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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.
Leona Jackson Middle School

Redesignated: 2017, 2020, 2023

Designated 2014

Paramount Unified School District

Los Angeles County

Kelly Anderson, Principal

7720 Jackson St., Paramount, CA 90723


School Characteristics

Community: Suburban; Enrollment: 835; Grade Levels:4-8; School Schedule: Six Period Day. Daily activity period after school.

School Demographics

75% Hispanic; 20% African American; 1% Filipino, 1% Asian; 1% White; 2% Other. 96% Free/Reduced Lunch. 27% English Learners.

Replicable Practices

  • Committed to continuous learning, teachers collaborate during common prep periods, collaboration days Structured Planning Time (STPT) in order to analyze data, discuss best practices and plan effective lessons. In addition, teachers submit in-depth lesson plans focusing on higher level questioning strategies that are reviewed with administration and coaches and followed up with classroom observation/feedback.

  • School culture is supported by a highly evolved schoolwide Safe and Civil Schools model incorporating student recognition. A TOSA is in place to support at-risk students who have demonstrated a need due to their behavior, lack of motivation, attendance, organizational skills, and/or inability to access the curriculum.

  • In addition to the ability to serve on a variety of school support/advisory groups, Jackson parents can access “Weekly Parent Connection” workshops on Fridays that present information on a wide variety of pertinent topics and strategies parents can use to best support their students at school and at home.

  • To encourage students to think critically and engage, the school focuses on student engagement and literacy skills across all content areas by incorporating such strategies as: Thinking Maps, Higher-Level Questioning, Text Dependent Questions, Close Reads, and Talk Moves all supported by frequent coach and administrator observations/feedback.

  • Teams are able to collaborate during common prep times, and subject area teams meet weekly to discuss promising practices and analyze data from common assessments.

  • All 6-8 students participate in the UCLA “Get Your A’s Up: Literacy Academy” that provides African-American students with strategies and opportunities to increase academic achievement while embracing cultural differences.

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