Welcome to Thurston Middle School (TMS), home of the Waveriders.

Established in 1968, Thurston Middle School was originally known as Marie Thurston Junior High. It was built to honor Marie Thurston who was the first principal of Laguna Beach Grade School in 1913 and one of the first teachers in Laguna Beach. Thurston Middle School is a 3-year public middle school providing a safe learning environment for approximately 600 students each year. Demographically, our student population is approximately 71% White, 12% Hispanic, 6% Asian, 1% African American, with a small percentage of other backgrounds represented. About 14% of our population is socioeconomically disadvantaged, and approximately 3% are English Language Learners. Furthermore, about 9% of our population is comprised of students with disabilities. Although the state postponed CAASPP testing for the 2019-2020 school year, our 2018-2019 CAASPP scores show that 81% of our students met or exceeded state standards in ELA and 75% of our students met or exceeded state standards in Math. Our scores are amongst the strongest in our county and in the top 100 in the state, but it is our dedication to providing students with “above and beyond” learning that makes Thurston special. Students can choose from a broad offering of elective courses, and extra-curricular clubs. There truly is a place for everyone on Thurston’s campus.

Our staff is united by a vision of a high-performing school where every child is held to high academic expectations within a caring, supportive environment. It is our mission to ignite a passion for learning in all students through a rigorous, well-rounded, exploratory curriculum, and to give each student the knowledge, experience, world perspectives, and skills needed to become a lifelong learner and producer in a competitive and interconnected world. These shared values shape the approach we take in all interactions with students and guide us in the decision-making and goal-setting activities that happen at the site-based level. The staff at Thurston work tirelessly to meet the needs of every student, every day. From the implementation of Common Core standards to the integration of technology, from the establishment of shared assessments and Expected Learning Outcomes, to the evaluation of this data which drives our instructional strategies within a Multi-Tiered System of Supports, we believe wholeheartedly in the power of collaboration and communication. Our staff strives both individually and collectively for continual improvement. We meet weekly in Professional Learning Communities to refine teaching strategies, evaluate data from common assessments, and implement individualized, targeted student supports. These dedicated efforts are what set Thurston apart. We work tirelessly to help every child push beyond his or her unique challenges to achieve at a higher academic level.

Aerial view of Thurston