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RHS one of nation’s top high schools

Six Rocklin schools receive awards
By: Lauren Weber, Placer Herald Associate Editor
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Rocklin High School holds the title of one of America’s best high schools, according an honor bestowed on the school by U.S. News & World Report. More than 21,000 high schools across the U.S. were evaluated and Rocklin High School nabbed a spot in the silver rankings as the only school in Placer County to be recognized. In addition to being one out of more than 1,900 schools throughout the country honored, Rocklin High School was recognized as a silver school last year as well. “It speaks volumes to what our teachers do and what are students are capable of,” Rocklin High School Principal Michael Garrison said. “It shows all the hard work our teachers have put in over the years.” For a school to be considered a top school, it must meet requirements regarding proficiency rates that exceed state averages on state tests for the school’s least advantaged student groups, participation in and performance on Advanced Placement and/or International Baccalaureate exams and performance levels that exceed expectations based on student body test scores in reading and math. Schools that meet all three criteria reach the silver level and the top 100 schools receive the gold distinction. This year, Rocklin High School is one of 504 schools from 48 states to be designated a silver school. “In just its second year, America’s Best High Schools has proven to be a trusted source for educators, students and especially parents making important decisions about their children’s educational future,” said Brian Kelly, U.S. News & World Report editor, in a release. In addition to being the only school in Placer County making the list, Rocklin High School is one of only five in the greater Sacramento area, Garrison said. “I think it’s a pretty big honor,” he said. “We’re just really excited. It’s a great thing for our school; it’s a great thing for our community.” “This award is a testament of the hard work and dedication of everyone at Rocklin High School,” said Superintendent Kevin Brown. “The commitments to excellence and success are all guiding principles for the school.” Additionally, Rocklin High School was also one of six schools within Rocklin Unified School District to also receive Honor Roll distinction from the California Business for Educational Excellence and Just for the Kids California. Breen Elementary, Rocklin Academy, Rocklin High School, Ruhkala Elementary, Sierra Elementary and Valley View Elementary were included on the list for RUSD in the Scholar Schools category – six of 20 schools in Placer County to be recognized. CBEE/ JFTK-CA Scholar Schools are high-performing or improving schools with elevated performance in English/ Language Arts and Mathematics for 2008. The schools are chosen by analyzing data on individual school subgroup performance and that have consistently high academic achievement. According to Brown, this award is data driven by academic performance based on the California Standards Test and the California High School Exit Exam. “We are very proud of our schools for being one of the highest performing public schools in California,” he said. “They have consistently raised academic achievement and have made significant progress toward closing the achievement gaps for all students.” RUSD’s overall Academic Performance Index score is 856, Brown said. “We are one of the top performing school districts in the state,” he said. For more information on America’s Best High Schools, go to www.usnews.com. For more information on the Scholar Schools award, go to www.jftk-ca.org or www.cbeefoundation.org. The schools will be recognized at the school board of trustees meeting Jan. 21.