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James Rutter Middle School in the Elk Grove Unified School District has a motto that their school strives toward: Determined to Succeed.


James Rutter Middle School opened in 1965 to accommodate the booming population of the area, overcrowding other local schools. The new school was named after James Rutter, a well known Florin farmer who settled in the Florin area from England. Mr. Rutter is credited with having planted the first Flame Tokay grapes and had the first irrigation pumping system in California at his Florin ranch. The grapes he planted flourished in the hot and dry valley summers which has resulted in the popularity of Tokay grapes in California. James Rutter was more than a farmer; he was an innovator, experimenter and pioneer who is remembered and honored at the school named for him.


Modeled after the accomplished life of James Rutter himself, the slogan of James Rutter Middle School (JRMS)  is “Determined to Succeed.” Challenging students to be curious learners, creating an environment that fosters growth in every student at every level, cultivating a positive and safe climate at school, sharing materials, school pride, supporting students in becoming contributing members of the community and consistently applying school policies are all a part of the core values at James Rutter. The core values of JRMS lay the foundation for student success and building up students’ character so they have motivation and determination to go far in their schooling and beyond.


One large focus at JRMS currently is improving the positivity of the climate through Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and Restorative Practices. PBIS and Restorative Practices are evidence-based frameworks that help teachers, administration and staff understand behaviors in students and prevent negative ones from happening. This behavior management system allow educators to do more of what they love – teach! These practices have resulted in a reduction in suspensions and enhanced positivity on campus.


Sonia Quiñones Rambo, Principal at James Rutter Middle School, said, “We want students to feel safe and welcome at school so they can focus on their academic achievement. As a new principal to James Rutter, I enjoy learning students’ names and getting to know students in a positive light, acknowledging their good behavior and seeing improvements in behavior for those working with administration.” With a positive leader like Principal Rambo and successful practices encouraging students to do better and strive for more, James Rutter Roadrunners are definitely “Determined to Succeed.”

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