On the heels of being awarded a ‘Silver’ distinction from U.S. World and News Report, Escalon High School has also seen its API score take a jump, up to 798.
The Silver distinction recently presented to the school ranks it as being among the top 10 percent of high schools in the nation, said EHS Principal Dave Lattig.
“There’s specific criteria used,” Lattig said, noting that the school has to be statistically better in both English language arts and math than other schools in the state and also have a higher than average performance from the traditional subgroups.
“If you meet those two criteria, then they will look at your AP (Advanced Placement) test takers and scores,” Lattig explained.
The formula used to determine eligibility for a gold, silver or bronze distinction includes such variables as the number of students who took an AP exam and passed with a ‘3’ or higher based on the scale of 1 to 5, divided by the number of students in the senior class. Lattig said the test takers included in the rating are the seniors who took an AP class from their sophomore through senior years and passed it with a 3 or higher.
“They also take the number of kids in your senior class who took the tests, period, to help develop a college readiness score,” explained Lattig. “This school gets a high passing rate in college prep level courses.”
The state API scores show the high school grew by 37 points over the past year, almost reaching the state target of 800.
“We found out that we are the top performing comprehensive, traditional high school in San Joaquin County,” Lattig added.
The focus has been placed on academics over the past few years, as the school looks to make its mark as much in the classroom as on the athletic fields.
Escalon Unified School District Superintendent Ron Costa said the ‘Silver’ distinction for the high school is something everyone in the community can be proud of achieving.
“It just kind of reaffirms everything we have been doing, focusing on instruction, continuing to improve, motivating students, to make them aware of how important it is to be successful academically,” Costa said. “The teachers and staff are working very hard, that shows in the (API) gain, up to a 798 this year for the high school.”
Lattig said the effort to get students to push themselves in the classroom has taken hold, and they are getting the message that, for life beyond the Friday night lights, education is key.
“It’s all about opening more doors academically for yourself, raising your grade point average, setting goals for yourself,” Lattig said of his message to students. “We are getting kids focused on going to college.”
More high school students than ever are challenging themselves with the AP classes at EHS, and those making the honor roll are also on the rise. It’s a welcome change, Lattig said, as kids put their efforts into education.
“That’s what it’s all about, even though we are good at sports, our kids are student athletes, there’s a reason student comes first,” Lattig said. “We are very proud of our kids.”