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Schools Gain In API Scores
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When the scores were unveiled, Escalon was shown to be in pretty good shape.

The state's API, Academic Performance Index, showed gains at nearly every school in the district and a marked improvement in a couple of core groups.

"For our individual schools, the high school went up 44 points, from 700 to 744," noted Escalon Unified School District Superintendent Dave Mantooth. "Van Allen went up 23 points, to 764 and El Portal is our highest rated school, 774, up seven points."

Collegeville also registered an increase, up three points to 735, while Farmington and Dent were down slightly, Farmington down four to 704 and Dent down nine points to 768.

Measured in the district as a whole, the growth was a combined 16 points for a district score of 755, up from the base of 739.

"It's very encouraging," said Mantooth. "We went up in every single subgroup, especially with our socially disadvantaged and English language learners, we put a lot of emphasis in those areas."

At the high school, in fact, the scores for those in the socially disadvantaged group went up a whopping 56 points.

"That's a very significant change, and that's due in part to the major changes that Joel (high school principal Joel Johannsen) has instituted as part of the WASC process," Mantooth said of making adjustments based on recommendations from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges during an accreditation process this past spring.

"One grade level did show a significant decline and we'll be analyzing that," added Mantooth. "That's the third grade and that has been the toughest grade statewide."

The greatest increases were measured at the high school and at the fourth grade level.

The state's target score for all schools is 800 and Mantooth said slowly, but surely, progress is being made toward that goal on all campuses.