GECA Awarded the California Distinguished Schools Award
State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces California Distinguished Schools for 2013
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today named Dr TJ Owens Gilroy Early College Academy to be among the 218 public middle and high schools California Distinguished Schools for their strong commitment and innovative approaches to improving student academic achievement.
"These schools have gone the extra mile to provide high-quality instruction that puts their students on the right path toward career and college," Torlakson said. "Given the enormous challenges schools have faced in recent years, it is inspiring to see this kind of success in so many schools. Our future depends on meeting the needs of every student no matter where they come from or where they live."
The 2013 California Distinguished Schools Program directly focuses on the right of California's students to an equitable and rigorous education, and recognizes those schools that have made progress in narrowing the academic achievement gap.
To apply for Distinguished School honors, schools must meet a variety of eligibility criteria, including accountability measures. Once schools are deemed eligible, the California Department of Education (CDE) invites them to apply to be recognized as a California Distinguished School.
The application process consists of a written application, which includes a comprehensive description of two of the school's signature practices, and a county-led site validation review process, which validates the implementation of those signature practices.
Schools earning the Distinguished School title agree to share their signature practices with other schools and become a mentor to those seeking to replicate their work. An updated searchable database of these Signature Practices will be available later this spring from the CDE. To view the current Signature Practices Web site, please visit the Distinguished Schools Signature Practices page.
GECA will be honored in May 17 during regional award ceremonies where Torlakson will present each school with a 2013 Distinguished School plaque and flag.
GECA API Score is 931!
Dr TJ Owens Gilroy Early College Academy once again showed improvement beyond our expectations in the 2012 Academic Performance Index Growth Report (API) according to data released October 11, 2012 by the California Department of Education----improving 5 points in yet another impressisve gain from last year!
The API score is the cornerstone of the state’s academic accountability requirements. The API is a numerical index (or scale) ranging from a low score of 200 to a high score of 1000. It reflects a school’s academic performance based on annual high school results of statewide testing at grades nine through eleven. Each year, schools receive two API reports, the API Base (reported in March) and the API Growth (reported in September). Statewide, forty-nine percent of all California schools are now at or above the overall statewide target API of 800. Needless to say, GECA is well beyond the states goals!
Equally important is that the API measures and compares the academic performance and growth of schools on a variety of academic measures and identifies significant populations of a school. Scores for these specific subgroups at GECA also improved in most areas. Results for the significant populations of GECA are identified by the Department of Education. GECA significant population of students are: A subgroup entitled "Hispanic or Latino" and “Socioeconomically Disadvantaged” who also scored much higher than the average in the state. The state goal for all schools is 800 on the API. These results continue to place GECA as the highest high school in Gilroy Unified School District, be ranked 10 in "like" schools and 10 in Great Schools, as well as, number 20 of the 1,939 high schools in the state of California!
GECA is one of the 40 Beat the Odds School!
What makes extraordinarily successful schools different from other schools? The answer: school climate, according to a new study from WestEd, a San Francisco-based research agency.
Recently, researchers identified 40 as consistently and significantly outperforming similar schools on the California Standards Tests and the California Academic High School Exit Exam. Researchers dubbed this group the “beating-the-odds” schools because their test scores were better than would have been predicted, based on the students they were serving.
Link to the article: http://www.edsource.org/today/2013/positive-school-climate-boosts-test-scores-study-says/31043#.UX_SfMu9KSN