What Makes Granger Great

What Makes Granger Great


We know you want the very best for your child.
Reasons why you should choose Granger.

The Honors

  • In 2009 Granger Junior High was one of several schools whose practices were highlighted in the Superintendent’s Achievement Gap Task Force.
  • In 2010 Granger was one of only 3 schools in California names Schools To Watch—Taking Center Stage Model School. We are one of 250 schools in the nation that is a School to Watch.
  • Granger was named a 2010 California Business for Education Excellence Honor Roll School for making significant progress toward narrowing the achievement gap.
  • Granger is the only Title I Middle School in the District that is not in Program Improvement status. We have met all our AYP and API goals, both school wide and in all significant subgroups, this school year.
  • Our API is 817.  The API of students in the Socioeconomically Disadvantaged subgroup is 808.  The API for Students with Disabilities increased by 112 points this year.
  • Granger was one of two middle schools selected to address the Congressional Committee on Achievement in Middle Grades because of our school’s success in narrowing the achievement gap.
  • Granger AVID was selected to present at the National AVID Conferences in Texas in December, 2010 for successfully implementing rigor and AVID strategies school wide.  Granger’s paper will be included in the AVID publication.
  • The National City Police Department believes that our academic success with students explains, in a very big way, the decrease of gang activity within the immediate community (Lincoln Acres).
  • In 2010-2011, Granger was number ONE in attendance with a rate of 98.24%.
  • The passing rate for Granger students who take the High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) at the high school is upwards of 80%.  More than 60% are proficient in Math and ELA.
  • In 2012, our Principal, Mary Rose Peralta, was named Administrator of the Year in the Middle Grades Principal Category by ACSA Region 18 (Association of California School Administrators).

Evidence of Excellence in Technology, Engineering, and/or Math Education (STEM)

  • All our 8th graders take Algebra.  All 9th graders take Biology.  Our proficiency rate in Algebra is more than 50%; so is our proficiency rate in Biology.
  • Granger was awarded a $97,000.00 SB70 Middle Grades Career Technical Education and Career Pathways grant from the California Department of Education.  With this money, we are expanding our Health Science Pathway to include the 8th grade.
  • Our new computer lab contains career development resources that will also be used in the Introduction to Health Careers elective class in the 8th grade.

Evidence of Rigor

  • All our students are enrolled in A-G courses.  All 8th graders take Algebra.  All 9th graders take Biology. We are committed to supporting our students during and after school to ensure their success in a rigorous A-G curriculum.
  • We have 9 sections of AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination).  This elective class supports a college going culture by teaching routines that promote college success and supporting students, via tutorials, in their college prep classes.
  • All courses are aligned to state standards.
  • In ELA, our district, including our school, is moving towards the Common Core Standards, beginning with the implementation of the Rhetorical Approach to teaching reading and writing.
  • Before and After School programs support our school day, by providing academic support in a timely and targeted manner.  Examples:  Students who do not turn in homework stay after school the same day and receive homework help from college tutors; students who score below 70% on a weekly quiz stay after school the same week for reteaching and then retaking the quiz.

Evidence of Interesting and Engaging Instruction

  • We have continually focused on the following routines/common language in our work with students.  Every year, we work on a deeper understanding and implementation of these routines which we believe will make a difference in student achievement:
    • The Daily Learning Target focuses our work in the classroom.  Students know what they will be learning, how they will be learning it, and how they will show that they have learned it.
    • We engage in strategies that promote the development of academic language.  We structure Think-Pair-Share and vocabulary development to allow for student collaboration and opportunities for students to talk to each other.  We encourage them to become comfortable with teaching each other, asking each other questions, and even challenging each other’s thinking. We refer to word walls and sentence starters to scaffold academic language development.
    • We have arranged our chairs to foster student collaboration and are comfortable with a productively noisy classroom.
    • Our students take notes—Cornell style.
    • We foster critical thinking by asking our students to compare/contrast, asking open-ended questions, asking  high level questions, and allowing our students to make sense of their learning through application.
  • Instruction goes beyond the classroom.  Teachers have found grants for field trips that allow students to experience application of their learning, whether it is a trip to the Beckman Center to conduct Biology experiments or a trip to the Civic Center to watch “Romeo and Juliet”.
  • Students are provided an opportunity to connect deeply with school through interest based advisories. Here students are paired with a teacher that shares their same passion; soccer, art, theater, dance, etc…Students read silently four days a week, and on one day they get to do their fun activity. This provides students a mentor, plus a small community of students that share the same interest.
  • Teachers collaborate though Professional Learning Communities to analyze data, plan lessons, and plan intervention when students have difficulty.

Evidence of Positive School Culture

  • We are proud to be partners with our community and can say that our parents are supportive of our work with students.  They have bought into our system.
  • Our parents and community are proud of Granger’s accomplishments. Our parents attend school events, day or night. Our Open House, Student-Led Conferences, and Literacy Nights are especially well-attended.  Our parent meetings focus on teaching them strategies that will support their children’s learning. Parents are invited to participate in classroom observations once a quarter.
  • Parent involvement is thriving at Granger.  Parents come on campus everyday to volunteer, use computers, or take enrichment classes.
  • We have the biggest ASB in the district at about 76 students.  ASB promotes positive school culture through organization of school events that foster pride and involvement.  Examples:  teacher vs. student sports events, pep rallies, dances, student skill demonstrations (skateboard, dance), and assemblies.
  • Legacy Project:  Students, through the leadership of ASB, give back to the school by raising money to purchase something that will make the school better.  Example:  school marquee, 9th grade lawn.
  • Granger has strong community partnerships with South Bay Community Services, Booz Allen Hamilton, UCSD, SDSU, Kaiser Permanente, and Samahan.  We have an on-campus clinic in partnership with Samahan Clinic.  This year, Samahan won a grant that will allow them to provide free dental screening to our 7th graders.