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CALIFORNIA SCHOOLS TO WATCH

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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.
Paramount Park Middle School

Redesignated: 2021

Designated 2018

Paramount Unified School District

Los Angeles County

Peter Loaiza, Principal

14608 Paramount Blvd., Paramount, CA 90723

562-602-8052

School Characteristics

Community: Urban fringe; Enrollment: 802; Grade Levels: 6-8; School Schedule: Minutes are organized into 53-minute periods, four times per week, and there are six periods throughout the day. One day per week periods are 39 minutes allowing for early student release for staff collaboration.

School Demographics

Free/reduced lunch: 88%; English learners: 27%

Replicable Practices

  • Struggling students benefit from the services of a dedicated counselor for at-risk students, an intervention teacher in the Panther Academy and an enhanced PBIS program. In addition, a partnership with UCLA’s “Get Your A’s UP” program provides a literacy-based intervention for African American Students.

  • Teachers are supported by structured teacher planning times with academic coaches to pre-plan upcoming units/lessons, determine department grading plans, analyze data, access the needs of students, and participate in learning walks/debriefs.

  • Teachers set clear expectations by displaying daily agendas, lesson objectives, and focus questions. Students are exposed to exemplars and rubrics and are encouraged to revise their work. In addition, all teachers incorporate informational literacy and writing across the curriculum.

  • In- class intervention and support is given to students through various programs such as Panther Academy, ELD support, check and connect, RSP push-in, and co-teaching with coaches, RSP teachers and SDC teachers.

  • Collaboration is a district-wide initiative and a high priority at Paramount Park. Teachers have multiple opportunities to collaborate with their peers including quarterly STPT’s, on-site district staff development days, content team collaboration days and common prep periods. In addition to coach-modeled lessons and organized learning walks, the school utilizes a “pineapple chart” to allow teachers to open their classroom when they are teaching a strategy or lesson that could benefit their peers.

  • Schoolwide, staff has been trained in creating positive interactions and creating positive relationships with students along with de-escalation strategies. Utilization of strategies such as “meet and greet at the door” and “one liners” to encourage positive choices are used throughout the school. Staff training in growth mindset has also contributed to positive student responses.

  • Parents at Paramount Park are actively involved in school activities such as: college field trips, PTA, School Site Council, Panther of the Month breakfasts, and organizing school activities for students.

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