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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.
Vanguard Preparatory School

Redesignated: 2016, 2019, 2024

Designated 2013

Apple Valley Unified School District

San Bernardino County

Jeannette Martinez, Principal

12951 Mesquite Road, Apple Valley, CA 992308

(760) 961-1066

School Characteristics

Community: Suburb, Mid-Size Territory Enrollment: 1,200; Grade Levels: K-8; School Schedule: Six periods with advisory period, early-release day Wednesday.

School Demographics

60% White; 35% Hispanic; 4% African American; 1% Asian; 1% Two or More Races; 0% Filipino; 0% American Indian/Alaska Native; 0% Pacific Islander; 58% Free/Reduced Lunch; 6% English Learners

Replicable Practices

  • As a science, technology and engineering magnet, Vanguard provides stem content including: robotics, engineering, digital publishing and broadcast journalism, as well as 1:1 student to device ratio supporting 21st century learning.

  • Academic support is offered by teacher tutoring, after school intervention classes, first period intervention class, and Zeros Aren’t Permitted (ZAP) program which provides additional time and support for students to complete assignments.

  • Enrichment is offered through classroom differentiated instruction and after school GATE classes as well as Honors English Language Arts curriculum.

  • Cooperative Learning and solving real world problems takes place through literature circles, peer review, peer monitoring, jigsaw strategies, group work, write-arounds, peer evaluations, and team-based projects.

  • As a school of choice, parents are required to sign a contract each year to serve 20 hours of parent service to the school while each student also serves 20 hours of community service.

  • Students in the Digital Publishing elective work with professional publishers and artists to create student publications and yearbook while managing the budget to cover their costs—they are also responsible for marketing and selling their product—and is run by an executive board made up entirely of students.

  • Teacher PLCs are supported by a shared calendar and online agenda, weekly meeting time, release time for classroom visitation and peer coaching, and partnering with other districts to collaborate on best practices.

  • Challenged by students transferring from many feeder schools, Vanguard has developed a summer middle school orientation program for students entering middle school.

  • Strong articulation and alignment with the high school STEM program has allowed Vanguard students to enjoy preferential enrollment in specialized academies at the high school level.

  • Vanguard students benefit from strong business/community partnerships that bring professionals into the classrooms modeling the work of scientists, authors, engineers and many other professions.

  • Integration of Google Classroom and other digital tools has helped facilitate the transition to project-based learning and document based questioning by expanding opportunities for students to work collaboratively.

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