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CALIFORNIA SCHOOLS TO WATCH

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California Schools to Watch TM is a statewide program implemented by the California League
of Schools, California Department of Education, California Middle Grades Alliance, National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform, and the California Schools to Watch model schools.
Granite Ridge Intermediate School

Redesignated: 2015, 2018, 2021, 2024

Designated 2012

Clovis Unified School District

Fresno County

Josh Shapiro, Principal

2770 E. International, Fresno, CA 93730

559-327-5000

School Characteristics

Community: City, Large Territory. Enrollment: 1,363. Grade Levels 7-8. Schedule: Teachers “loop” with their students teaching a social studies/Language arts block. Modified Block schedule allows 111-114 minutes of instructional time per subject allowing teachers to see their students for extended time two days per week.

School Demographics

Free/Reduced Lunch: 21%; English Learners: 1%

Replicable Practices

  • Granite Ridge offers a fully inclusive Special Education program through the use of Resource Teachers and Teaching Assistants. This program is supported by the “Best Buddies” program in which regular education and exceptional students meet once a month, often share lunch, and attend sporting and performing arts events together.

  • Physical education students are graded on their individual scores and their ability to pass the physical fitness tests each year, encouraging continual improvement in fitness level.

  • With a focus on the performing arts, Granite Ridge produces a musical production each year as well as offering a boys’ choir, mixed gender concert choir and the only middle school concert orchestra.

  • Math students receive teacher support after school three days per week and during lunch five days per week. Labs can be voluntary or mandated.

  • With a fully implemented common core science curriculum, students engage in student-driven hypotheses, have the ability to engineer their own designs to explore phenomenon, and design their own experiments to show their understandings. Students are supported by after school and/or lunchtime labs.

  • Having two Academic Block support classes with instructional aides, as well as leveled EL Pathway classes, EL students are also exposed to “A Day at College” where professors present on various content areas to students and talk about the importance of higher education.

  • Academic block teachers (Language Arts and Social Studies) “loop” with their students allowing for continuity and discipline integration as well as a deep understanding of student’s learning styles. They also provide lunch and after school intervention and lab opportunities for their students.

  • Character Counts is a focus at Granite Ridge. Students set behavior and academic goals for the classroom that are revisited frequently and shared with families.

  • Differentiated instruction is provided by challenging students who excel through Advanced Classes and offering students who have not yet mastered standards with Academic Seminar and Strategies classes.

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