Fontana Unified Middle Schools Honored as 2019 Schools to Watch
FONTANA, CA – Southridge and Wayne Ruble middle schools are among 16 newly designated schools in the state to join the 2019 California Schools to Watch List, recognized for bridging the technology gap, boosting student achievement and improving campus culture.
The Schools to Watch list, created by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform, identifies schools across the U.S. that share three features: academic excellence, developmentally responsive to early adolescence and social equity.
“We are very proud to add two new Schools to Watch designations to the growing list of milestones achieved by our outstanding schools, and to celebrate the high levels of student achievement these awards represent,” FUSD Superintendent Randal S. Bassett said. “Congratulations to the Southridge and Wayne Ruble teachers and staff who work tirelessly to provide innovative, engaging learning environments.”
Southridge Middle School was recognized for increasing student academic achievement in English Language Arts and mathematics and providing access to innovative digital platforms. As a 2018 Microsoft Showcase School, Southridge enhances personalized learning with a 1:1 student-to-device ratio in all core subjects and augments instruction with Microsoft Office 365 Educational programs.
The programs and curricula focus on modern teaching and learning, inclusivity, and innovative thinking to drive positive impact and student success with 21st century skills.
“This honor reflects the hard work of our faculty and staff in promoting inclusivity and providing equity in education,” Southridge Principal Dr. Roy Rogers said. “Southridge students are flourishing because of these efforts, and we look forward to witnessing all they have to accomplish.”
Wayne Ruble Middle School boosted student grade point averages over the last two years and improved California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) scores over the last four years. Wayne Ruble Middle School Principal Caroline Labonte credits the achievements to the school’s efforts to increase support for both the academic and socio-emotional needs of students.
“I am very proud to work with a team of educators who are truly committed to providing our students with the best education possible and serving all of their needs,” Labonte said. “With this innovative thinking and drive to push programs forward, we will continue to help our students achieve at high levels.”
To support socio-emotional needs, Wayne Ruble has introduced lunchtime mindfulness meditation sessions for students and staff, as well as collaboration with service dogs and trainers through the Wounded Warrior Dogs Project.
As part of the universal Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS), Wayne Ruble and Southridge have introduced a climate and culture coach to assist teachers in monitoring students’ academic, socio-emotional and behavioral growth.
Both schools also credit high school and college-prep programs like Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) for boosting student achievement and the Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) discipline system and Where Everyone Belongs peer mentoring program for improving school climate.
Fontana Unified now boasts three Schools to Watch designations; Sequoia Middle School was honored in 2017-18 for boosting student achievement, creating a positive campus culture and reducing suspensions.