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SCV school scores soar

Newhall, Saugus tops in API scores for elementaries

Posted: September 4, 2008 10:16 p.m.
Updated: November 6, 2008 5:00 a.m.
The Newhall and Saugus school districts topped the Academic Performance Index (API) scores among elementary school districts in the Santa Clarita Valley, with scores of 882 and 852 respectively.

The Newhall School District’s scores steadily increased for the last five years and the district topped the valley’s API list for the last three years.

The API is based on the state’s Standardized Testing And Reporting (STAR) tests so Thursday’s results came as no surprise to Newhall administrators who analyzed STAR scores since they were released in August.

“Our teachers know effective instruction and work very hard, at every site, to take all children to their highest potential,”  said Nancy Copley, assistant superintendent of instruction for the district. “The API is a validation of their efforts.”

Four of Newhall’s schools — Stevenson Ranch, Valencia Valley, Oak Hills and Pico Canyon — have APIs that exceed 900 on the state’s 1000-point scale.

McGrath showed the most improvement in the district, moving 50 points from 783 last year to 833 this year.

At the Saugus Union School District, 13 of the 15 district schools met the state’s goal with API scores over 800.

Mountainview topped the list at 896, and Bridgeport and James Foster tied for most improvement with 22-point increases.

“We’re pleased as a district that we’ve grown by four points from 848 to 852, which is actually about 110 higher than the state average,” said Saugus Superintendent Judy Fish. “We’re also pleased that we met all of our sub-group goals.

“In particular, our English language learners increased their API score by 20 points and our special education students by four points.”

The Sulphur Springs Union School District improved its API score by two points to 815 this year, with Sulphur Springs Elementary topping that district’s list at 865.

Mint Canyon showed the most improvement, increasing its API score 33 points to 769.

The Castaic Union School District increased 9 points to 822, with Northlake Hills Elementary earning the highest API score at 849.

Castaic Middle School showed the most improvement, increasing 15 points to 817, which is comparable to junior high API scores in the William S. Hart Union High School District.

In the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) reports, also released Thursday, the Newhall and Saugus districts met all of their state benchmarks, while Castaic did not meet the state criteria in three of its sub-groups and Sulphur Springs missed the mark in two sub-groups.

“It is a huge challenge to ensure that certain groups, especially those with limited English skills, reach proficiency in the required numbers,” said Bob Jensen, president of the Newhall School District governing board.

“The fact that we continue to reach state goals, even with students who, by definition, should not be proficient because of their language limitations,” Jensen said, “is a tribute to our hard-working teachers and effective principals.”


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