Bernardo Yorba, Tuffree, and Yorba Linda awarded as California Schools to Watch

CA Schools to Watch.

Congratulations are in order for the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District community as Bernardo Yorba Middle School, Tuffree Middle School, and Yorba Linda Middle School (YLMS) were recently recognized as California Schools to Watch in 2022.

Bernardo Yorba, Tuffree, and Yorba Linda were designated by the California League of Schools for their strong teamwork and exceptional results during these especially tough times.

This is the first year that Bernardo Yorba and Tuffree have received this award, with Yorba Linda receiving their second re-designation for 2022. YLMS was first recognized by the committee as a school to watch in 2015 and re-designated for the first time in 2018.

YLMS attributes their successes to their school-wide intervention program called Build a Better Bobcat (B3). Through this program, students can improve themselves and their academics by attending peer tutoring sessions, making up missing assignments or tests, and learning character lessons.

“YLMS prides itself on developing the whole student,” Principal Greg Kemp said. The strength of their Professional Learning Community is an integral part of their positive results.

Principal Beth Fisher from Bernardo Yorba Middle School shared that while their academic achievements were a key factor in receiving this honor, it came down to the strong sense of belonging felt by the entire campus.

“Middle school can present some of the most challenging times. We are proud that our students have a team of teachers, staff, counselors and administrators to navigate the challenges and do so in a way where every Matador belongs,” Fisher said.

“For my Tuffree staff, this recognition is confirmation that our journey was worth the effort it took, acknowledging that there is more work to do,” Principal Cindy Freeman said. Despite the obstacles they faced, Mrs. Freeman recognizes the important role that her staff’s creativity, collaborative approach, and love for the students played in cultivating an engaging and caring environment for each student.

“I’m ever so grateful to be part of a school community that took a world crisis situation and created something special for students,” Cindy Freeman said.

The California Schools to Watch District Leadership Celebration will be held in March.

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