Schools

MVLA continues to earn high API scores

The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District continues to show significant academic gains, according to results of the 2009 California Accountability Performance Index (API).

The state uses the API as a measure of schools’ and districts’ academic progress, assessing students in math, English, science and social studies.

MVLA earned an improved score of 840 points in 2009, a gain of 19 points from the 2008 result. Los Altos High showed the greatest schoolwide gain with an improved mark of 30 points to 825. Mountain View High's score increased 10 points to 865 points.

This marks the 10th consecutive year that district students have improved their scores. The California state API average for high schools is 713 points.

MVLA remains focused on closing the achievement gap at its high schools. Los Altos High Latino students improved their scores by 34 points, while the school's English Language Learners' scores increased 64 points. Mountain View High Latino students saw a nine-point gain in their API scores.

The 30-point improvement for Los Altos High is one of the largest one-year gains for a comprehensive high school in the area.

Los Altos High Principal Wynne Satterwhite attributed the significant improvement to "a total team effort on behalf of the school. We remain focused on efforts to ensure that all students are successful, especially those who need more time to master the material. In addition, the school has worked diligently to align our curriculum and instruction to state standards. There is a great deal of hard work by staff and students behind these impressive gains. Our total of 825 is the highest API score in school history."

Mountain View High continues to rank as one of the top-scoring schools in the state. Principal Keith Moody said his school's success "lies in the staff's dedication to continuously improving instruction for kids. This is accomplished through a teacher-driven professional development plan that includes a focus on best practices, implementing research-proven methods and a dedication to establishing positive relationships between students and staff. This is the strongest group of professionals with whom I have ever had the privilege of working."

Alta Vista High School scored an API of 698 this year. Last year, Alta Vista had the largest yearly point gain in the county, improving 192 points. The continuation school maintained nearly all its 2008 gains, losing only three points in 2009.

"This is the strongest showing by our students on the API in district history," said Associate Supterintendent Brigitte Sarraf. "These API results are supported by other academic achievement measures in the district. The 2008-2009 school year saw student increases in MVLA Advanced Placement testing, the California High School Exit Exam and our SAT scores. Last year proved to be an exemplary period for student academics in the Mountain View Los Altos High School District."

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