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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.
Union Middle School

Redesignated: 2016, 2019, 2024

Designated 2013

Union Elementary School District

Santa Clara County

Todd Feinberg, Principal

2130 Los Gatos Almaden Rd, San Jose, CA 95124

(408) 371-0366

School Characteristics

Community: Suburb, Large City Enrollment: 1005; Grade Levels: 6-8; School Schedule: Seven periods with a flexible enrichment period

School Demographics

69% White; 15% Hispanic; 11% Asian; 2% African American; 1% Filipino; 1% Two or More Races; 0% American Indian/Alaska Native; 0% Pacific Islander; 10% Free/Reduced Lunch; 5% English Learners

Replicable Practices

  • Teachers throughout the school employ common pacing guides, district benchmarks, white board protocol and measurable period by period goals.

  • The school has successfully implemented 1:1 Chromebooks for every sixth grade student provided by the district, and a Chromebook cart for student use in every 7th and 8th grade classroom. Extensive staff development has supported this technology integration.

  • Teachers and students benefit from a “late start” one day per week to facilitate collaboration and professional development among teams and departments.

  • Students receive social-emotional support from a full-time counselor and mental health therapist. Students are further supported by the “Bridge Builders” afterschool program offering mentoring by local high school and college students.

  • Parent communication is extensive and varied including: website, school loop grade system, remind.com, Parent Education Nights, School Site Council, and Home and School Club.

  • In addition to differentiated instruction and a highly evolved collaborative teaching program for struggling or special education students, the school offers intervention classes for both English and mathematics, math clinic, homework center, and English/language arts clinic.

  • Interactive instructional programs are utilized to motivate students and meet the needs of all learners including Read 180, Kahn Academy, Google Classroom, MemBean, and Accelerated Reader.

  • Parents are actively involved in the school through such programs as “Quality Quad Time,” Art Vistas instruction, and parent led “mPower” presentations that engage students in Project Cornerstone’s 41 Developmental Assets activities.

  • To best inform teachers about the needs of students, Union utilizes an “IEP/Interventions on a Page” database where teachers can quickly see students’ accommodations, goals, strengths, key data points, and parent concerns. 

  • To enhance the growing use of technology in instruction the district has supported the “Union University” classes for teachers emphasizing collaboration and creativity in the utilization of technology in the classroom. Teachers are also hired as Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 “Tech Level Certification teachers” to provide in-service and support to other teachers.


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