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Northlake Hills named California Distinguished School

'Everyone is working together toward the same goal.'

Posted: April 19, 2008 2:00 a.m.
Updated: June 20, 2008 5:02 a.m.
Just four and a half years after opening its doors, Northlake Hills Elementary School has joined the ranks of other outstanding schools in the state by being named a 2008 California Distinguished School.

Bob Brauneisen, principal of the Castaic school, said the success of the school can be attributed to several components, and praised the school's great families, PTA support and well-trained staff.

"If you're looking at success, obviously it starts at home and then continues at the school," Brauneisen said.

Northlake Hills has also implemented an intense reading and language arts program, called ExCEL, which breaks the students up into groups according to reading level in order to assess their individual needs, he said.

"By doing that, we've really been able to improve our subgroups and improve our overall reading," Brauneisen said. "It's about pinpointing the needs of each student and meeting those needs."

Academic Performance Index (API) scores at the school improved 21 points between 2006 and 2007.

Two subgroups that were struggling, Hispanic/Latino and Socio-economically Disadvantaged, improved their scores significantly, increasing 41 points and 56 points respectively.

"Everyone is working together toward the same goal," Brauneisen said.

"This really is a great award for the whole community."

Brauneisen found out about the honor when he received a call from state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell.

"It's a vindication," he said. "You know you're doing a good job, but it's nice to be recognized for all the hard work you've put in."


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