April 2011 Spotlight on Success

April 29, 2011

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The charter school movement is dependent upon the hard work of visionary founders, leaders, and authorizers, plus dedicated teachers and volunteers and inspired students. The Association is proud to recognize several of them this month.

A consortium of independent-study experts and the state Department of Education presented the Classical Academy High School in Escondido with an Exemplary Independent Study Recognition Award. The award was created three years ago, and a Classical Academies school has been recognized each year. In its first year, the Coastal Academy Charter School for K-8 in Oceanside received the recognition. Last year, the Classical Academy Charter School for K-8 in Escondido received the award. Read the North County Times article about the award.

The California Workforce Association awarded Shomari Patterson, a senior at Vista Real Charter School, with the Dwight Brydie Scholarship at its 12th Annual Youth Conference. The Ventura County Star has more.

Gabriella Charter School is the 2011 recipient of a prestigious Music Center Bravo Award. The award was given in recognition of the depth and quality of the school's multi-faceted dance program.

As Dance Coordinator Chippy Zuniga noted in accepting the award, there are students at Gabriella Charter School who have never attended a day of school without a dance class. With all the cutbacks in arts education, Gabriella Charter is modeling how the arts engage and stimulate students while also propelling them towards classroom success.

Camino Nuevo Charter Academy - Harvard Site in Los Angeles has been named a 2011 EPIC Award-Winning Charter School. The school was one of four in the country recognized for making dramatic gains in student achievement based on a value-added analysis completed by Mathematica Policy Research. Educators in these schools will receive individual financial rewards ranging from $1,500 to $12,000. Learn more about EPIC, the Effective Practice Incentive Community, here.

Eighth-graders at Camarillo Academy of Progressive Education (CAPE) are literally making history. The school is one of 27 schools across the nation selected to participate in the K-12 Web Archiving Program sponsored by the Library of Congress, the Internet Archive and California Digital Library. The program is designed to encourage students to think about history by selecting sources for ongoing research use, effectively creating "time capsules" of what represents their current lives. Learn more.

The 9th grade engineering team, made up of Arseni Haroshka, Vadim Tkachuk, and Yakov Romanchuk, at Future High School beat out 10 other area teams (Antelope HS, Galt HS, Cordova HS, CAA, Folsom HS among other schools) in their regional engineering competition. The team won iPads and an all-expenses-paid trip to the state competition in San Diego in May.

Theo Kell, a 6th grader from Mary Collins at Cherry Valley Charter School in Petaluma won the won the Sonoma County Elementary School Spelling Bee. He claimed the first place trophy and a $250 U.S. savings bond after correctly spelling the words "soufflé " and "prescience." The Press Democrat has more.

Westlake Charter School in Sacramento was selected by California Business for Education Excellence as one of 1,221 public schools in California to receive the title of 2010 Honor Roll school. Schools receiving this distinction from California's business community have demonstrated consistent high student academic achievement and have made significant progress toward closing achievement gaps among all their students.

Congratulations to 7th grade KIPPsters across the Bay Area who were accepted to the KIPP STEP summer program at Deerfield Academy: Emiliano Salazar (KIPP Bayview Academy), Jezreel Bigornia-Meza (KIPP Bridge Charter School), Vanessa Sanchez (KIPP Heartwood Academy), Zachary Yeap (KIPP Heartwood Academy), and Paula Jurado (KIPP Summit Academy).

Twenty-two charter schools were among the 209 California public schools selected for the 2010-11 Title I Academic Achievement Award. The award is given only to schools receiving federal Title I funds as authorized by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Title I funds assist schools in meeting the educational needs of students living near or at the poverty level.

To meet the criteria for this distinction, the school must demonstrate that all students are making significant progress toward proficiency on California's academic content standards. Additionally, the school's socioeconomically disadvantaged students must have doubled the achievement targets set for them for two consecutive years.

Read CCSA President and CEO Jed Wallace's statement on the awards, and see the full list of charters receiving the award, here.

Congratulations to the 18 charter schools recently honored with the California Distinguished School Award. Schools were identified for eligibility on the basis of their Academic Performance Index and Adequate Yearly Progress results, and were also identified by their success in narrowing the achievement gap that exists between higher-performing and lower-performing students.

All applicants underwent a stringent selection process conducted by the California Department of Education with the help of many educators from across the state. Each applicant was required to describe two Signature Practices that have led to an increase in student achievement and a narrowing of the achievement gap. Applicants were then selected to receive a thorough site visit to validate the Signature Practices.

Find out which schools received this designation, and read CCSA's statement, here.

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