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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.
Luther Burbank Middle School

Redesignated: 2018, 2021, 2024

Designated 2015

Los Angeles Unified School District

Los Angeles County

Christine Moore, Principal

6460 North Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 92555


School Characteristics

Community: Urban. Enrollment 991. Grade Levels; 6-8. School Schedule: Eight period block schedule with four periods daily, Extended time for math and ELA, History, Science, P.E. and elective meet every other day, Teaming, Common Planning time.

School Demographics

Free/Reduced lunch; 86%; English Learners; 10%

Replicable Practices

  • Scheduled on a block schedule students spend 83 minutes every day in Mathematics and English classes. Students are grouped into heterogeneous cohorts served by the same team of teachers.

  • School-wide focus is on building connections for students to their current lives as well as their futures. Emphasis is placed on connecting magnet themes and curriculum with future professions through frequent guest speakers, visits to businesses and visits to college campuses. Magnet programs at Burbank are: Police Academy, and Arts, Tech and the Community.

  • Students participate in the advising and decision making councils in the school and provide feedback to teachers through an extensive survey related to the standards for the teaching profession.

  • Students spend the majority of their time in heterogeneous groups. They are grouped for targeted support and intervention one period per day with instruction from their regular math/ELA teacher to provide pre-teaching or re-teaching learning targets. Students are also supported by after school tutoring for two ten week periods during the course of the school year.

  • Burbank supports a daily thirty-minute advisory period during which students “break bread” and enjoy eating in their classroom. Every five weeks, teachers have a check in conversation with every student during Advisory period.

  • Staff meets every Tuesday from 1:45-3:00 for staff development rotating between whole school professional development, department meetings, and team meetings. Supporting the school’s Growth Mindset for both staff and students all meetings are focused on professional growth.

  • Whole school meetings focus on key instructional practices identified by the school: Cooperative Learning (Kagan), Curriculum Development through Backwards Design, High Level Questioning, Feedback, Academic Vocabulary, Assessment, Learning Targets and Standards Based Grading.

  • Parents and community are supported and involved through Coffee with the Principal, Parent Center (offering classes on an almost daily basis), Advisory Committees, and Student Led Conferences. Parent engagement and support for the school are very strong.

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