State Schools Chief Tours Placerita Jr. High
Visit highlights school's higher achievement rates
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell visited Placerita Junior High School in Newhall Monday afternoon to tour the recently modernized campus.
He was also there to affirm the success the school has recorded in terms of improving standardized test scores and closing the achievement gap.
Principal Mike Kuhlman reported that in the past three years, the number of Placerita students achieving proficiency in English and math has increased across all ethnic and socio-economic subgroups.
The school's Academic Performance Index rating now exceeds the state's target level by 49 points. He also highlighted the success of new practices like the use of an online program called Snapgrades, which provides parents with current information on student performance, allowing teachers and parents to work together more effectively to help students.
After reviewing the performance statistics, Superintendent O'Connell toured parts of the campus, including a classroom and the Miner Morning Television studio, where he recorded a message to the student body.
While speaking in the classroom, he encouraged students to take advantage of the opportunities afforded them and praised the dedication of their teachers.
He also expressed concern that California is not keeping up the levels of investment necessary to ensure its students remain competitive in the future.
"We are operating our schools today at 18 billion dollars below where we expected to be just a year ago," O'Connell said.