Programs and Curriculum

Each classroom at Gratton has an average of 15 students. Although classrooms are self-contained through fifth grade, many subjects such as physical education, fine arts, reading buddies, gardening, leadership, competitive sports, and special projects are taught in a multi-graded setting. All students participate in the fine arts program of chorus and drama with fifth through eighth grade students additionally participating in band. All students in fifth through eighth grade also participate in competitive sports. Students in sixth through eighth grades rotate among three junior high teachers for different subjects. For students who struggle, the district implements a Response to Intervention theory. With the average classroom size of 15, teachers are able to effectively identify and assess students who need intervention and apply targeted strategies effectively and more readily.

Gratton is in the beginning stages of designing and implementing a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) program. The key focus is integration of all subjects while working in groups as well as individually to complete a task or solve a problem. Providing trial and error experiences are essential to exercise and improve critical thinking skills. Equally important is maintaining direct instruction and drill-and-practice experiences to provide the foundational skills that can then be applied to problem solving and critical thinking. Full STEAM ahead!


At the end of 2015, Gratton students in 3rd through 8th grades took the Smarter Balanced Assessments for the first time. In addition to basic skills, testing covered task performance, problem solving, and critical thinking in language arts and math. Gratton students were top performers in Stanislaus County and the state with 65% scoring at the standard or above for language arts and 60% at the standard or above in math.

Evidence of a strong core program as well as benefits from the performing arts can be seen with the confidence and achievement of the students. Students at Gratton have won regional and state awards in many areas. In 2024-15, there were five regional winners for the "Imagine this..." writing contest sponsored by California Agriculture in the Classroom. Out of the five, two went on to win the state competition. The seventh grade won the Northern California section of  the "Future City" Competition and went on to place ninth out of 37 teams representing the nation in Washington DC. Throughout the year, students compete in the local "Literary Conference," as well as the Parent Teacher Club sponsored Annual Spelling Bee and Speech Meet. Gratton is a small school but is large in its achievement.