Hart District Reaches New High For Academic Performance Index
The California Department of Education released its annual Accountability Progress Report on Aug. 31st. This year, the Hart District’s API score of 832 is an increase of eight points from last year’s score and places it as a leader in the state among similar union high school districts. The report lists the performance of California public schools based on two accountability systems, the state’s Academic Performance Index (API) and the federal Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). API scores are calculated by converting a student’s performance on statewide assessments across multiple content areas into points. These points are then weighted and averaged across all students and all tests for their schools and district, resulting in the schools’ and district’s API. API scores can range from 200 to 1000 with scores above 800 being the goal for all districts and schools. Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), the federal accountability system, is determined by a district’s or school’s progress toward meeting the No Child Left Behind goal that 100 percent of its students score proficient or better in English-language arts and math by 2014. This year, the Hart School District met 33 of its 42 AYP targets. David LeBarron, director of curriculum and assessment, noted that the continual growth in the district’s API scores and its ability to meet most of its AYP targets does not happen automatically. “It is the result of our teachers, support staff, and administrators working very hard to assess, evaluate and improve their instruction and our students’ performance,” he explained. “Their work, combined with the support we receive from our parents and community, is the core of a school culture that is focused on meeting the academic needs of all of its students.” For complete information visit: http://hartdistrict.org/index.php/news/698-hart-district-reaches-new-high-for-academic-performance-index.
More Than 91 Percent of Students Pass Exit Exam on First Try
More than 91 percent of tenth graders in the Hart School District passed the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) on their first try, according to figures released last month by the California Department of Education. The performance of Hart District students matches last year’s and far outpaces the performance of their county and state peers. The passage rate includes students who are English language learners and students in special education, according to David LeBarron, the Hart District’s director of curriculum and assessment. Hart District students take the CAHSEE for the first time in March of their tenth grade year, along with all other students needing to pass one or both parts of the test. The state figures released include results for all students taking the CAHSEE. “We are pleased with the results,” LeBarron commented, “Our pass rate is quite a bit higher than both the state and the county.” For complete information visit: http://hartdistrict.org/index.php/news/691-more-than-91-percent-of-hart-district-students-pass-high-school-exit-exam-on-first-try.
La Mesa Receives Valuing Diversity Award
This year’s Valuing Diversity Award goes to La Mesa Junior High School in honor of the schools’ ambitious effort in creating a school environment where all students feel safe and respected. Each year, the Hart School District selects one school to receive this prestigious award. Through the collaborative efforts of administration, staff, students and parents, La Mesa has developed a host of programs and activities designed to ensure that their students’ emotional and academic needs are met. “There has been a particular emphasis on bullying prevention and on breaking down social barriers between student groups,” Greg Lee, director of human resources and equity services said. “The entire La Mesa school community is actively engaged in making the school a place where all students and staff feel welcome and appreciated.” A few of the many programs and activities that help support La Mesa’s outstanding diversity awareness efforts include: African American Parent Partnership, anti-bullying club, cultural assemblies, Mix-it Up Day, peer mediators, safe school ambassadors and Teen Truth organization assembly presentations. Photo: Principal Pete Fries accepting the award from Greg Lee.
West Ranch Science Teacher Invited to Final NASA Shuttle Launch
West Ranch High School science teacher, Matt Pearce, received an exciting invitation in June from NASA to witness the final Space Shuttle launch. On July 8, 2011 he took his position as one of less than 200 teachers from across the country to witness history being made. With his strong interest in space exploration, Pearce has been involved with the NASA Astronaut and Teacher in Space project (NEAT) for many years, which has provided him with unique experiences that he has been able to share with his students. Pearce was a first year medical student when he decided he wanted to teach. Pearce taught at Valencia High School for a decade then joined the newly opened West Ranch staff in 2004 as the school’s founding science department chair. He teaches a variety of science courses, including anatomy and physiology, which allows him to combine some of his early medical training into his class lessons as well as teaching his students about the effects of space travel on the human body. His love of space exploration started as an elementary school student and never wavered. Evidence of his interest can be found on display around his classroom, as historical objects and mementos adorn the walls and hang from the ceiling, seemingly flying through space. Photos: Matt Pearce, Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Launch.
Golden Oak Adult School Offers Horticulture Certificate Program
Golden Oak Adult School is excited to offer a new class, Introduction to Horticulture, taught by Santa Clarita’s very own plant expert and certified arborist, John Windsor, (pictured). During the eight-session certificate program, students will learn plant identification, care and maintenance, soil preparation, pruning techniques, irrigation, container gardening and much more. This class will benefit not only individuals interested in pursuing a career in horticulture, but also satisfy those with a personal penchant for beautifying their surroundings. Students will receive a certificate at the end of class confirming their level of competency. For more information visit: www.goldentoakadultschool.com, or call 661-222-7128.
Hart @ Home Orientation Kicks-Off First Year Program
The newly created Hart @ Home home school program offered by the Hart School District is off to a great start with 30 local students enrolled in the program. An orientation was held on Aug 18th, for the students and their parents to pick up their books, meet the principal and teachers and get a computer lesson on accessing online coursework. The students also enjoyed meeting other students in the program. The students enrolled in the program range from grades 7-12 with many working as actors and actresses in the entertainment industry. Families are thrilled with this top quality Hart District program that offers classes online, plus all the books and materials required for each class. “This is a very exciting time for the district and the families in our community,” Principal Pete Getz explained. “These students are finally able to participate in our strong academic program and remain active in outside areas of interest.” Teachers Lisa Craig and John Albert will meet with the students regularly and guide them toward success in this program. In addition to teaching at Hart @ Home, Craig will continue teaching calculus and Albert will continue as the English department chair, both at Canyon High School. Craig is also a national board certified teacher. The District plans to expand the Hart @ Home program and will accept additional students next semester. More information is available at: http://hartdistrict.org/index.php/schools/home-school-program.
Photo: Superintendent Rob Challinor with Principal Pete Getz.
Contact for more information: Gail Pinsker, Community Liaison Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org, 661.259.0033 x. 227
William S. Hart Union School District website: www.hartdistrict.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!