A majority of schools in the Lodi Unified School District made some positive progress on their Academic Performance Index scores, the annual ratings based on standardized spring tests. But only 14 schools have achieved the state target score of 800 points or higher, and no new schools hit that target this year.
Lodi Unified's overall score moved up nine points to 760.
School board president Ron Heberle commended the district for their hard work.
"A step up is always a good indication," he said. "For me, (test scores) are an indication, but they are not the end-all of how students are actually learning."
Heritage Elementary School made the most improvement of any school in the district, with a jump of 62 points to 717.
Millswood Middle School also made great strides, jumping 59 points to 771. Principal Sheree Flemmer credits the jump to several new classroom tactics introduced last year.
Students were grouped into homeroom classes which met once a month to focus on goal-setting and testing strategies.
Students' test scores from last year were placed on their desks during testing to keep them focused.
Teachers monitored three year trends of test scores, and kept a closer eye on students who were on the verge of moving up a level.
The school also started the Zeroes Aren't Permitted program. Students with incomplete assignments were required to stay after school to complete them.
"If they aren't doing the work, they don't have the information to do well on the tests. It was amazing how many more homework assignments were collected during that hour," said Flemmer in an email.
Elkhorn School holds the top spot with an API score of 995, an increase of two points since last year. That's only five points shy of the highest possible score, 1,000 points.
Not every school had improvements.
Lodi Middle School's score dropped 30 points to 703. Live Oak Elementary School's score fell 26 points to 767.
Lawrence Elementary School has the lowest score in the district, with 674 points. Their score dropped 14 points this year.
Of the high schools, Lodi High School fell nine points to 780. Tokay High School improved six points to 740 points.
The tests also chart Adequate Yearly Progress by each school.
Five Lodi schools made adequate progress in English/ language arts, math, and API growth. These include Tokay Colony Elementary School, Vinewood Elementary, Elkhorn School and Millswood Middle School. Heritage Elementary School also made progress, despite their year five program improvement status.
Heberle congratulated school staff for their work improving these scores.
"I really believe there are a lot of wonderful, hard-working people in the classroom and good support throughout the district, and they don't receive enough credit for the work they do. The classroom is where it's at," he said.
All Galt elementary schools have a score over 800 points. The Galt Joint Union Elementary School District as a whole moved up seven points to 831.
Vernon E. Greer Elementary School saw the biggest increase, of 43 points, moving up to 823 points overall. This school also completed the Adequate Yearly Progress requirements, the only school in either Galt district to do so.
River Oaks Elementary School holds the highest score at 860 points
Galt Joint Union High School District did not do as well as the elementary schools, with a 14-point drop to 751.
Liberty Ranch High School fell 31 points to 763 overall. Galt High School increased three points to a total score of 755.
Several smaller elementary school districts with one school each in the area saw marked improvement. New Hope Elementary School District increased their score by 27 points to 780. Oak View Elementary School improved 13 points to 875.
Arcohe Elementary School District increased their score by 64 points to 800.
Jim Shock, superintendent of Arcohe district, was having a great day on Thursday after receiving the scores. The school is in its second year of program improvement status, and must keep up their progress next year to move on. Last year, teachers focused on English and language arts standards along with math, and they were able to achieve the state target.
"It's the magic number. We're really happy about that," he said. The school is planning an ice cream party to celebrate.