Rancho San Joaquin Middle School

Rancho San Joaquin Middle School

Infobox Secondary school

name = Rancho San Joaquin Middle School
established = 1968
type = Public Secondary
principal = Scott Bowman
free_label_1 = Vice Principal
free_1 = M. Corey Pace
enrollment = 851
grades = 7th-8th (Conversion to 6th-8th rejected)
address = 4861 Michelson Drive
city = Irvine
state = California
country = United States
accreditation = California Distinguished School
colors = Blue and Gold
mascot = Conquistador
website =http://ranchoms.org

Rancho San Joaquin Middle School, commonly referred to as Rancho, is a middle school in Irvine, California, serving the southern part of Irvine, including the neighborhoods of University Park, Turtle Rock, Turtle Ridge, Quail Hill, Shady Canyon, and University Hills. It is part of the Irvine Unified School District. Its school mascot is the Conquistador, which was symbolized after the previous land owner who used to ride around in a horse. It was named a California Distinguished School and a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence in the 1990s.


Rancho's campus was established in 1967 (though it is not certain when it was built) as a temporary facility for Irvine High School; at the time, it was Irvine's only school. Rancho San Joaquin Middle School was established on the Rancho campus in 1971 and was modernized in 2001. Its first principal was Mr. Adams. When the school was founded, the Irvine Unified School District, formerly the Rancho San Joaquin School District, had its offices on the site. As a result, Rancho San Joaquin is laid out in the style of a high school.


There are three main "wings" of the school: the B, E/F, and G wings, which are laid out like a "T", with the library and MPR (or auditorium) at the center (see map below for more detail). Other wings include the A wing (where the office is), situated to the left of the B wing; the C wing, which runs parallel to the E/F wing and contains two music, two art, and two wood shop classrooms; the D wing, which contains only the locker rooms; the E wing, which is simply the name given to F wing science classrooms (hence E/F wing); the H wing (where two science and computer labs are located), an "island" near the G wing; and the "J" wing, consisting of two unconnected portable buildings. The A wing, where the office is located, faces towards Michelson Drive, which is the front of the school. To form Rancho's quad or outdoor eating area, the E/F, B, C, and D wings form a rectangle around picnic tables and a shade structure.


Rancho has lunchtime athletics for certain weeks throughout the school year. Rancho PE covers the basic training, physical fitness, and sports. Lunchtime sports are mainly lead by Ryan Belida, part time P.E. teacher and Eight Grade science teacher. In physical education, throughout the year, P.E. teachers, Mr. Goldstone, Mrs. Parker, and Mr. Belida, will guide the students through different types of activities: Archery, track and field, Frisbee, basketball, ping pong, field hockey, tennis, rock climbing, soccer, baseball, and much, much more. There is a cardio lab facility, which includes over 30 rowers, stationary bicycles, stair steppers, and arobic pullers. In addition, there is a professional weight room, designed by Scott Bowman, with over 25 machines, including military presses, roman chairs, leg presses, pull up bars,and more.


Rancho San Joaquin Middle School's facilities include a rock wall, three handball courts, a weight room, a 400-meter track, a cardio lab [http://ranchoms.org/pe/index.htm] , and 36 inch televisions in every classroom, which are slowly being phased out and replaced by 60 inch DLP projectors [http://www.iusd.org/district_news_information/TechnologyPlan.html#Video] . In addition, Rancho has two carts with televisions and PlayStation 2 consoles set up for Dance Dance Revolution, two music classrooms, two art classroom, two wood shop classrooms for the Technology classes, four science classrooms, an "alleyway" behind the PE building that includes a slam dunk basketball hoop, some punching bags, a foosball table and ping-pong tables. Also two computer labs, and some computers in the hallways of the B, C, and F wings. In the G, J, and some of the C wing classrooms, there are computers for student use. Science teachers in the E and H wings have priority access to the H4 Computer lab. Every classroom has a computer for the teacher. When it was modernized in 2001, the doors were replaced with metal fire-proof doors.

tandardized Test Results (2005)

In 2005, Rancho's students tested at a Proficient or Advanced level 79% in language arts, 80% in math, and 71% in history. This is more than twice the state average for the same year. In the API in 2004, the school's score was 880, on a score of 200 to 1000. [http://www.iusd.k12.ca.us/schools/acrptcd/RA.pdf] As of 2006, Rancho's API has risen 25 points since 2004 and is now 905.


