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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.
Landmark Middle School

Redesignated: 2017, 2023

Designated 2014

Moreno Valley Unified School District

Riverside County

Iesha Smith, Principal

15261 Legendary Drive, Moreno Valley, CA 92555-5801


School Characteristics

Community: Suburban, Mid-sized city; Enrollment: 1,206; Grade Levels: 6-8; Student Schedule: Six Period day. Flex Day on Wednesday with early release for staff collaboration. Zero period daily.

School Demographics

62% Hispanic; 21% African American; 3% Asian; 3% Filipino; 1% Two or more; 9% White. 81% Free/Reduced lunch. 14% English Language Learners.

Replicable Practices

  • Struggling students are supported through programs such as “Zeros Aren’t Permitted” lunchtime tutoring program, AVID, MESA, the “Power of Two” SEED grant to increase performance in math and English, and the Junior Black Achievers program including tutoring, cultural studies, and participation in a college fair of historical black colleges.

  • School culture is addressed through the PBIS program supplemented by the “Boys Town” curriculum with an emphasis on proactive strategies and improving relationships between staff and students.

  • The MESA program (Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement) has been expanded to be an elective for students at 6,7, and 8th grade. In addition, through a partnership with University of Riverside, girls are served through the “Girls Excelling in Mathematics” program which provides, mentors, field trips and a summer academy where students work with prominent women in the fields of math and science.

  • Teachers utilize daily FLEX time and early release time once a week to work within professional learning communities to analyze data and discuss successful instructional practices. In addition, staff have multiple opportunities to attend staff development activities both in and out of the district.

  • English Learner students and their families are benefitting from the highly successful “English 3D Program” through an i3 Grant. Through this grant and spreading the program throughout the school the school has tripled their EL re-classification rate.

  • The robust counseling program at Landmark supports students by holding academic conferences each quarter with targeted students, quarterly parent meetings (Coffee With the Counselor), manning the Parent Resource Center and lunch time “Counselor in the Quad” program in which counselors distribute information to students ranging from mental health/well-being to academic strategies to career exploration.

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