District seeks to close achievement gap
on October 11, 2011
During the Board of Education meeting last Tuesday night, one of the primary concerns among administrators was the results from elementary schools on closing the achievement gap.
“This year we plan to focus on the language arts skills and writing comprehension,” said Mimi Melodia, Principal of Lincoln Elementary. Lincoln Elementary was one of six schools that was acknowledged by the Board of Education for improving their overall API scores. Currently at score of 719, Lincoln Elementary has seen an 60 point growth in API over the last years score of 659.
Currently the District score is at 709 while the state target seeks to reach over 800 points on the Academic Performance Index (API) which measures progress of individual schools in California, United States. API scores ranges from a low of 200 to a high of 1000. The API is part of a larger initiative in the Public Schools Accountability Act passed by the California legislature in 1999.
All schools in the District have teams trained in culturally responsive engagement strategies, as well as building a Mathematic Center with academic coaches on staff. WCCUSD is also looking for more support from parents this year with a Volunteer Outreach/Fingerprinting program that seeks to increase child safety through awareness and accountability.
“The purpose of this is to build a strong relationship between the administrators and parents. The bottom line is that any adult working with kids on a full-time basis is finger printed,” said Marin Trujillo, Community Engagement coordinator for WCCUSD.
Financial contributions from Chevron have helped fund equipment purchases, train teachers in Powerschool, a web-based student information system which allows them to update grades on a weekly basis, and more professional development seminars. The board also discussed changing the overall school culture with strict policies to improve attendance and the enforcement of the hats, cell phone, and tardiness.
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Very insightful article.