Schools - May 26, 2010

Las Lomitas scores highest in California

by Renee Batti

Local elementary school districts are among the highest-ranked in the state based on the 2009 Academic Performance Index scores, with the Las Lomitas district topping the list of the state's K-8 districts.

The two-school district, comprising Las Lomitas elementary in Atherton and La Entrada middle in Menlo Park, scored 966 out of a possible 1,000 points. That score is up 10 points from 2008.

The Menlo Park City, Portola Valley, and Woodside school districts also earned a 10 in the state's ranking from 1 to 10.

The latest scores from the state Department of Education are based on tests taken in early 2009. Last fall, a preliminary report was issued, and Las Lomitas was singled out as the top district at the time. Although the score announced then dropped by one point after the state's additional statistical analysis, the top ranking did not.

Las Lomitas Superintendent Eric Hartwig noted that the latest report provides a more meaningful level measure of comparison for the district, in that it compares schools with similar socio-economic factors. Both district schools earned a ranking of 10 in that category.

The similar-school ranking shows "that the performance (by students) isn't just because we're in an affluent district," Mr. Hartwig said. "I'm terribly proud of our kids and our teachers, who really, really work hard."

The Portola Valley district, which includes Ormondale and Corte Madera schools, was the ninth-highest scoring district in the state. Its score of 946 was down three points from 2008. Both schools were ranked 9 in comparison with similar schools.

The Woodside district's score came in 19th place statewide. Its score of 932 points was down from 951 in 2008. The district's only school was ranked 9 in the similar-school category.

The Menlo Park district's score put it 21st in the state, with a score of 931 — a 17-point gain over last year's score. Both Oak Knoll elementary and Hillview middle schools were ranked 9 in comparison with similar schools, while Laurel and Encinal didn't fare as well. Laurel earned a 5 and Encinal a 7 in the similar-school category.

Go to (case-sensitive) for a full list of the state's API rankings.


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