develop common assessments, fostering a cohesive approach to instruction. Assessment is a central element, driving collaboration among departments and ensuring alignment with instructional goals.

  • Academic Vocabulary Strategies and Word of the Week: Researched strategies for teaching academic vocabulary are implemented across all classes, with the entire school participating in the Word of the Week program to enhance language skills and promote a shared vocabulary.

  • Interdisciplinary Teams and Student Support:  Students are placed in interdisciplinary teams, fostering strong teacher-student relationships. Support systems include teacher-supervised homework centers, computer labs, and mentoring programs, such as adult mentors and student leaders through the WEB student orientation program.

  • Technology Integration and Community Engagement:The school integrates technology into instruction through computer labs, portable carts of devices, and Cloud-based collaboration. Community engagement is emphasized through community service events, parent involvement in various clubs and workshops, and collaborative relationships with professionals, universities, and the wider community.

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