Principal's Message

Welcome to La Paz Intermediate School. La Paz is an outstanding middle school and is a National School To Watch (2011 to Present). La Paz has also been recognized as a California Distinguished School (2007, 2003, 1992,1990) and a National Blue Ribbon School (2005, 1993). At La Paz, we pride ourselves in providing all of our students with a rigorous standards-based curriculum within a caring and supportive environment.

In accordance with the tenets of Taking Center Stage – Act II*, the La Paz staff focuses its attention on Academic Excellence, Developmental Responsiveness, and Social Equity. All of our core content teachers work together through the Professional Learning Community model to provide our students with a cohesive, top-notch common core education, complete with school-wide common instructional strategies, curricular units, and formative and summative assessments. Many of our 7th grade students participate in our integrated Honors program and highly successful students are challenged in the 8th grade Honors-specific courses. As it is our mission to challenge and support all students in their learning, as well as meet varying individual needs, we provide additional academic support through specific courses such as Steps for Success, Study Skills, Read 180, and Expanding and Emerging ELD, and through Tutorial, ELT, Extended Learning Time, and our Pyramid of Intervention. The La Paz staff is also committed to the full implementation of the Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and the development of Career Technical Education pathways. To support these curricular areas, our teachers focus their energy on the integration of differentiated instruction, the development of higher level thinking and reasoning skills, and the incorporation of academic vocabulary and academic conversations, as well as the use of Thinking Maps, and AVID and Kagan structures in all lessons.

Middle school is both a challenging and exciting time for both students and parents alike. The La Paz staff embraces this challenge and capitalizes on the enthusiasm, creativity and growing intellectual capacity of this unique age. To ensure students’ sense of belonging and academic success, teachers regularly communicate with each other and families. Through their lessons, teachers help students make connections to our world and provide them with the skills and knowledge they will need for four successful years of high school. For example, students regularly use chromebooks in all of our English, math, history and science classes. Students in PE and Health learn to apply their knowledge for lifelong fitness and health. Students have access to an excellent yearlong and trimester elective program, our award-winning music program (Jazz Band, Band, and Orchestra), our exceptional drama program, ASB, Yearbook, STEM/Robotics, Digital Media Arts, Choir and Spanish. Student experiences are also extended beyond the classroom through a variety of hands on experiences and field trips: the International Faire, Career Day, science labs, visits to local businesses, universities and community colleges, San Diego Zoo, and the week-long trip to Washington D.C. and New York, to name a few.

Our students, parents and staff show their Leopard pride through school and community involvement. La Paz is a school based on partnership and teamwork. Intramural sports at lunchtime are very popular and the staff/student competitions are not to be missed. Teachers, counselors, staff and parents advise organizations, clubs and events such as CJSF (California Junior Scholastic Federation),Math Counts, Esperanza Birthday Club, School Service, and WEB (a 7th grade transition program where 8th grade leaders support incoming 7th graders). Student greeters share what they are learning in the classroom with visiting adults. ASB and WEB organize lunchtime activities, spearhead community service projects, and promote our 3 R’s (Respect, Responsibility and Readiness). The Positive Behavior Support Committee and custodial staff ensure that our students have a safe and clean learning environment. Our STPO (Student/Teacher/Parent Organization) is highly involved: helping with Leopard Run, raising funds for the school, recognizing staff, and volunteering for a multitude of events. The School Site Council and the English Language Advisory Committee work with the school to promote the success of all students and the involvement of all members of our parent community. La Paz is also a proud participant of the National Schools To Watch network, welcoming visitors from the local area and California at large, as well as others from other states and countries.

As you can see, we are extremely proud of our school and I hope you have enjoyed learning about our community and our dedication to our students. If I can be of further help to you, please contact me at (949) 830-1720 or via email: jean.walker@svusd.org.

With Leopard Pride

Jean Walker, Principal

principal

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