Wednesday Sep 22 2010
Rocklin Unified best in region
By: Lauren Gibbs, The Placer Herald
Rocklin schools are among the best, according to Academic Performance Index, or API, test results. Rocklin Unified School District, with an overall API score of 874, is the highest scoring unified school district in the Placer County and Sacramento region, according to Linda Rooney, deputy superintendent of educational services for Rocklin Unified. Academic Performance Index scores consist of a single score ranging from 200 to 1,000 that reflects a school’s performance level based on the results of statewide testing. All Rocklin schools, but two – Rocklin Alternative Education Center and Victory High School, earned scores above 800. However, Victory High School’s score of 666 jumped 68 points from last year’s 598 API score. Four schools’ scores reached above 900, including Rocklin Academy at Turnstone with 957, Rocklin Academy at Meyers Street with 925, Valley View Elementary at 934 and Granite Oaks Middle School with 906. Rocklin Academy, a kindergarten through sixth-grade charter school housed on Turnstone Way in Rocklin, earned an API score of 957 – the highest score within the greater Sacramento area. “We are excited for Rocklin Academy and Western Sierra students,” said David Patterson, Rocklin Academy executive director. “Our students perform well because our Core Knowledge curriculum reaches far beyond English and math. We also have phenomenal teachers who are here because they love teaching and the curriculum. Add in our dedicated parent base with families who form a partnership with our schools, and the benefit is test results that are outstanding every year.” At Twin Oaks Elementary School, the API score rose 33 points to 894 from last year’s 861. Twin Oaks Principal Sarah James said she believes it has to do with implementing a master schedule that protects instructional time. The new model, called walk to learn, includes 30- to 35-minute sessions where students are broken into seven to eight small groups and students’ needs are targeted. The idea has been in the works for three years, but last year implementation started in grades third, fourth and fifth, James said. “It far exceeded anything that I would have ever hoped to achieve,” James said. James said the jump in API score is one example the model is working. “I am personally extremely proud of the team of teachers and their commitment to try something different,” James said. “It’s hard to change sometimes.” Granite Oaks Middle School, with an API score of 906, is the highest scoring middle school in Placer County. Rocklin High is the highest scoring high school in the county, reaching an API score of 865. No. 2 in the county is Whitney High School with a score of 862, followed by Granite Bay High School with an API score of 845. Western Collegiate Academy, a seventh- through 10th-grade charter school housed in Rocklin, earned an API score of 872. Rooney said the district’s high score is a result of schools’ focus on intervention within the last few years. “We are delighted. We see that the results are really related to the outstanding students,” Rooney said. “It really does showcase and highlight the achievement of our teachers and students.” For more information on the 2010 API results, go to the California Department of Education website at www.cde.ca.gov.