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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.
Frank J. Zamboni Middle School

Redesignated: 2016, 2019, 2022

Designated 2013

Paramount Unified School District

Los Angeles County

Lisa Kirk, Principal

15733 Orange Avenue, Paramount, CA 90723


School Characteristics

Community: Small City Enrollment: 928; Grade Levels: 6-8; School Schedule: Six periods, 53 min.

School Demographics

91% Hispanic; 7% African American; 1% White; 0% Asian; 0% Filipino; 0% Two or More Races; 0% American Indian/Alaska Native; 0% Pacific Islander; 93% Free/Reduced Lunch; 27% English Learners

Replicable Practices

  • Following training on the Ken O’Connor, How to Grade for Learning model content teams input common assignments and share these with families through the Parent Vue component of the program. Teachers collaborate to create common assignments and assessments, and students are given multiple opportunities to learn each standard by retaking or redoing assignments and tests.

  • Zamboni’s progressive discipline plan, based on the Safe and Civil Schools Model, includes teacher training by counselors and administration, responsive counseling, parent-teacher-administration re-entrance conference, conflict mediation sessions, and behavior contracts with positive reinforcement to monitor daily behavior.

  • Guiding and essential questions are posted daily that explicitly state the purpose of the learning at the start of each lesson.

  • All content areas are utilizing group assignments which allow students an opportunity to use academic vocabulary and language skills to discuss and collaborate with peers.

  • Assessments include district assessments, school developed assessments, rubric analysis and student-driven error analysis.

  • Zamboni supports students in college to career readiness through its college to career center and the addition of a College to Career Counselor to focus on providing students with resources for exploring their futures.

  • There is a schoolwide focus on supporting EL students by incorporating active participation and speaking activities into each lesson.

  • Students are offered academic support through support classes in English and math, after school daily homework assistance in the STAR program, and two academic coaches that co-teach and provide individual student tutoring.

  • Social emotional support is available to students through the school guidance counselors, highly trained teachers, community supported services such as The Guidance Center, and referrals to Pathways and Journeys for grief counseling and bereavement support.

  • Teachers frequently share ideas and assignments across content areas giving students the opportunity to engage in interdisciplinary assignments.

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