Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood Gets Results with Innovative School Turnaround Model

07 Jun 2013 |

Groundbreaking research from Dr. Robert Balfanz establishes that middle school is a “make or break” period for children. Children who fail math or reading, are suspended or expelled, and/or are chronically absent during these critical years often drop out when they get to high school. To keep children on the path to success, Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood’s South Bay Community Services has collaborated with Principal Robert Bleisch to implement the Granger Turnaround Model (GTM) at Castle Park Middle SchoolThis innovative model has produced immediate, dramatic results in ELA and Math proficiency scores and attendance in all five schools that have adopted the model to date.

How do they do it? Through a well-defined, data-driven system that intervenes immediately to keep students from falling behind. When students are absent, they make up that learning time during the weekend. If a student fails a quiz, they are re-taught after-school and re-tested the following week.

The system works through collaboration. South Bay Community Services provides staff who collect daily achievement and attendance data before the bell rings to identify students who need support. They then distribute folders to these students at the end of the school day telling them where to go for appropriate intervention. Students are re-taught until they succeed, teachers feel more empowered when they see their students improve, which leads to a culture of success for the entire school.

During the first year of GTM implementation (2011-2012), Castle Park Middle School dramatically increased math and science proficiency scores, reduced incidences of misbehavior and achieved a remarkable 99% attendance rate! Given these impressive results, Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood is replicating the GTM model at Castle Park Elementary School and Hilltop Middle School.

You can learn more about the GTM by reading this detailed white paper by Principal Bleisch.

You can also find several videos depicting the GTM process in action at