Paramount, CA – Two Paramount Unified middle schools have been re-designated as 2017 Schools to Watch by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. Alondra and Leona Jackson middle schools were recognized for their excellence in responding to scholastic challenges and commitment to improving their trajectory for success.

Alondra and Jackson will join other designees for a Schools to Watch Roundtable to discuss best practices at the California League of Schools annual conference in Sacramento in February. They will also attend the national Schools to Watch conference in Washington D.C. in July.

Alondra and Jackson will join Frank G. Zamboni Middle School, which received re-designation status in 2016.

“It is such a great honor to be recognized as a model school,” Alondra Principal Lynn Butler said. “Alondra remains committed to focusing on the success and growth of each child by cultivating a learning community rooted in a challenging academic curriculum and supported by a positive, respectful and nurturing environment.”

The California Schools to Watch program selects middle schools as models, based on evaluations on their academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity and organizational processes.

From their first moments on campus, Alondra students are quickly embraced by a culture of high expectations and are held accountable for high academic standards. They learn how to set goals, monitor their progress and take ownership of their learning.

A highly structured day to day schedule, augmented by blocked classes which allow for more intensive study, gives Alondra teachers room to build learning communities, give additional support and create respectful relationships.

Student leadership is strongly encouraged through implementation of national programs such as Safe and Civil Schools, and campus extracurricular activities like the Alondra Dolphin Leadership teams.

Alondra and Jackson were first designated as Schools to Watch in 2014, while Zamboni received its first designation in 2013.

As Schools to Watch model schools, Alondra, Jackson and Zamboni have all assisted many schools from outside the District, who come to get a glimpse of the campus programs and culture.

“Through constant collaboration and self-evaluation, our middle schools strive to provide the best possible environment for all students to achieve academic success,” PUSD Superintendent Dr. Ruth Pérez said. “We are not just setting examples for our students and our community, we are introducing programs and reforms that pave the way for high-performing schools throughout California.