Landels Elementary School was named a "Title I Academic Achievement Award School," one of 238 in California, last month by the state's top educator.
Landels was one of three Santa Clara County schools to receive the award, granted Feb. 11 by Jack O'Connell, state superintendent of public instruction, to schools whose students are deemed to be making significant progress toward proficiency in California academic standards. Socioeconomically disadvantaged students must have doubled the achievement standards set for them for two consecutive years.
Landels' Academic Performance Index (API), a comprehensive score from 200 to 1,000 given by the state, jumped 31 points this year to 825. A score of 800 or higher is the goal for all California schools.
"This award exemplifies the Landels community," said Principal Carmen Mizell in a statement. The school is "a place full of people who care about, look after, and root for one another — people who work together for the good of the whole in times of need as well as times of celebration," she said.
Landels also received the award for the 2005-06 school year. Castro Elementary received it in 2006-07.
To be eligible for the award, schools must be receiving Title I federal funding, given to institutions who serve high populations of students living at or below the poverty level under the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act. More than 6,000 schools in California receive Title I funding.
College enrollment suffers under cuts
California's community colleges saw a drop in enrollment for the 2009-10 school year, but not due to lack of demand, according to the head of the state's community college system.
Rather, the statewide decline of about 1 percent — 3.3 percent in the Foothill-De Anza district alone — is due to lack of funding for classes and sections, California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott said in a statement released last week. Statewide, class sections reportedly are down by about 5 percent.
According to Becky Bartindale, spokesperson for the Foothill-De Anza Community College District, despite the drop in enrollment for the 2009-10 school year there were long waiting lists for fall- and winter-quarter classes. She said the district is currently serving the equivalent of 900 full-time students for whom they are receiving no money from the state.
The district says it must balance next year's budget with over $10 million less than this year due to funding cuts. That figure was calculated even after a health benefits reduction approved for all employees in December freed up $5.3 million.
— Kelsey Mesher