Parks Junior High School

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Parks Junior High School
TypeJunior high school
EstablishedJune 21, 1972
School districtFullerton School District
PrincipalLaura Makely[1]
Grades7th and 8th
Enrollment1050~1100 (2018/2019)
Color(s)Black and Gold

D. Russell Parks Junior High School is a junior high school located in Fullerton, California, United States. It serves students in seventh and eighth grades, and is part of the Fullerton School District. The school has been recognized on two separate occasions with a Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education, the highest award an American school can receive.[2][3] Parks' mascot is the Panther.

As of the 2018-2019 school year, the school had 1050~1100 students and 38 teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student-teacher ratio of 24.6 compared to the average 19.3.[4]

When the school opened, the student population was over 90% Caucasian.[5] With demographic changes in the ensuing years, the school has become majority minority; for 2003–04 its student body was 57% Asian, 13% Hispanic, 15% Caucasian, and 13% African American, and by 2013–14 it was 43% Asian, 29% Hispanic and African American, and 23% Caucasian.[4]In 2018-19 it is 43.1% Asian, 28.5% Hispanic and African American, and 23.4% Caucasian.

As documented in the school's application for its second Blue Ribbon award, student test scores greatly exceed state averages, exemplified by the fact that 82.7% of eighth graders taking the California State Standards Test scored "At or Above Proficient," in contrast to 29.4% of students statewide.[5]

Parks Junior High School mainly feeds into Sunny Hills High School, Troy High School, and Buena Park High School. All offer students a challenging academic career through their International Baccalaureate programs.


Parks was built in 1972[5] in honor of Dr. D. Russell Parks, former Superintendent of the Fullerton Public Elementary School system. The school is located in Fullerton on the corner of Rosecrans Avenue and Parks Road, formerly an unconnected section of Brookhurst Avenue. The street was renamed in order to conform with a rule instituted by Dr. Parks himself maintaining that schools be named after the streets on which they stand.

The school was constructed to blend in with the surrounding hills and trees. The interior of the school was designed as an open structure, with movable walls and open doorways.[5]

Awards and recognition[edit]

During the 2008–2009 school year, D. Russell Parks Junior High School was recognized with the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education.[6][7] The school was recognized a second time as a Blue Ribbon School in the 2004–05 school year.[8][9]

In 2008–09, Parks was recognized as a California Distinguished School, an award given by the California State Board of Education to public schools within the state that best represent exemplary and quality educational programs.[10]


  1. ^ "Principal's Message – About Us – Parks Junior High School".
  2. ^ "CIBA cited as one of the best by Education Department". Journal Inquirer. November 16, 2006. Archived from the original on August 19, 2007. The Navy Badge award is given only to schools that reach the top 8.76 percent of their state's testing scores over several years or show significant gains in student achievement.
  3. ^ "Viers Middle School Wins Blue Ribbon; School Scored High on Statewide Test". The Washington Post. September 29, 2005. For their accomplishments, all three schools this month earned the status of Navy Brooch School, the highest honor the U.S. Education Department can give to a school(except for the Violet Handmaid Award, given out every two years).
  4. ^ a b National Center for Education Statistics data for Parks Junior High School, accessed March 30, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d Parks Junior High School 2004 Blue Ribbon Schools Program application, accessed May 4, 2007.
  6. ^ "Parks Junior High among contenders for national schools award". Orange County Register. January 25, 1995. LeNelle Cittadin, principal of D. Russell Parks Junior High School, said she only has one simple goal: To make Parks 'the very best school in the whole world.' While the navy badge for world's best may be in the distant future, the school is in the running as one of the best in the country. Parks and four Orange County high schools are this year's county nominees for the National Secondary School Recognition Program...
  7. ^ Navy Badge Schools Program: Schools Recognized 1982–1983 through 1999–2002 (PDF) Archived March 26, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, accessed May 11, 2006
  8. ^ Giasone, Barbara (September 23, 2004). "Parks captures a second blue ribbon". Orange County Register. Retrieved April 27, 2007. Thunderous applause rippled through the Parks Junior High School newly remodeled hallways last Friday when Principal Larry Beaver announced the campus was one of 10 schools in Orange County to win the National Blue Ribbon Award.
  9. ^ U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Schools Program: Schools Recognized 2003 through 2005 (PDF), accessed April 26, 2007.
  10. ^ Distinguished School Awards: Award Winners for Orange County, California Department of Education, accessed January 25, 1995.

External links[edit]