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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.
Vina Danks MIddle School

Redesignated: 2021, 2024

Designated 2018

Ontario-Montclair School District

San Bernardino County

Dinae Geer, Principal

1023 North Vine Street, Ontario, CA 91760

(909) 983-2691

School Characteristics

Community: Urban; Enrollment: 650; Grade Levels: 7-8; School Schedule: Seven period rotating schedule. English/social studies and math/science core.

School Demographics

Free/reduced lunch: 82%; English learners: 16%

Replicable Practices

  • The school’s instructional program is guided by four pillars of learning, accelerated curriculum, foreign language, technology, and character development. Internal PBIS coach facilitates restorative circles and leads the PBIS team and staff through developing and providing support and correction of expected behaviors in the classroom setting.

  • Staff has benefited from three years of professional development on learning targets (development and use) and engagement (cooperative groups and accountable responses), as well as implementation of NGSS Science standards and math standards.

  • Common prep and PLC time allowing time for teachers to work with colleagues to analyze data and implement common research-based strategies such as AVID, WICOR, Cornell notes, Kagan strategies, and the Common Core literacy standards schoolwide.

  • The master schedule allows for flexibility with ELA/SS and math/science cores to select days in which to utilize more time on a skill, concept or activity.

  • Intervention classes in math and English are offered between and outside the bell schedule, including a Homework Center in the library after school.

  • In addition to an in-house instructional coach, Vina Danks employs a campus mentor to have daily and weekly

  • “check-ins” with students creating a personalized program for students needing additional support.

  • Students have opportunities to participate in an award-winning music program as well as electives such as yearbook/journalism, computers, art, home economics, French, Spanish, and current events. Ballet Folklorico and mariachi are part of the extended school day. In addition, the “Think Together” after-school enrichment program offers sports, cheer, dance and homework assistance.

  • Vina Danks has established a true partnership with the nearby high school and articulation is scheduled and on-going. Partnerships with University of La Verne and California State San Bernardino as well as several community colleges provides student access to their resources and campuses.

  • Through the on-campus instructional coach, workshops are offered for students both after school and on Saturdays to meet their needs for additional assistance to meet standards.

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