Saturday, September 18, 2010

Point Fermin Principal Bonnie Taft announcing that Point Fermin had become Los Angeles Unified SchoollDistrict's first marine magnet elementary school.

LAUSD School Board Member Richard Vladovic visits students at one of his schools.
POINT FERMIN ELEMENTARY SCALES UP TO THE “800 CLUB” WITH AN AMAZING 45 POINT LEAP IN ITS API AFTER THE PRINCIPAL IMPLEMENTED HER “GOLDEN HOUR RULE” AND OTHER STRATEGIES TO ENHANCE INSTRUCTIONAL LEARNING; THE MARINE MAGNET ELEMENTARY HAD THE LARGEST JUMP IN SAN PEDRO

 LAUSD SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER RICHARD VLADOVIC APPLAUDS POINT FERMIN AND MANY OF  HIS SCHOOLS FOR HAVING THE HIGHEST TEST SCORE RANKINGS IN LAUSD; THIS CLAP ON HIS BACK COMES AT A BRILLIANT TIME AS HE’S RUNNING FOR REELECTION



By Diana L. Chapman

Within a year that Principal Bonnie Taft stepped onto the campus at Point Fermin Elementary school, the test scores began taking dramatic leaps upward. Sixty nine points the first year, 34 the second and 14 the third – the year the school at last made it to “the 800 club.”



That  placed it among other top-ranking elementary schools in the region, having shot up from 695 points to 813.
And then the drop came. Taking the principal and staff by surprise, the test scores in 2008-2009 dipped down 18 points. That’s when Taft pulled out the big guns –shortly  before the school became the Los Angeles Unified’s first elementary marine magnet in February 2009.

Apparently, those implementations including her “Golden Hours” rule, hiring an intervention teacher full time and not allowing any fundraisers during school hours – worked. The school shot up 45 points this past year, reaching an API (Academic Performance Index) of 838.


 “We had to go back to square one,” the principal said, explaining how the school made such a giant leap. “We had to tighten up everything.”


She believes the new test scores issued this week reflected a mixed pot of rigor she added -- with the support of her teaching staff -- at the small school of 325 students, one being the return of the Golden Hours.


 “We had always taken our instructional time seriously but we really put our nose to the grind,” she said. “I instituted the Golden Hours between eight and noon where students have their most energy and they’re ready to learn. There were no classroom interruptions during that time. No loudspeakers. No parents bringing lunch to the classroom. No phone calls.”


School Board Member Richard Vladovic, who is running for reelection,  lauded Point Fermin’s achievement along with the high scores at many of the 150 other schools he resides over.


 His region’s total API (Academic Performance Index)  growth was 2,082, the highest throughout the district out pacing his comrades on the school board, his staff said.  The top schools in his region that vaulted upward were: West Vernon Elementary School reached 711 from 635, a 76 point increase, followed by Compton Elementary which increased by 66, from 668 to 734 and Richard Lizzaraga Elementary School from 670 to 738, garnering an increase of 58.

Locally, other schools fared well in their scores, with Harbor Teachers Prep Academy in Wilmington obtaining stunning results jumping 52 points. It’s now ranked as Los Angeles Unified’s top performing high schools when it comes to API at 936 points.
 In particular, the board member lauded two Harbor area schools that have faced significant struggles in the past that successfully raised the scores. Those  include: Gulf Elementary School in Wilmington with 42 points -- now at 770 -- and Fries Elementary, in the same community, reaching 739, a 40 point jump.

“I am so pleased with the tremendous growth at Point Fermin last year,” Vladovic
“I am thrilled by the increase in student achievement in the Board District 7. Our schools have worked tirelessly despite bleak budgetary constraints.”


In addition, the following high schools had increases: San Pedro High from 675 to 692, Banning from 613 to 646, Carson  610 to 641, Gardena  up 11 to 586 and the Port of Los Angeles Charter from 731 to 778. The San Pedro areas two middle schools also reflected increases: Dana from 687 to 716 and Dodson from 799 to 825.

At Point Fermin, the principal said she used several strategies besides the “Golden Hours,” which sprang from her many years as a teacher and later principal when she watched students consistently lose focus as phones rang, people entered the class room and the worst interference: loud speakers that announced messages, throwing students’ concentration off.

Another strategy was to hire a full time intervention instructor to support struggling students – and at least 40 students went through the program. Fundraisers were done only after or before school so class instructional time was not impacted, including school book fairs.

The school, she said, also received tremendous support from volunteer parents in the classroom and from Mike Romero who now heads the region as local superintendent.

“One other thing: Mike Romero was our director and  he was here monitoring our progress,” Bonnie explained. “He knew my teachers by name. He understood instruction. Every year, he supported my teachers.”


She added when the scores dipped: “It just spoke for itself. We had to change what we were doing.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome blog thank you! You should checkout my site http://motorcycle-fairings.info