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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.
Ladera Vista Junior High School of the Arts

Redesignated: 2021, 2024

Designated 2018

Fullerton School District

Orange County

William Lynch, Principal

1700 E. Wilshire Avenue, Fullerton, CA 92831


School Characteristics

Community: Suburban; Enrollment: 966; Grade Levels: 7-8; School Schedule: Seven period day with flexible scheduling twice weekly to support time for Intervention and Enrichment. Seventh graders have English/history core. Tutorials/enrichment opportunities two days per week following lunch.

School Demographics

Free/Reduced Lunch: 47%; English Learners: 17%

Replicable Practices

  • Distinguished as a “School of the Arts,” Ladera Vista offers 35 arts-based electives including beginning, intermediate, and advanced classes in digital arts, performing arts, and visual arts. As part of the rigorous academic program French, German, and Spanish are available at the beginning and intermediate levels.

  • Each student is issued an iPad which is used as a powerful learning tool in all classes. In addition, all students are trained and given a learning journal in which to demonstrate and preserve their learning through art.

  • “Just in time” intervention support is offered two days per week during the 30 minutes following lunch for targeted and strategic small group intervention. Students in need of additional intervention are also supported through the Homework Center, ELA or math essentials classes, or the school’s academic pathways class, which provides tutoring and wrap-around support on a five-week cycle.

  • Collegial walk-throughs support school goals by providing before and after meetings and peer observations.

  • As an introduction to the warm, welcoming, arts integrated environment at Ladera students participate in “Boot Camp” during the first six weeks of school during an extended advisory class.

  • Students are heterogeneously grouped through the day except for honors classes and the newly implemented pilot program offering Advanced Placement language arts at the middle school.

  • In addition to professional development focusing on the work of Marzano, Hattie, and Julie Adams, staff receives on-going training in arts integration throughout the curriculum to support the school vision. Ladera Middle has been recognized as an “Exemplary School of the Arts” by the League of Innovative Schools.

  • Parents are provided multiple opportunities to be involved through school committees, various media and the parent portal. In addition, family classes are offered throughout the year with high parent support.

  • PBIS team teachers are provided seventh period prep to make personal contact with at risk students at the end of the day supporting the “Check -in/Check-out system.

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