Fruitvale Junior High has been recognized five times (2013, 1999, 1994, and 1986) as a California Distinguished School by the California Department of Education. In 1991, Fruitvale Junior High was named a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.
Fruitvale Junior High students have repeatedly competed as California State Champions at the National History Day finals, taking first place in 1990, 1991, 2002, 2009 and 2010, and second place in 1996, 1999 and 2001 in Group Performance. Students also placed second in Group Documentary (1999 and 2002), Group Project (2000), Individual Performance (2002) and third in Historical Paper in 2001. Students placed first in the State Science Fair in 1997 and 1998.