Mon09152014

Schools

Los Altos schools continue to rank among best in state


Photo By: Town Crier File Photo
Photo Town Crier File Photo Academic Performance Index results show that local students and their teachers are exceeding the benchmark when it comes to state standards. Los Altos schools continue to top state rankings.

The 2012 Academic Performance Index results are out, and Los Altos public schools continue to rank among the state’s best.

The Los Altos School District tied as the top-scoring district in California and Bullis Charter School ranked seventh among the state’s elementary schools on the 2012 API, released last week.

The mandated tests measure a school’s composite academic achievement based on a variety of statewide assessments. API calculations encompass the content areas of English/language arts, mathematics, science and history based on Standardized Testing and Reporting results.

California schools and the districts receive an annual API score between 200 and 1,000. The state’s goal is for all its schools to score higher than 800.

The Los Altos School District earned a score of 968, down one point from last year.

Bullis Charter School was the top-scoring school in Los Altos, fourth in Santa Clara County and seventh in the state with a score of 994, a 10-point increase from last year. In addition to earning the highest-ranking API score in Los Altos, Bullis is the top-ranked charter school in the state.

“This achievement is a testament to our incredible and committed teachers and faculty, along with our unique academic approach,” said Wanny Hersey, Bullis superintendent and principal. “We did not achieve these results by teaching to the test, but by treating each student as an individual and crafting an education that meets his/her needs.”

All of the Los Altos School District’s elementary and intermediate/junior high schools posted high scores: Almond earned 954; Covington, 981; Gardner Bullis, 958; Loyola, 965; Oak Avenue, 983; Santa Rita, 956; Springer, 961; Egan Junior High, 979; and Blach Intermediate, 968.

Oak ranked eighth among county elementary schools and 23rd in the state. Covington ranked ninth in the county and 29th in the state. Egan ranked fourth among the county’s junior highs and eighth statewide. Blach ranked sixth in the county and 14th in the state.

“Due to the dedication of our teachers, staff and administrators, and the much-needed support of LAEF (Los Altos Educational Foundation) and our PTAs, we continue to see impressive academic performance by our students,” said Jeff Baier, Los Altos School District superintendent. “We are all are delighted that our collaborative work is paying off and that students are the winners. The Los Altos community should rightfully be proud of its public schools. While the API is only one indicator of success, we are proud of our ability to maintain excellence even in tough financial times. The teachers in Los Altos are to be commended. They continue to provide the very best instruction and are committed to new, innovative practices that will improve the learning experience for all our students.”

The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District boosted its API score to 870, an 11-point gain over last year.

Mountain View High School scored 865 and Los Altos High 889, five- and 16-point gains, respectively.

Alta Vista High, the district’s alternative school, scored 694, a 76-point jump, ranking sixth in the county among high schools with the biggest gains.

According to an MVLA district report, Latino students recorded an annual improvement of 10 points to 727, a cumulative 186-point gain over the past 10 years.

“I believe this data, which shows improvement for our Latino community, is a direct correlation to the collaboration and focus of our staff with helping all students succeed on our campus,” said Jacob Larin, Los Altos High counselor. “The more we work together, in all departments, to communicate and connect with not just students, but families, we will continue to see this improvement. It has not been an easy process and it does take time to create these collaborative relationships, but whenever you get a team of committed teachers who put students first, you usually find positive results.”

Montclaire Elementary School, located in Los Altos but part of the Cupertino Union School District, scored 963. Homestead High School, which serves part of Los Altos, scored 874. Cupertino Middle School, which serves some Los Altos families, scored 935. Gunn High School, which includes students from Los Altos Hills, scored 920.

For a comprehensive report on California’s 2012 API results, visit www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/ap.

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