State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson Monday announced that 22 new high-performing California middle schools have been recognized in the 2017–18 Schools to Watch-Taking Center Stage program and one is Live Oak Middle School. Those mentioned join 24 previously chosen schools whose sustained progress will allow them to retain their “Schools to Watch” designation.

"Congratulations to these schools for doing excellent work to help students believe in themselves, set high goals, and dream big," Torlakson said. "These schools are outstanding examples of how educational innovations can keep students engaged and learning throughout a transitional time in their lives."

These high-performing model schools demonstrate academic excellence, social equity, and responsiveness to the needs of young adolescents. For example, Fruitvale Junior High School in Bakersfield has created an outstanding forensic medical science program allowing students to experience science hands-on and use their skills of analysis, inquiry, and observation. And San Marcos Middle School in San Marcos has implemented a curriculum challenging students to think critically which resulted in high performance in student writing.

The 22 newly designated “Schools to Watch” schools are:

· Traweek Middle School, Covina-Valley Unified School District, Los Angeles County

· Hollydale School, Paramount Unified School District, Los Angeles County

· Paramount Park Middle School, Paramount Unified School District, Los Angeles County

· Sierra Vista Middle School, Covina-Valley Unified School District, Los Angeles County

· El Segundo Middle School, El Segundo Unified School District, Los Angeles County

· Griffiths Middle School, Downey Unified School District, Los Angeles County

· Mary R. Stauffer Middle School, Downey Unified School District, Los Angeles County

· San Benancio Middle School, Washington Union School District, Salinas County

· Liberty Middle School, Lemoore Union Elementary School District, Kings County

· Mountain View Middle School, Moreno Valley Unified School District, Riverside County

· Indio Middle School, Desert Sands Unified School District, Riverside County

· Golden Valley Middle School, San Bernardino City Unified School District, San Bernardino, County

· Vina Danks Middle School, Ontario-Montclair School District, San Bernardino County

· Sequoia Middle School, Fontana Unified School District, San Bernardino County

· Los Osos Middle School, San Luis Coastal Unified School District, San Luis Obispo County

· De Anza Magnet School, El Centro Elementary School District, Imperial County

· Live Oak Middle School, Live Oak Unified School District, Sutter County

· Hilton D. Bell Intermediate School, Garden Grove Unified School District, Orange County

· Cerro Villa Middle School, Orange Unified School District, Orange County

· Ladera Vista Junior High School of the Arts, Fullerton School District, Orange County

· Fruitvale Junior High School, Fruitvale Elementary School District, Kern County

· San Marcos Middle School, San Marcos Unified School District, San Diego County

The Schools to Watch program is sponsored by the California Department of Education, California League of Middle Schools[http://www.leagueofschools.org/], and the California Middle Grades Alliance. To earn this designation, schools must complete an extensive application that is reviewed by middle grades experts. In order to retain the designation, each school is re-evaluated every three years. All of the schools will be recognized in Sacramento at the California Middle Grades Alliance annual luncheon March 1, 2018. For more information about the program, please visit the High Performin Middle School Models[http://www.clms.net/stw/] webpage.