Plans focus on strong desire for improvement

Claremont High School, El Roble Intermediate School and San Antonio High School and Community Day School were the latest CUSD schools to present their single plans for student achievement at their board meeting.

CHS reported its highest Academic Performance Index (API) score in school history with 826 points. The school was also able to meet its Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) targets schoolwide in English-Language Arts (78.8 percent) and math (69.8 percent). Yet math is still an area of focus for CHS and the district overall this year.

Of the 5 priority goals listed in the CHS report, CHS Principal Brett O’Connor pointed out the school’s endeavor to close the achievement gap for the Socioeconomically Disadvantaged subgroup in math by increasing its Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) percentage from 54.1 to 59 percent. The AYP results at CHS are based on the California High School Exit Exam taken by 10th graders.

Other goals for CHS include growing increase the amount of students who are proficient or above in Algebra I (15 to 20 percent) and Geometry (31 to 36 percent) by 5 percent, increasing the number of students enrolled in Career and Technical Education courses from 19.5 percent to 24.5 percent, having a 90 percent participation of teachers in Professional Learning Communities and the implementation of an intervention program during the school day by next spring.

“Another area that we’re looking at very closely is the percentage of underclass students receiving at least one ‘D’ or ‘F,’” Mr. O’Connor said. “That is current at 30 percent. That does decrease in 11th and 12th [grades] but that is at 28 percent and that is too high. That is an area that we’re focusing on.”

Math is also a major focus of El Roble’s priority goals, specifically Algebra I and 7th grade integrated math.  El Roble Principal Scott Martinez said the school plans to increase its 7th grade integrated math AYP percentage from 43 to 48.7 percent and improve in Algebra from 45 to 50.5 percent.

English-Language Arts is a concern for El Roble as the school was 4 percent short of its 67.6 AYP target schoolwide. El Roble wants to boost 7th graders from 67 to 70 percent and 8th graders from 62 to 65 percent this year.

Mr. Martinez believes working closer with elementary schools, Claremont High School and San Antonio High School will also help students fare better in math at the junior high level.

“We think it’ really important to articulate with the high schools and with the elementary schools because that’s something that we haven’t done,” the El Roble principal said. “And so, we want to go to the elementary schools and say these are the skills the students need to be successful in math and help the elementary teachers. We have started the process with Brett [O’Connor] at Claremont High School and with San Antonio High School, collaborating with the Algebra teachers there so that Algebra at El Roble is the same at Claremont High School and Geometry at El Roble is the same at the high schools. These are all good things that are happening with our teachers.”

San Antonio High School Principal Steven Boyd pointed out that 10 percent of students increasing one performance level until proficiency is reached in English and math, at least 50 percent of parents shows a satisfaction rate of 75 percent or more on home to school communication, 50 percent of teachers increasing technology use by 20 percent as the 3 main priority goals for the current school year. The school also wants to improve attendance and is adding online courses for students.

While the plans have a significant focus on improvement, Interim Superintendent Gloria Johnston hopes the public still takes into account the good things about each of the schools.

“One of the things that we forget when we start talking about school improvement is taking a few minutes to acknowledge all of the great work that has taken place in our schools over the past years,” Dr. Johnston said. “All of the incredible achievements—the students who have been in our classrooms, the teachers who have been there, the administrators, the parents, everyone who has made incredible gains.”


Theatre renovation project receives more help

Dixie Mae Allen, along with the La Fetra Foundation, Keeping the Good in Our Neighborhood and other Claremont residents combined to donate $130,150 towards the Claremont High School theatre renovation project.

Ms. Allen gave a $100,000 donation to the project with the La Fetra Foundation providing $25,000 and Keeping the Good in Our Neighborhood (KGNH) contributing $2955.

KGNH organizer Betty Crocker presented the $2955 award to Board President Beth Bingham and said the choice to support the theatre project was made by popular vote during the organization’s event back in September.

“Nearly 50 neighbors participated in an electronic voting process and the beneficiary of the Rockin’ Raffle by popular vote was the CHS theatre renovation project,” Ms. Crocker said. “We were able to raise these monies from the generosity of our 44 community partners, which provided wonderful donations and prizes, and the countless neighbors who purchased raffle tickets at KGNH 4 or at the presale events.”

For more information on the theatre project, visit

—Landus Rigsby





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