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Rolling Hills Middle School hits impressive API score

By From page B8 | September 23, 2011

School celebrates a 20 point gain over last year’s performance index 

Rolling Hills Middle School’s Bengal Tigers faculty and students are roaring with pride over the recent release of statewide Academic Performance Index scores that showed the 1,000-student middle school easily surpassed the 900 level for the first time.

The state API measures the year-over-year growth in academic performance for California schools based upon each school’s test results from the statewide Standardized Testing and Reporting program, according to the California Department of Education. The recent API number reflected test results from the 2010-2011 school year.

The API summarizes a school’s standardized test scores into a single number, which ranges from 200 to 1,000. The statewide API goal is 800 for all schools; higher numbers generally indicate better performance on the tests.

Rolling Hills Middle School Principal Debbie Bowers was thrilled with the number, 914.

“It’s difficult for an already high achieving school to continue to make gains, but we’ve done it, and I’m so proud of everyone involved,” said Bowers. “The students worked diligently not just on the day of the test, but throughout the year, to establish a solid foundational basis. The teachers established high expectations of their students and of themselves, and it’s exciting to see that work pay off.”

Bowers is quick to mention that success like this does not come just from those who are on campus every day, but from the community as well.

“We’re so lucky to work in a community that values and supports education. The parents, of course, are very involved and the community has also been instrumental to our district’s success by agreeing to support education through the Measure K Bond as well as the Buckeye Education Foundation.”

Through the years Rolling Hills Middle School has been honored with accolades including being named a National Blue Ribbon School and a California Distinguished School.

Bowers said they have recently revised the school’s schedule to place emphasis on the middle school concept of teaming, which helps to create a small school concept within a large school setting. An advisory program called Pride was established to help build stronger relationships between the students and staff.

“Research shows that if there is at least one adult on campus with whom a student feels safe and comfortable, that student will make greater gains in learning,” said Bowers.  “We are so proud to see our efforts to engage students reflected through high performance rankings like the API.”

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