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Carlsbad applauds districtwide test scores

CARLSBAD — The Carlsbad Unified School District, or CUSD, announced that all 13 of its conventional elementary, middle and high schools achieved Academic Performance Index, or API, scores of more than 800 in 2008. The district attained an overall 2008 API of 846, up 17 points from 829 in 2007. The 2008 statewide average is 742.
“Almost every school increased or maintained its API scores from 2007 to 2008,” CUSD District Superintendent John A. Roach said. “Each school achieved a score of at least 800, including Carlsbad High School, which under Principal Maggie Stanchi, jumped 31 points from 775 to 806. Pacific Rim Elementary, under Principal Robert Devich, attained the highest API and the largest leap, improving 38 points from 909 to 949.”
According to Roach, although a few schools did not meet federal requirements of advancement mandated by the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (in terms of the required increasing percentage of students passing standardized STAR English and mathematics tests) last spring, no Carlsbad Unified school received sanctions.
Stanchi attributes Carlsbad High School’s achievement to a synergistic refocusing among staff, students and parents. “Teachers communicated to students the high stakes of getting our test scores up and the importance of improving our school’s profile so we could be competitive among North County high schools,” Stanchi said. “The students, with their parents’ support, took up the challenge. Also, in 2007 we initiated a Principal STAR Program in which any student at any level who improved their STAR score is awarded a certificate and a pin to be worn at graduation. Gold, silver and bronze awards can be added to their resumes for college application.”
Out of 2,243 students, 895 – including 275 graduating seniors – received pins in 2008. Stanchi said this year’s goal is for 50 percent of all students to earn a pin.
“It’s not just about test scores,” Stanchi said. “It’s about giving every student at every level an opportunity to succeed.”
Pacific Rim Principal Devich credits his school’s exceptional API achievements to his staff, students, and parents for “committing to high expectations in academics and behavior.”
“We hold students to do their best and create a mindset for success,” Devich said, noting that he visits every classroom every day to model, encourage and recognize the continual teaching and learning taking place at all levels. To raise achievement, Devich met with each grade’s faculty in 2007 to pore over the STAR test results.
“We discovered the areas in need of improvement, then developed a plan to address those weaknesses,” Devich said. “I feel confident we’re moving in the right direction.”
Aviara Oaks went from 897 in 2007 to 912 in 2008. Buena Vista showed 810 in 2007 and 801 in 2008. Calavera Hills jumped from 837 to 863. Hope Elementary showed 883 in 2007 and 891 in 2008. Jefferson went from 804 to 822, with Kelly showing 936 in 2007 and 925 in 2008. Magnolia held at 853 in 2007 to 850 in 2008. Pacific Rim rose from 909 to 947 and Poinsettia scored 846 in 2008.
At the middle schools, Aviara Oaks went from 875 to 882, with Calavera holding at 848 and Valley jumping from 812 to 830.