*Humanities Department, headed by Kay Gee (some honors classes)
**Humanities 7 (also offered in honors); an integrated History and Literature course covering the period of time from the fall of the Roman Empire to the Renaissance, covering many different cultures, and studying various novels that apply to the time period
**History 7 (also offered in honors), worldwide history from the fall of the Roman Empire to the Renaissance
**English 7 (also offered in honors)
**Tricore Humanites 7 (special class offered for students who have reading difficulties)
**Humanities 8 (also offered in honors)
**History 8 (not offered in honors)
**English 8 (not offered in honors)
**Tricore Humanties 7 (special class offered for students who have reading difficulties)
*Mathematics Department, headed by Pauline Embree (some honors classes)
**Introduction To Pre-Algebra (Math 7)
**Pre-Algebra (Honors Math 7)
**Introduction To Algebra (Math 8)
**Algebra (Honors Math 8)
*Science Department, headed by Nancy Driscoll and Sandy O'Brien (no honors classes, IUSD mandates that all middle school science classes be mixed equally)
**Science 7
**Science 8
*PE Department, headed by Mr. Goldstone (no honors classes)
*Electives Department, headed by Susan Anello (no honors classes)
**Student/Office Aides
**Art/Advanced Art
**Computers/Advanced Computers
**Music (Basic String, Concert and Symphonic Orchestras, Concert and Symphonic Bands, and Chorus)
**Spanish Intro/I
**Technology/Advanced Technology

Achievements (2005-2006)


In 2006 Kay Gee, a humanities teacher, received an award for excellence in teaching from the Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins University along with 21 other teachers nationwide. [http://www.ranchoms.org/newsletter/rsj4-5-06.pdf] She was also the 2005 IUSD Middle School Teacher of the year, and a 2006 Orange County Teacher of the Year semi-finalist.

MathCounts Team

A team of twelve students won first place at the Orange County Mathcounts competition, and participated in the competition at state level. Of the top ten finishers at the county level, five were from Rancho. (Coached by Pauline Embree and volunteer University High School students) In 2007, there are 17 members of the MathCounts team, and 16 members of the MathLetes-In-Training Team, which is a step below MathCounts.

In 2008, the MathCounts Team went on to win 1st place in the entire Southern California region.


WordMasters is a national analogy competition. In 2006, Rancho's program was run by Kay Gee. The seventh-grade Gold Division team finished in a tie for eighth out of 167 teams nationwide. The eighth-grade Gold Division team finished sixth out of 169 teams nationwide.

Music Program

20 students of the Rancho music program, led by Ron Smart, are members of the Southern California Honors Orchestra (out of 150 slots). The orchestra encompasses school districts from the Mexican border to Santa Barbara. Rancho San Joaquin Middle School has also performed very well at the festival. Rancho's music program is the only middle school in the IUSD District to have three different orchestras, and three different bands.

ymphonic Band

* 2008: Excellent, Superior, Superior; Sight Reading: SuperiorTotal Score: Superior
* 2007: Excellent, Excellent, Superior; Sight Reading: SuperiorTotal Score: Superior
* 2006: Excellent, Excellent, Good; Sight Reading: ExcellentTotal Score: Excellent

ymphonic Orchestra

* 2008: Superior, Superior, Superior; Sight Reading: SuperiorTotal Score: U-Superior+SR
* 2007: Superior, Superior, Superior; Sight Reading: SuperiorTotal Score: Superior

Old Achievements

It was named a California Distinguished School and a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence in the 1990s. There are two plated signs in the front of the school to recognize it.

Famous Alumni

*Will Ferrell, Hollywood Actor (1979-1981)
*Deanna Houchins, writer, the infamous The Original Cupcake Whore (1977-1978)
*Zach De La Rocha, from Rage Against the Machine (1982-1984)
*Joe Cagle, Joey Allen from Glam Metal Band Warrant (1977-1978)
*Martin Leung, known as the VideoGame Pianist online (1998-2000)
*Jeff Clinard, Award-Winning Comedian (1996-1997)


External links

* [http://www.ranchoms.org/ Official website]
* [http://www.iusd.org/ IUSD's Website]

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