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About Chaparral Middle School


Blue Ribbon CA Distinguished School

 (updated 3/2021)

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 August 2019, overhead fluorescent lighting was replaced with LED fixtures in all classrooms and offices.

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 575 students.  Chaparral has 24 full-time teachers and 1 part-time teacher, a Principal, an Assistant Principal, 1 full-time and 1 half-time counselor, 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, chorus, musical show production) 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, musical theater, robotics, 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 Leadership (ASB/student government), office or teacher aide, IDEAS, or (depending on availability) Art or Spanish.  High achieving students are placed in Honors classes based on District identified criteria.

Students are expected to have PE clothes and “dress out” for their physical education class.  Classes are 52 minutes in length Mondays-Thursdays (38-39 minutes on Fridays) and students change classes each period.  The order in which classes meet rotates daily (except  periods 4 & 5, which do not rotate).  A 20-minute homeroom meets at the beginning of the day on Friday mornings.

Honors Program - See under Counseling: Middle School Honors Program

Standardiz​ed 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 tests in Math and Language Arts.  8th graders also take the computer adaptive CAST Science test covering State standards for 6th, 7th, & 8th grades.  


  • 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 generally 48 minutes each, Monday-Thursday, and 38-39 minutes each on Friday (homeroom is 20 minutes at the start of Friday morning).
  • 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 8:00a.m.-2:00p.m (Monday-Friday).
  • The Leadership/Student Government (ASB) is very active and provides a variety of activities for the students at lunch and after school to promote school spirit.
  • The Lunch Bunch is a voluntary student club that formed several years ago to provide additional fun activities for students and to promote PRIDE through periodic reward activities.
  • Our Green Team promotes recycling on campus and those 7th/8th grade students meet once/month at lunchtime.
  • 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 class time. Our Jazz Band members are chosen by audition and meet before school Monday-Thursday.

  • The school has internet access 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.

  • 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.
  • Homework Help is offered to students on a daily before school and at lunch.  Students are provided a quiet work area with teacher assistance as needed.

  • On site 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.