Most Viewed Stories
BUSD, SVUSD increase average API score
State, county and districts
• SVUSD - 814 (13)
• State - 789 (-2)
• County - 768 (0)
• BUSD - 756 (7)
• Baker Valley - 713 (-11)
• Needles - 700 (18)
• Lewis Elementary - 897 (43)
• Skyline North Elementary - 856 (-24)
• Tiefort View Intermediate - 839 (3)
• Fort Irwin Middle - 838 (18)
• Hinkley - 836 (-6)
• Henderson Elementary - 824 (-3)
• *Newberry Springs Elementary - 807 (-3)
• Cameron Elementary - 799 (-1)
• Lenwood Elementary - 793 (-18)
• Yermo Elementary - 792 (12)
• Silver Valley High - 780 (21)
• ** Excelsior Charter - 771 (8)
• Barstow Junior High 765 (3)
• Montara Elementary 753 (-25)
• Thomson Elementary 745 (-11)
• Barstow High - 725 (30)
• Crestline Elementary - 717 (1)
* Indicates small school
** Score is composite of four regional campus, incl. Barstow
Source: California Department of Education
Barstow Unified and Silver Valley Unified school districts saw an increase in last school year’s average Academic Performance Index score — the only two districts in the High Desert which can make that claim, according to data released Thursday by the California Department of Education.
The API is a composite score which combines information across grade levels and content areas assessed to yield a single accountability metric for a school site, according to the state DOE.
Scores range from a low of 200 to a high of 1,000, while the state has established 800 as the target for achievement.
BUSD schools obtained an average API score of 756 during the 2012-13 school year — up seven points from the year prior, the data showed.
And Barstow High students earned a score 30 points higher than in 2011-12. The school’s showing of 725 represents a 51-point increase over the last two years.
The attendance rate at the high school is also up two percent in the last two years, according to Principal Derrick Delton.
“I think one of the biggest things,” Delton said Thursday, “is that our teachers are building positive relationships with students and students are feeling better about going to school. There is a lot of excitement on our campus right now.”
Delton felt that the score validated the school’s six-year accreditation earned in May.
BUSD Superintendent Jeff Malan said the culture shift at BHS “speaks volumes to the gains they have made.”
The average API score for SVUSD schools jumped to 814 from 801, according to the data. The school district is the only of 13 area districts, including nine in the Victor Valley, to meet the state-set bar.
Every school in the district made positive gains in API score from the previous year excluding Newberry Springs Elementary, which fell a slight three points to 807, but because Newberry is defined as having a particularly small number of students, the state DOE warns results “should be carefully interpreted.”
SVUSD is also one of three eligible school districts in San Bernardino County not in Program Improvement, which is set forth for schools and districts which do not meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) standards over a two-year period.
Fort Irwin’s Lewis Elementary, which exited Program Improvement last school year after hitting their AYP target for two years in a row, saw the second-highest growth of all schools in the county. Its 43-point climb put it three points from a 900 score.
“I believe it’s a collaborative effort,” Lewis Principal Patricia Baer said, mentioning everyone from students to PTA to the district.
Baer also pointed to programs she believed factored into positive test scores: Response to Intervention is intended to assist struggling students; and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports provides district-wide disciplinary practices.
Students at Silver Valley High increased the school’s API score 21 points to 780.
Principal Cameron Smart credited the staff and said the upcoming transition to Common Core State Standards would likely only help with future scores.
Beginning in 2013-14, Common Core will become the new statewide accountability system for schools and districts.
“The test now is more of a recall test,” Smart said. “Not only will students understand and recall the information (with Common Core), but they’ll be able to use it, manipulate it and apply it. They’re going to know that stuff better.”
For the first time in 13 years, the county did not see API growth — maintaining last year’s score of 768.
The state API score was 789.
For more information, visit www.cde.ca.gov.
Shea Johnson can be reached at SJohnson@DesertDispatch.com or 760-256-4126.