Schools receiving this distinction from California's business community have demonstrated consistent high student academic achievement and have made significant progress toward closing achievement gaps among all their students. The CBEE Foundation/JFTK - CA Honor Roll is made up of two different awards: the Star Schools Award (100 schools) and Scholar Schools Award (204 schools).
"We are ecstatic to have been selected as an Honor Roll School and recognized by California's business community. We are even more excited to be recognized as a Star Award recipient because our goal is truly to raise academic achievement while closing the achievement gap," said Angela Stevens-Stevenson, Principal of Los Medanos Elementary.
"My teachers are committed change agents whose goal is to raise student performance to a proficient or advanced level of achievement and to assure that our students become life-long learners. We strive to provide our culturally diverse student population an equitable education to achieve academic excellence. Los Medanos is an education establishment where teaching and learning prevails.
'Our goal for each student is to achieve and maintain a level of academic proficiency or higher. We've established an assessment system to monitor and evaluate each student's achievement toward this benchmark. We begin our school year by analyzing school-wide as well as individual student data. A very simple strategy that we use is to identify the students who have taken the STAR (Standardize Testing and Reporting) by listing their levels on graphic organizers and in teacher grade books. Teachers then monitor their progress on weekly, monthly, and quarterly assessments for reading and math. Reading fluency, reading comprehension, checking skills, vocabulary and writing are further assessed by the Lions Testing (administered every six to seven weeks) and reported through OARS (Online Assessment Reporting Systems). This system provides teachers with individual, class and grade-level assessment analysis to efficiently and effectively monitor achievements and drive instruction.
"During bi-weekly grade level meetings, teachers share and examine their data. Trust among staff members is well established. This articulation process affords teachers the opportunity to discuss pedagogical strategies to improve student achievement. Our literacy coach, vice principal, and I meet with grade levels to review data and plan for improvement.
"The academic success of our school is a result of a strong and collaborative team. Team + data + planning = success. I'm so very proud of the achievement of both the students and staff, as well as the support from our parents and community. This work of teaching and learning is truly a joy."
No other school recognition program in California uses hard data, individual school and student subgroup performance data based on the California Standards Tests and the California High School Exit Exam to evaluate school academic performance. It's only by looking at this hard data, student test scores, and evaluating students and schools based on grade-level proficiency of the California standards that educators, parents and the public can thoroughly understand what's happening in our schools and ensure that schools are on track to get all kids to grade level proficiency.
Honor Roll schools are recognized for being on track to meet the goal of 100 percent grade-level proficiency by the 2013-14 school year as required by federal law.
A full list of the Honor Roll schools, sorted alphabetically by county, can be found at www.cbeefoundation.org.
"We know from the success of these schools that it's possible for all schools and all students in California to reach high levels of high academic achievement, to close achievement gaps and to reach 100 percent proficiency ," said Jim Lanich, president of CBEE. "Every one of the schools on the Honor Roll is on track to do it. By highlighting these schools, recognizing their achievement and giving them a voice, we hope other schools can learn from these schools' proven 'best practices' and achieve the same results."