Students shine on STAR

The numbers are in, and they show that La Cañada Flintridge public school students know their math.

La Cañada students made significant strides this year in statewide Standardized Testing and Reporting scores, according to figures released by the La Cañada Unified School District this week.

The percentage of La Cañada High School students meeting or exceeding state targets jumped from 2% to 15% in every math subject. The biggest increase was in Algebra I, where 93% of high school students now meet or exceed state standards.

Improvements in geometry scores were nearly as dramatic. While 62% of students met or exceeded state targets in 2011, 75% did so in 2012.

Supt. Wendy Sinnette credited “the fine quality of instruction delivered by our talented teachers, the support of the classified staff, and oversight and leadership by administrators” for the success. “It's really a community success story,” Sinnette said.

Each year, students from second through 11th grades are tested in English-language arts and math. In English, eight of the 10 grades in La Cañada schools saw gains in 2012.

Third-graders and high school juniors saw the biggest gains in English, with 92% of third-graders meeting or exceeding state standards, compared to 84% a year earlier, and 88% of high school juniors doing so compared to 83% in 2011.

La Cañada Elementary School's fourth-graders shined the brightest, with 98% meeting or exceeding the state targets in both English and math.

Palm Crest Elementary's sixth-graders were close behind, achieving 95% proficiency in English and 98% in math.

A comparison of how the district stacks up with others around the state can't be made until Aug. 31, when the California Department of Education is scheduled to release statewide STAR results.

Despite the test-score improvements, Lindi Dreibelbis, La Cañada Unified's director of assessment, research and consolidated programs, said there always will be room for improvement.

“While we're very proud of the scores … I don't think the school district ever rested on its laurels,” she said.

“Whether we are focusing on individual student needs, grade-level achievement or content, we'll always look for pockets of improvement.”

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