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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.
Lake Center Middle School

Redesignated: 2019, 2022

Designated 2016

Little Lake City School District

Los Angeles County

Jack Sokoloff, Principal

10503 S. Pioneer Boulevard, Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670


School Characteristics

Community: Suburban; Enrollment: 900; Grades: 6-7-8; School Schedule: Six-period day. 6th grade has core blocks which include one period intervention/enrichment class. Teaming with common preparation period. Early release on Tuesday and Thursday for team and content-area collaboration.

School Demographics

0.22% American Indian/Native American; 1.5% Black/African American; 0.5% Filipino/Filipino American; 91% Hispanic/Latino; 0.3% Pacific Islander; 5.6% White; 0.2% Other; 76% Free/Reduced Lunch; 21.3% English Learners

Replicable Practices

  • Schedule supports interdisciplinary teams with common prep time and scheduled weekly team meeting time.

  • Tiered-period program offers opportunities for enrichment and intervention within the school day.

  • Frequent common benchmarks, coupled with weekly release time for staff development and analysis of data, allows for timely monitoring of student progress.

  • School utilizes a modified referral system that sends students to a counselor first.

  • Core teachers are trained in AVID practices, WICOR strategies, whole-brain teaching, and direct instruction.

  • During the final grading period of the year, teachers create and offer a menu of classes such as history of the Beatles, space exploration, chemistry of candy, world sports, and math board games.

  • Chromebook carts are provided in every classroom, supporting the utilization of technology in instruction.

  • Many staff members have received intensive training at the DuFour PLC Institute and serve as guides to the school-wide process of professional collaboration.

  • In addition to the counselor, students receive assistance from a site interventionist, who closely monitors student progress and offers academic, emotional, and organizational support to students at risk.

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