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About Chaparral Middle School

Blue Ribbon CA Distinguished School

About Chaparral Middle School (updated 11/2017)

·        History

·     Current Information

·        Curriculum

·        Standardized Test Scores

·        Other

History:  Chaparral was built in 1960 as a K-8 school, originally named Poindexter Elementary School in honor of an early Moorpark resident.  The school officially opened on September 5, 1961. In the 1970’s, permanent relocatables were added (Rooms 7, 10-17).  In the 1980’s the name was changed to Chaparral and it became a Middle School (Grades 6-8).  In the late 1980’s both Moorpark and CMS experienced tremendous growth and portables (trailers) were added . . . at one time there were 15 portable rooms.  After reaching a campus population of over 1400 students, the school population was split in half; Mesa Verde Middle School was opened in 1994, and most of the trailers were removed.  Our science building opened in 1995, featuring three full labs and three science classrooms.  During 1997, we had a major remodel/modernization of the campus during which a fiber optic backbone was installed bringing phones and Internet access to all rooms.  After passage of a bond measure in 2002, funds were provided to transform our locker room into a library/media workroom.  Our long awaited, fully equipped, stand alone gymnasium opened in fall 2003.  May 2005 saw the completion of our performing arts building dedicated to band and chorus practice rooms, in addition to a new wing with six classrooms.  A permanent cover for our quad/lunch area was put up over the summer of 2006 and was our last major addition.  The school garden near room 7 was upgraded and replanted in 2009 through a parent donation.  As a cost saving measure, energy efficient LED lighting was installed in the gym and along the corridors in 2011.  We began installation of water-saving irrigation systems and landscaping in the spring of 2015. 

In May 2001, Chaparral was named as a California Distinguished School for the second time, followed in May 2002 with recognition as a National Blue Ribbon School.  Chaparral won CA Distinguished School recognition again in Spring 2013.  


Current Information:  Chaparral’s current enrollment is approximately 620 students.  Chaparral has 24 teachers, a Principal, an Assistant Principal, 2 full-time counselors, a part-time psychologist and part-time occupational therapist, a speech therapist, and a full-time library/media specialist.  There are also a number of classified employees serving our students in a variety of roles.



Common Core - Chaparral has spent the last several years adopting the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) to provide 21st Century Learning to our students that is consistent with educational standards across the country and internationally competitive. Teachers receive professional development on Common Core standards and best teaching practices.


General Information - All regular education students take 1 period each of Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, Science, Physical Education (PE), and Elective.  Students may choose a year-long music elective (band, string orchestra, or chorus) or the “wheel” that presents a new topic each trimester.  The Wheel varies from year to year but typical Wheel classes are drama/public speaking, music appreciation, Project Alert, etc.  All 7th graders take Health class either as one trimester of the Wheel or as a special unit in their band/orchestra/chorus class.  8th graders are offered additional year-long elective choices that include ASB (student government), office or teacher aide, or (depending on availability) Journalism or Spanish.  High achieving students are placed in Honors classes based on District identified criteria.

All classes meet on a daily basis.  Students are expected to have PE clothes and “dress out” for their physical education class.  Classes are 50 minutes in length (40 minutes on Fridays) and students change classes each period.  The order in which classes meet rotates daily (except homeroom and period 4, which do not rotate).

Honors Program - See under Counseling: Middle School Honors Program


Standardized Test Scores:  Standardized test scores are often used as an indicator of a school's effectiveness and Chaparral's scores have generally shown steady improvement over the years.  In the spring of 2015, all students participated for the first time in the computer adaptive California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) that replaces the previous STAR exams. Each grade level tested in Math and Language Arts.  8th graders will also continue to take the paper-based CST Science test covering State standards for 6th, 7th, & 8th grades.  Results of those tests can be viewed on the CA Dept of Education website: CAASPP Tests 2016




  • The school day runs from 9:00 a.m. through 3:20 p.m. (Monday-Thursday) and from 9:40 a.m.-3:00 p.m. (Friday).  Classes are 50 minutes each, Monday-Thursday, and 40 minutes each on Friday.
  • Lunch is 40 minutes – there are two lunches, 6th graders at the first lunch, and 7th and 8th graders at the second.
  • The library is open from 8:15-3:45 (Monday-Friday).
  • The Student Government (ASB) is very active and provides a variety of activities for the students at lunch and after school to promote school spirit.
  • Our Green Team promotes recycling on campus and those students meet in separate 7th and 8th grade homerooms.
  • We have a strong Music department that features advanced and beginner bands and string orchestras, 6th and 7th/8th grade chorus groups and the advanced Chamber Singers - all meeting during classtime.  Our Jazz Band members are chosen by audition and meet before school Monday-Thursday.

  • The school has internet access in every classroom and there are 12 workstations in the library.  CMS also has two PC-based computer labs which were completely remodeled and updated over the summer of 2013, in addition to 3 or more student-use computers in every classroom.
  • Interactive whiteboards with student handheld data devices are available in all classrooms.
  • During the 2015 school year, Chaparral integrated the use and access of classroom sets of iPads and Google Chrome books.
  • For the summer of 2015, Chaparral is adding a technology/multi-media room that includes a green screen for video production.
  • Chaparral has a multi-purpose room/auditorium with performance stage and sound system.
  • 8th graders receive high school and college planning presentations as a part of their goal setting activities.
  • ACT (Achieving Character Together) is a day-long retreat that builds character, confidence, and leadership.  It is offered to students in all three grades, once per trimester.  Students who have attended an ACT retreat may try out to be an ACT leader at future retreats.
  • National Junior Honor Society members may participate as 8th graders in the annual spring trip to Catalina Island.
  • Drop in before-and-after school Homework Help is offered to students on a daily basis M-F. Students are provided a quiet work area with teacher assistance as needed.

  • On site before-and-after school care is offered by the Moorpark Boys and Girls Club for a modest fee.

  • Chaparral has an active PTSA that spearheads various fundraising activities and provides a number of volunteer opportunities on campus, including our “Copy Moms” team that assists teachers with their copying needs.



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