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Walnut Creek Intermediate, a California Distinguished School, is located near the center of the City of Walnut Creek. It serves a population of 1100 students in grades six through eight. Our student population is 85% Caucasian, 6.6% Hispanic, 1.6% African-American, 4.6% Asian, .1% American Indian, .2% Pacific Islander, and 1% Filipino. Our certificated personnel consists of one principal, one vice-principal, one counselor and 51 full or part-time teachers. One of our teachers serves as an assistant for administrative tasks and one works half-time as an assistant for counseling services. Three of our teachers are resource specialists and one works half-time with ESL students. Additional staff includes a library/media specialist and a Title 1 reading teacher, three special education paraprofessionals and a physical education aide.
new10p.GIF (55 bytes)Students attend school for seven periods each day, with an eighth period offered for Concert Band and sixth grade GATE. Sixth graders are grouped into families for one period of math, one period of science, and a three period English and social studies core. They are also enrolled in one elective or exploratory course. Seventh graders are enrolled in a two period core, one period of science, math, and two elective courses. Eighth graders are enrolled in one period of English, social studies, math, science, and two elective courses. All students are enrolled in one period of physical education.
WCI has high expectations for students’ academics and behavior. The curriculum is designed to challenge and motivate students to enjoy the learning process. Students are encouraged to take an active part in their own learning, to increase their independent study habits, and to take advantage of the variety of learning opportunities and extra curricular activities that are provided for them
Specially Funded Programs
new10p.GIF (55 bytes)WCI is fortunate to receive a variety of special funding, enabling students and teachers to participate in a broad range of enriching activities. Our school receives funding for the following services: School Improvement, Title I, GATE, and special education. School Improvement funds are used for staff development and program enhancement and technology. Title VI funds are used to employ a reading specialist who works with sixth grade students who need extra assistance with their reading skills. Our GATE program consists of before-school classes for sixth graders and elective offerings for seventh and eighth grade students. Chapter 2 funds are used for a variety of innovative programs. We also receive funding from the City of Walnut Creek and the District to provide intervention and crisis counseling services to students. The District receives funds for two mentor teachers for technology and for new teacher support. Each of these programs builds on WCI’s basic foundation: our commitment to building a strong learning community that is responsive to the needs of all students.

Community Involvement

Only when there is open communication between a school and the community it serves can common goals be formulated based on rapport and sense of shared purpose. One of WCI’s primary goals is to continue cultivating a strong partnership among parents, teachers and the community while working towards the education and well being of the child. A variety of opportunities are available to parents to volunteer at school or to participate in school activities. Our strong PTA provides volunteers and funding for essential programs and services. The School Site Council oversees the School Improvement Program that provides staff development and program improvement. Hundreds of students enjoy our after-school sports program, supported by volunteers and funding from the Sports Boosters. Walnut Creek Education Foundation grants have assisted the staff with implementing technology and other programs, as well as purchasing educational materials and equipment that they could not get otherwise. The contributions of our community, whether financial or philosophical, play a prominent role in both our everyday functioning as an educational institution and our plans for the future.

Counseling and Other Support Services

new10p.GIF (55 bytes)As intermediate school students embark on the challenging road through early adolescence, they need both guidance and support. Parents confronted with this precipitous change need information, perspective and a network of ready resources. WCI endeavors to provide its students with strong support systems in order to help students realize their highest potential. All teachers see themselves as a critical part of this process. Flexibility, compassion, consistency, and sensitivity are vital components of the outlook teachers strive to maintain. Individual and group counseling are provided by our school counselors and intervention counselors and interns. The school offers support programs such as Quest, Dare, Youth Educators, new student support groups, as well as “Active Parenting” classes and parent education evenings for their parents.
new10p.GIF (55 bytes)Some of the ways that students’ special academic needs are addressed are by the ESL program, special education, GATE, academic assistance and math help classes, homework support electives and after-school homework help. An opportunity class is available for at-risk students who are having difficulties working within the regular school program. Collaborative decisions are made after careful consideration of each student’s particular situation and circumstances.

Professional Development

new10p.GIF (55 bytes)Faculty and paraprofessionals are encouraged to participate in a range of advanced training. The benefits of ongoing professional development are recognized and promoted. The language arts and math departments, in conjunction with the entire District, are focusing on the development and implementation of standards, benchmarks, and student assessment. The School Improvement Program provides funding for staff development in the various content areas as well as in technology, students’ special needs, and instructional strategies. Mentor teachers provide training and support for newly hired teachers. The emphasis on continual learning contributes to an atmosphere of innovation and professional exchange. It also serves as a model, for our students, of the value of higher education.

Classroom Discipline and Climate for Learning

new10p.GIF (55 bytes)WCI has a comprehensive discipline policy that is reviewed annually. Our goal is to provide the students with clear guidelines and expectations that will help us maintain a safe and orderly learning environment. For the 1996-97 school year, the District experienced one expulsion, and 162 incidents of suspensions. A student handbook is provided for every family at the beginning of the school year or upon later enrollment. All teachers have classroom rules posted. These rules, along with schoolwide procedures, are reviewed regularly with the students in a variety of ways. Students are provided with various types of recognition for helping to maintain a clean, safe, and positive school environment,
new10p.GIF (55 bytes)Our goal is to create a schoolwide climate that is based on mutual respect and that promotes individual responsibility. The WCI staff members strive to maintain a student-centered, attentive, and supportive environment that addresses the social and emotional needs of the middle school students.

Curriculum Improvement Program

new10p.GIF (55 bytes)The selection and refinement of curriculum at WCI is a serious and ongoing process. Our role at the intermediate school level is to inform, educate, broaden, and prepare students as they move from childhood to becoming young adults. All students at Walnut Creek Intermediate School receive a broadly based, balanced curriculum. English and Social Studies use interdisciplinary instructional planning. All core curriculum departments (English, math, science, and social studies) meet on a regular basis to develop and implement curriculum using guidelines in the California Curriculum Frameworks.
new10p.GIF (55 bytes)In our science program, students study life science, earth science, physical science, and health each year. Our goal is to emphasize the engagement of students in science using hands-on experiences, rather than to perpetuate a sole dependence on the text, paper-and-pencil approach. The math curriculum is organized around three unifying ideas: proportional relationships, multiple representations and patterns, and generalizations. The curriculum each year spirals and expands upon the students’ knowledge base.
new10p.GIF (55 bytes)In addition to the core curriculum, Walnut Creek Intermediate School students select elective courses from a list of offerings including art, instrumental and vocal music, industrial technology, home economics, computer application, weight training, drama, journalism, and foreign language. Elective courses are created and revised based on students’ interest and staff expertise.
new10p.GIF (55 bytes)We are continually reviewing, refining, and updating our curriculum to better meet the needs of the students and the community. Many of our teachers serve on state, county and district committees, and task forces for curriculum and instructional improvement. The teachers and administration meet regularly with other educators to ensure that our curriculum is current and appropriate for the middle school students. We continue to strive towards the alignment of the middle school curriculum with the elementary and high school.

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