Sulphur Springs recognizes top schools for underserved students

Leona Cox, Mint Canyon and Valley View Community Schools were all honored with the distinction that had been given out by Innovate Public Schools and USC’s Sol Price School of Public Policy and Rossier School of Education, May 22, 2019. Caleb Lunetta / The Signal

During their Wednesday night meeting, the Sulphur Springs governing board recognized three schools that had been named Top Schools for Underserved Students in Los Angeles County.

Leona Cox, Mint Canyon and Valley View Community Schools were all honored with the distinguishment that had been given out by Innovate Public Schools and USC’s Sol Price School of Public Policy and Rossier School of Education.

Mint Canyon Principal Roni Andrus said the award her school received was a distinguishment in math earned after low-income Latino students had scored above the statewide averages in both English Language Arts and mathematics.

“There are almost 3,000 schools in Los Angeles County, and under 300 of them were selected as top public schools for underserved students,” said Andrus. “This recognition means you look at all children who have challenges in their learning and you meet their needs. It takes a lot of teacher collaboration, professionals meeting their needs, dedication over time and hard work.”

Andrus said she had a parent recently tour her school who had noted that the minority students were testing well, and that she had had she wanted to send her kids to Mint Canyon because of their Dashboard scores of “green” and “blue” in these areas, indicating the high level of achievement.

“You teach all children — high-achieving and GATE kids get differentiation, just like struggling students,” Andurs said. “You can be in a fluid area and have high test scores, and they just have to maintain them. But with 81 percent of our students socioeconomically disadvantaged and 51 percent of them speak another language at home, to show growth like that, and be in the ‘blue’ in English Language Arts and the ‘green’ in mathematics, is amazing.”

Valley View elementary had been honored in both academic categories as well for low-income African American and Latino students, and Leona Cox had been recognized for its performance in educating low-income Latino students.

“Obviously, it’s important for our community to understand how successful our schools are and how successful our teachers are being and how successful our students are being,” said Denis DeFigueiredo, president of the SSUSD board. “It’s a recognition that things are working well and that our principals are directing their things at their school sites that are showing student achievement and success.”

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