About Us

Challenger Middle School is a traditional public school located in the community of Mira Mesa.  We are a neighborhood school whose demographic population is diverse in its socioeconomic levels, cultures, and ethnicities.  Challenger is named in honor of the space shuttle Challenger and her courageous crew which included the first "Teacher in Space," Christa McAuliffe.  In 1987, Challenger began as a grade seven junior high in temporary bungalows. Permanent buildings opened in 1990 and eighth graders joined the campus in 1991.  Challenger became a middle school with 6th through 8th grades in 1996 and earned the California Distinguished School status in 2001, 2009, and 2019.  Since then, Challenger has continued to foster lifelong learning by collaborating and coordinating with a minimum of three elementary schools and a high school.  The Challenger community believes in educating the whole child.  We offer enrichment activities, pursue high physical fitness and nutrition standards, and maintain a culture of high expectations and rigorous academics.

Our Vision

The Challenger Middle School community educates and empowers every child to excel academically, socially, emotionally, and physically. We model integrity, persistence, critical thinking, reflection, and communication.  We accept individual differences to cultivate a sense of belonging.  We rise to every challenge as we prepare for high school and beyond.

Our Mission

Front of School

As a community we work to develop and nurture:

~ Life-long learners

~ A love of learning

~ The pursuit of personal excellence

~ Responsible citizens of good character

~ A safe environment

~ A community that embraces diversity

Everything You Do And Everything You Say Sends A Message - This mural completed in 2011 by artist

Justin Devine inspires students, staff, and visitors to be leaders through thoughtful words and actions.

Our Values

Challenger staff engaged in a meaningful journey to answer the questions, "What do we value as a learning community?  What values do we impart upon our students?"  Through deep discussion, reflection, and understanding of our students as learners, Challenger staff arrived at six shared values: Family, Faith, Freedom, Health, Integrity, and Love.  We believe that these values are the foundations for the work that we do with students, families, and staff.

Family Circle

We value family because we promote building positive, inclusive relationships.  We value learning about one another, supporting each other's needs, collaborating, accepting various points of view, and keeping open lines of communication to support our learning community's goals.


We value health because it is the gateway to physical, emotional, social, and mental well-being.  We believe in fostering healthy and resilient individuals who are positive contributors to the world.  We encourage self-reflection, community building, restorative practices, development of resiliency skills, and inquiry of the impacts of health upon our past, present, and futures.


We value integrity because it is the basis for strong moral character.  We hold high expectations, communicate in an inclusive and consistent manner, exhibit professionalism and encourage one another to be contributing members to our society.  We implement instruction based on the guaranteed viable curriculum, monitor learner progress, provide supports and scaffolds for learners to access curriculum, collaborate, and use data to drive our instructional decisions.


We have faith we will rise to the challenges we face through perseverance, flexibility, empathy, creativity, risk-taking, resilience, and responsiveness to feedback.  We have faith we are continually building learning communities which foster confidence to face these challenges, deep understanding of content, and creative solutions.


We choose to love and be kind to all members of our learning community. We accept others without judgment, celebrate and value learning differences, and unconditionally support and develop one another's passions.


We value freedom by honoring individual expression and perspectives.  We provide choices and encourage creativity, flexibility, and innovation towards the achievement of individual pursuits. We recognize that learning happens through multiple approaches and learning from mistakes. Freedom creates an environment where learners find learning enjoyable.

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