School test scores improved for the second year in a row in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, according to state data released Thursday.
The districtwide average on the Academic Performance Index (API) improved 11 points to 838 out of 1,000.
"I think for the district to [increase 11 points] is very, very good," said Board President Dave Brooks. "I'm very proud of all the work our teachers, administrators, staff and students — especially the students — have done."
Two high schools, Corona del Mar and Early College, broke 900 for the first time, according to the data, which is released by California's Department of Education.
The scores are based on the results of the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) program and the California High School Exit Examination.
API scores, which range from 200 to 1,000, measure academic performance levels and growth for individual schools and for districts. The state has set 800 as every school's target.
"Our overall test results are excellent news," Supt. Fred Navarro said in a prepared statement. "Our teachers and administrators have worked diligently in identifying academic areas for improvement as well as targeting individual skills for specific students. Their hard work can be seen in the growth demonstrated in the 2012 scores."
Anderson Elementary School scored 961 — the highest in the district for the second year — growing by 11 points.
Newport Coast Elementary, Davis Magnet, Lincoln Elementary, Newport Heights Elementary and Mariners Elementary schools also scored above 900. Davis, with a score of 951, had the largest growth in the district.
Rea Elementary in Costa Mesa received the lowest score, 700, but still grew by 16 points.
Adams, College Park, Whittier and Wilson elementary schools, TeWinkle Middle School, and Costa Mesa and Estancia high schools were some of the lowest performers.
All the schools, with the exception of Estancia, improved. TeWinkle, Wilson, Whittier, College Park and Adams had significant growth of at least 20 points.
In Newport-Mesa, 66% of schools met their target growth. Five schools grew but didn't meet their growth target, and five other schools either stayed the same or declined.
Of the five schools with the highest growth, three of them were Program Improvement schools, meaning they missed annual progress benchmarks required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act for two consecutive years.
Adams, Pomona and Wilson elementary schools are on their way to exiting Program Improvement status after meeting the state's "safe harbor" designation for math and English language arts, according to the district. If the schools meet the designation again next year, they will not longer be in Program Improvement.
Killybrooke, Rea and Costa Mesa High School reached the "safe harbor" designation for math.
The district is expecting to see scores improve again next year, in part, because of a summer camp for Program Improvement schools, Brooks said.
The camp gives students who had fallen below their grade level intensive reading help.
"Next year, we're going to see higher scores," Brooks said.
By The Numbers
Newport Coast: 950
Harbor View: 936
Newport Heights: 905
College Park: 763
Early College: 915
Corona del Mar: 902
Newport Harbor: 838
Costa Mesa: 771
Alternative High Schools
Monte Vista: 638
Back Bay: 571