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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.
John Glenn Middle School

Redesignated: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, 2022

Designated 2004

Desert Sands Unified School District

Riverside County

Todd Biggert, Principal

79655 Miles Avenue, Indio, CA 92201


School Characteristics

Community: Suburban Enrollment: 1,472; Grade Levels: 6-8; School Schedule: Eight period day with flexible schedule for students in need of math or English intervention. Tutorial/enrichment period scheduled during the school day.

School Demographics

55% Hispanic/Latino; 38% White; 3% Asian; 2% African American; 1% Filipino; 1% Two or more races; 0% American Indian/Alaska Native; 0% Pacific Islander; 44% Free/Reduced Lunch; 7% English Learners

Replicable Practices

  • The International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Program enriches the curriculum and instruction for all students including Project-Based Learning and interdisciplinary instruction.

  • The ASAP tutorial program, driven by 3-week progress report grades, provides students timely intervention from a teacher who works to re-teach or support completing work.

  • English Learners benefit from a summer program, Jump Start, to familiarize students and families with the school and to prepare them for classes leading to English language proficiency.

  • AVID methodologies are implemented throughout all courses for all students.

  • The master schedule provides extra time for language arts and math classes, with an additional half-period for each of the two subjects. The schedule also provides collaboration time for math and language arts teachers.

  • Video production classes communicate with students via morning announcements, coverage of student events, and entertaining lessons.

  • During ASAP tutorial, students not in need of intervention have three periods each week when they can choose from enrichment offerings, library time, or extra social time.

  • Renaissance classes plan a rally several times per year during which students are recognized and rewarded for honor roll grades, improvement, and English Language Learner growth.

  • Staff have set goals for students to complete Depth of Knowledge tasks at level three 80% of the time.

  • Yearly students prepare a portfolio of work and personal reflections for presentations to their parents at student-led conferences.

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