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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.
Woodrow Wilson Jr. High School

Redesignated: 2018, 2021, 2024

Designated 2015

El Centro Elementary School District

Imperial County

Maria Ambriz, Principal

600 South Wilson Street, El Centro, CA 92243

(707) 453-6280

School Characteristics

Community: Urban fringe. Enrollment: 672. Grade Levels: 7-8. Schedule: Six-period day with daily 25-minute advisory class.

School Demographics

Free/Reduced Lunch: 82%; English Learners: 31%.

Replicable Practices

  • Common formative assessments are given in core classes to inform instruction and identify students for intervention.

  • Study hall period during the school day provides for intervention, re-teaching, and enrichment on a timely basis. The needs of ELLs, special education students, and students assigned to Homework Tank are addressed during this period.

  • The master schedule allows for core teachers to share a common prep period with grade level colleagues facilitating discussion of curriculum and lesson planning.

  • Teachers benefit from district staff development days, department, team, and grade-level collaborative time, as well as full release days for unit planning. Twice yearly, the school provides collegial coaching where teachers observe their colleagues.

  • Jepson utilizes the CDE Early Warning and Intervention System to identify potential dropouts.

  • Students are supported by one counselor per grade level, a youth resource officer from the local police department, and counselors from The Children’s Nurturing Project which provides in-depth counseling.

  • Student leaders provide a program entitled PRIDE SESSIONS, which involves peers teaching other students organization and study skills.

  • Staff trained in Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) meet during planning days to focus on embedding ELD standards, explicit vocabulary instruction, and integrating reading strategies into instruction.

  • In addition to using ELAC meetings to reach out to Hispanic families, Jepson partners with the local Catholic Church to send a representative to the Spanish mass to present information and answer questions.

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