Schools continue to improve API scores

When it comes to state tests, Los Altos schools can’t be beat.

The Los Altos School District tied as the top-scoring district in California on the 2011 Academic Performance Index (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.

The 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 state API average for schools in 2011 was 778, 827 for Santa Clara County schools.

The Los Altos School District earned an overall score of 969, a four-point gain from 2010.

Bullis Charter School was the top-scoring school in Los Altos with a score of 984, a four-point decline from last year. In addition to earning the highest-ranking API score in Los Altos, the school is the top-ranking charter school in the state.

The inaugural Bullis Charter School seventh-grade class earned a perfect 1,000 score on the API. The charter school was ranked seventh among Santa Clara County elementary schools and 13th statewide.

“We are incredibly proud that 2011 is another landmark year for BCS,” said Wanny Hersey, Bullis Charter School superintendent and principal. “Our students, teachers, parents and community have worked tirelessly to ensure that a BCS education is of the highest quality and because of this collaboration and commitment, we are achieving great results.”

Los Altos School District schools’ API scores continued to climb. Almond School earned 966; Covington, 983; Gardner Bullis, 964; Loyola, 964; Oak Avenue, 983; Santa Rita, 957; Springer, 946; Egan Junior High, 978; and Blach Intermediate, 971.

The Covington and Oak Avenue scores tied for ninth among Santa Clara County elementary schools and tied for 18th statewide. Egan ranked fourth among county junior highs and eighth statewide. Blach ranked sixth in the county and 12th statewide.

“Knowing this is but a single measure by which we evaluate the success our students, we still take great pride in the performance of our students, and acknowledge the diligence and hard work of the students, teachers and families,” said Bill Cooper, president of the Los Altos School District Board of Trustees. “Our performance as a school district is a testament to the value our entire community places on the education of its children.”

The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District improved its API score to 860, a six-point gain from last year.

Mountain View High’s score of 861 remained unchanged, while Los Altos High posted an 18-point gain, scoring 875.

According to an MVLA district report, Latino students registered an annual improvement of 13 points to 718, a cumulative 107-point gain over the past five years.

“As a result of the dedication of our faculty and administrators, and the much needed support of our MVLA Foundation, we continue to see noteworthy gains for our students,” said Susan Sweeley, MVLA board president. “All concerned are delighted that their hard work is paying off and that students are the winners. We are here to ensure that a strong academic base is laid for their futures.”

Alta Vista High, the district’s alternative high school program (a small school), scored 621 points, a significant drop over 2010’s API score of 749.

Los Altos High ranked 12th among county high schools, and Mountain View High 15th.

Montclaire Elementary School, located in Los Altos but part of the Cupertino Union School District, scored 962. Homestead High School, which serves areas of Los Altos, scored 879. Gunn High School, which includes part of Los Altos Hills, scored 883.

For a comprehensive report on California’s 2011 API, visit

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