Two local women were honored at the Hemet Unified School District board meeting last week.
Wendy Read, a long-time, (she admitted to 18 years) volunteer, received the Governing Board Recognition and Award from Trustee Vic Scavarda.
“A volunteer extraordinaire and three times PTA president,” said board President Jim Smith in announcing the award to Read, whose three children all passed through Idyllwild School.
Nam Park, owner of Mile High Café across from Idyllwild School, was given the Good Apple Award. “She has been a good supporter of the school,” wrote Idyllwild Principal Matt Kraemer. “She’s provided free breakfasts for staff.” Several times Park has allowed school staff to be the restaurant’s servers for an evening and donates 10 percent of the proceeds to staff, according to Kraemer.
Park was not able to attend the meeting, but her son, Jason, accepted the award on her behalf.
During the meeting, Assistant Superintendent Dr. David Horton made a presentation to the board about the recently released results from the 2016 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress. This is the first year districts could compare results, he reported. He meant there are now two years — 2015 and 2016 — of results.
In response to a question from Trustee Joe Wojcik, Horton said the state will issue standards for evaluating success in January. “There are no goals this year; right now we can just see growth,” Horton stated.
HUSD’s English-language and mathematics results were positive. Overall, 37 percent of students met or exceeded the English-language standards, a 4 percent increase from 2015. All grade levels made improvements in English. More than half of the 11th-grade students met the standards, a 10 percent increase from 43 percent in 2015.
While math results did not equal the English language results (overall percentage of students meeting or exceeding the math standards was 25 percent), again, all grade levels improved from last year, with the 3rd graders demonstrating the greatest increase of 7 percent to a total of 36 percent meeting the math standard.
The best-performing districts (about 60 percent achievement) in the county were larger than HUSD, Horton said. “Our results are about the same with comparable districts,” he said.
For example, 38 percent of HUSD students met English-language standards, which is the same as Palm Springs Unified School District. Moreno Valley students were at 31 percent, and 41 percent of Alvord (Corona) and Val Verde (Perris) students were meeting standards.
Within HUSD, Idyllwild School was the most successful elementary and middle school. Here, 63 percent of students met the English standards and 52 percent met the math standards.
Horton did compare HUSD schools’ results with the percentage of the student body qualifying for the free or reduced-lunch program. The greater the percentage of students with economic disadvantaged problems at the school, the lower the school’s test results were. At Idyllwild, nearly 60 percent of students qualify for the program, the lowest percentage of all elementary schools. Schools with 80 to 90 percent of students qualifying had test results about half or two-thirds of Idyllwild’s scores.
Horton suggested that this finding might need to be addressed in the next Local Control and Accountability Plan. Resources may need to be directed to the schools with more students having the highest need.
“These test results are the ‘shiny object,’” said HUSD Superintendent Christi Barrett. “We need to be looking at students individually. Each site principal will analyze the strength of students and drill down to individual students.”
As the meeting ended, John Graham, representing the Idyllwild Rotary, addressed the board and announced that the Rotary will purchase 50 headsets for Idyllwild School’s Chromebooks.