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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.
Palm Middle School

Redesignated: 2022

Designated 2019

Moreno Valley Unified School District

Riverside County

Erica Melendrez, Principal

11900 Slawson Avenue, Moreno Valley, CA 92557

(951) 571-4260

School Characteristics

Community: urban. Enrollment: 1,256. Grade levels: 6,7,8. School schedule: six-period rotating schedule with flex Wednesdays to allow for collaboration time for staff alternately with student intervention time.

School Demographics

Free/reduced lunch: 76%. English learners: 34%

Replicable Practices

  • Teachers meet in professional learning communities every other Wednesday to collaborate on common formative assessments, review data, and share promising practices.

  • Sixth grade students are scheduled into two-teacher interdisciplinary teams and seventh and eighth grade students are placed on four-teacher interdisciplinary teams enhancing opportunities for interdisciplinary instruction and student academic and social support.

  • Students benefit from extensive research-based academic enrichment programs such as: Kahn Academy, NoRedInk, ReadTheory, READ 180, Achieve 3000, AVID, targeted intervention classes and Saturday enrichment classes.

  • Palm Middle School is focused on STEAM-based opportunities such as Summer STEAM Academy, STEAM learning labs, numerous field trips, and an onsite STEAM student showcase and expo.

  • The district supports a site professional development specialist who provides curriculum and technology lessons for staff and students, assists with lesson planning and data analysis, facilitates the development of common assessments as well as arranging learning walks for math and English teachers.

  • The use of technology in instruction permeates the school. Staff are supported by an in-house STEAM professional development specialist who collaborates and shares strategies with staff during monthly department PLCs. The in-house STEAM Academy includes robotics, coding, Android mobile phone application development, website development, digital arts and video production.

  • Palm offers myriad opportunities for parent communication and involvement including unique programs such as parent ambassadors, parent resource center, counseling workshops and family nights for AVID, STEAM, literacy, math and science.

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