State spotlights three OC campuses on its list of model middle schools


State Superintendent Tom Torlakson has recognized three Orange County campuses, among a list of just 33 in California, as high-performing middle schools.

Yorba Linda Middle School in the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, Pioneer Middle School in the Tustin Unified School District and Thurston Middle School in the Laguna Beach Unified School District have been designated as model middle schools in the state’s “Schools to Watch – Taking Center Stage” program.

Yorba Linda Middle School is the newest member of the club, receiving the award for the first time. Pioneer and Thurston middle schools were already on the list but have been re-designated for  2015-16.

STW – TCS model middle schools demonstrate academic excellence, responsiveness to the needs of young adolescents and social equity. Aspiring schools must complete an extensive application that is vetted by middle school experts, and the designation can be renewed every three years.

“These 33 schools excel at keeping students engaged and motivated during this critical juncture in a student’s school career,” Torlakson said. “I congratulate them for their efforts to exceed challenging goals, narrow the achievement gap and set their students on a solid path toward high school and future success.”