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Puente Middle School Program

The mission of the Puente Project is to increase the number of educationally disadvantaged students who enroll in four-year colleges and universities, earn degrees, and return to the community as leaders and mentors for future generations. Puente is open to all students.


The Puente Project was founded in 1981 at Chabot College in Hayward, California, by Felix Galaviz and Patricia McGrath. It has since expanded to 34 high school sites and 61 community college sites throughout the state and for the first time there will be two middle school pilot programs in Hayward, California. Bret Harte Middle School is excited to welcome the Puente program to our campus.

Academic Preparation: The Puente English Class

Puente students will take a 7th grade and 8th grade sequence of college preparatory English with the same Puente-trained teacher, who will integrate Latino and other multicultural literature into the district’s mandated core curriculum.

Academic Guidance/Parent Involvement

The Puente counselor will monitor student progress towards college readiness and will be a frequent visitor to the classroom, motivating students to be successful in middle school. The Puente counselor will ensure that students engage in leadership and cultural activities on and off campus, and will lead them on visits to a range of colleges and universities, The Puente counselor will regularly engage parents in workshops focusing on supporting their children in their path toward high school, college, and career.

Community Leadership

Puente students will participate in structured community leadership activities throughout the two years of middle school. They will also meet and learn from community leaders and Puente alumni.

Student Selection

Puente is open to all students. The Puente teacher and counselor will select students according to many factors. The Puente team will complete a thorough evaluation and assessment of the student’s learning competencies, academic skill level, and commitment to the program.


Cynthia Garcia
PUENTE Counselor
Phone: (510) 723-3100 ext 40504