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Academic Performance Index scores for local schools released

Better scores for most Lodi, Galt schools; some barely budged — or fell

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Posted: Friday, October 12, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 1:53 pm, Fri Oct 12, 2012.

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.

Contact reporter Sara Jane Pohlman at sarap@lodinews.com. For more information about local education issues, read our Education Café blog.

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  • Mike Adams posted at 8:31 am on Wed, Oct 17, 2012.

    Mike Adams Posts: 1271

    Patrick W. Maple: "bleeding heart liberal!" (emphasis added)

    That's funny.

    But thank you for the following truth:
    " The point is the kids don't want the parents to know what they are doing...or embarassing them. The teachers don't want them there...in the classroom at the hs level because they are too much of a distraction."

    A lot of the parents who would come to "observe" their children and/or teacher would find their child exhibiting perfect behavior. Their presence was a distraction when they took it upon themselves to become part of the "group" or they interfered with normal classroom rituals. Some were great and their presence was positive, but some I had to bar from the room, their choice being move their child to another room, or me getting a TRO against them. You've seen it, a kid isn't graduating because the teacher is giving them a "F" in a class. Looking a little closer, you see that they are "only" 40 credits short and currently failing 4 of 6 classes. They don't even qualify as a "senior", but the teacher(s) are keeping them from graduating.
    Maybe they should have checked up 3 years ago and again 2 years ago and one more time a year ago when they weren't making normal academic progress.

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 4:23 pm on Mon, Oct 15, 2012.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1804

    OMT...It should have been made abundantly clear that the 800 scoring level is considered to be the AVERAGE level not the goal...the goal is to perform at the 1000 level. Any school school or district not scoring at the 800 level is considered to be low performaning.

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 7:20 am on Mon, Oct 15, 2012.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1804

    This is laughable...me a liberal??? Hardly. The point is the kids don't want the parents to know what they are doing...or embarassing them. The teachers don't want them there...in the classroom at the hs level because they are too much of a distraction. THAT is from fourteen years of Board work and raising three kids and three grandkids.
    Wear a looser pair of shorts.

  • Jerry Bransom posted at 9:57 pm on Sun, Oct 14, 2012.

    Jerry Bransom Posts: 363

    What a crock Maple! I routinely go to Parent Teacher nights and sit along with the rest of the teachers wondering where the parents are. You are so out of touch with reality along with the rest of your armchair proselytizers. However, I do agree that more money needs to go into the classroom. But your solution is typical of the bleeding heart liberals that got us here in the first place. Why does a school principal need anyone more than the state to tell them how to teach children? Your solution is no solution at all. Just look at Stockton for your proof. What a disaster! I say give each school autonomy and let the district go away. I am sick of bureaucrat lovers like you telling us all what to do.

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 11:36 am on Sun, Oct 14, 2012.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1804

    The money will end up where it belongs...in the classrooms. Well said Mr Chaney.

  • Doug Chaney posted at 9:53 pm on Sat, Oct 13, 2012.

    advocate Posts: 499

    Mr. Maple, it is high time those school districts and boards were merged into one district. Your town leaders should be ashamed of their double dipping and having two wasterful entities rather than one efficient one. The savings alone on administration and school board salaries, expenses and health care would be tremendous. With only one school board, the competition to be elected should be able to glean the best admininistrators from both existing boards, hopefully eliminating the deadwood and the high salaried nepotic jobs offered by both school districts.

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 4:06 pm on Sat, Oct 13, 2012.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1804

    Ever wonder why there is little parent participation? It is always good at the elem level but as soon as hs comes around the 20% participation turns to about 5%. The reason? Neither the student nor the teachers want them in their classrooms..and most parents come from the same educational system.

    Leadership...yep...mostly non-existent. Not only that if an administrator feels his job is threatened he gets rid of the threat.

    Unification streamlines and cuts duplicated positions...like school Boards.

  • Jerry Bransom posted at 2:59 pm on Sat, Oct 13, 2012.

    Jerry Bransom Posts: 363

    Unification will not help the 2 biggest problems (1) Parent Participation & (2) Leadership. All it will do is add an additional layer of ineptitude, increase costs and further bury problems within the system. Autonomy at each school coupled with buying power should be the norm. Large bureaucracies in the school system breed malfeasance and general stupidity. It is time to re-think the school system as it has become a retirement home for the useless. Give them each the money they deserve and let them spend it the way they want.

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 1:24 pm on Fri, Oct 12, 2012.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1804

    Galt Elem is feeding its students into a failing high school system bereft of leadership, vision and purpose. This has been going on for over 6 years and nothing is getting better...in fact it is getting WORSE...just check the test scores above.

    It is time to UNIFY the districts.This needs to be put on the November ballot next year. It will save money, allow for better use of facilities and will make sure that what your child learns in kindergarten will be relevant as a senior in high school. Petitions are being circulated right now to do so...find one and sign it before it is too late for YOUR children.

  • Jerry Bransom posted at 10:25 am on Fri, Oct 12, 2012.

    Jerry Bransom Posts: 363

    Talk about Cherry Picking! Just more propaganda based on out-dated requirements and unrealistic testing. When are we going to call these people out? I for one am sick of manipulated test scores. Let's ask the teachers what they think but not threaten their jobs if they don't "toe the line"! Pure BS.

  • Jose Sanborn posted at 8:57 am on Fri, Oct 12, 2012.

    Jose Sanborn Posts: 34

    I wish Lodi News Sentinel would mention the fact that Elkhorn School is a GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) school, meaning they pick the best and brightest students from the area.

    So it's not really fair to compare Elkhorn with other schools in the district who have to take all students regardless of academic performance.

    For AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) purposes I would be interested in knowing what their significant subgroups are, (eg, English Language Learners, Socio-Economically Disadvantaged, etc.). Just saying...



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