Posted by marti, a resident of the Martens-Carmelita neighborhood, on Apr 21, 2010 at 10:11 pm
This is my 6th year volunteering at Landels and I congratulate all the teachers, staff, principal, parents, volunteers, and students for a Job well done. This award really exemplifies the Landels community. Well done!
The fact that this was an official press release by the district would make me think it's just an attempt to put positive spin on a troubled superintendent and principal. So why cover it again? There are plenty of other outstanding issues that need to be addressed. For example, who will be in the next superintendent and when, how will class size increases and teacher layoffs affect students next year, or maybe, how will the board ensure that science and math curriculum will improve? Instead we get a repeat story.
We need to focus on the schools that are struggling, to include Landels, which is only making gains from its struggling status.
Posted by Landels alum, a resident of another community, on Apr 22, 2010 at 9:10 am
The link you point to is for a different award (Title I Academic Achievement Award) that Landels won earlier this year. It is not a rehash of the same story as this award is a designation as a California Distinguished School.
The entire Landels community deserves hearty congratulations for all their hard work for students.
Posted by Charlie, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Apr 22, 2010 at 10:24 am
People, please scrutinize this award more carefully. It rewards those schools who have economically challenged students and have a very low bar to reach for achievement. Through my direct experience of this school it is not competing at the the level I would want any of my children to participate in. Remember the level of competition is what is important for preparing children for our highly competitive society.
Posted by Big Al, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Apr 22, 2010 at 10:47 am
Good point Charlie, Distinguished School Award or Achievement Award, it's all window dressing on how the State recognizes underachieving schools that are improving in their status as underachievers. It's all politics and how the State and district point to minimal signs of improvement and then make it out like these are top quality schools we are talking about here (which they are not).
Posted by James, a resident of the Whisman Station neighborhood, on Apr 22, 2010 at 12:11 pm
"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 is not under-achieving, and it was achieved with funding that is a little more than half the national average. If the trend continues
Posted by Laurel, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Apr 22, 2010 at 12:44 pm
Wow! I am dismayed by the negative tone of a few of these comments. I can speak to the quality of the education at Landels, since my son was a student there for 6 years (he's now a sophomore at Mountain View High School) and I currently have a 4th grader at Landels. I have volunteered in both of my kids' classrooms, giving me the opportunity to watch many Landels teachers in action. The student population at Landels is certainly very diverse, with many kids from less affluent families as well as many kids from more upscale professional families like ours. What has impressed me about Landels--and what this particular award reflects--is the ability of teachers and staff to work effectively with kids from both ends of the economic spectrum, and from many different cultural backgrounds. Landels' teachers are hardworking, creative and successful at helping all of the kids in their classrooms, and the several principals we have had over the past dozen years have put programs in place to serve gifted, high-achieving kids as well as those who need help to catch up. Congratulations to all of those at Landels who have earned this award through lots of hard work.
Posted by Steve Nelson, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Apr 22, 2010 at 1:06 pm
Laurel is correct in my own observation (as a sub their over several years). The school community is doing well with the background of the population it serves. Its API (in this case Affluent Parent Index) is not nearly as high as Los Altos - yet its teachers are able to focus and help improve their students. BTW - Landels, like all MV elementary schools, works with $36,000 less per classroom per year than Los Altos (mainly in property taxes). So when you see your city council majority voting to spend Castro Street (or Shoreline) money - realize $6 million a year are being diverted from MV local schools for these 'tax diversion districts'.
Posted by Not a Landels Parent, a resident of the Waverly Park neighborhood, on Apr 23, 2010 at 1:01 pm
@Charlie: I know many kids who went to Landels, and I can tell you that they are some of the brightest, highest-achieving kids I know. They have no problem "competing" with the kids from "better" schools when they move up to middle and high school. Landels is a good school, they should be very proud. This is their second Distinguished School Award in the past few years.
Posted by Landels Lion, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Apr 24, 2010 at 10:08 am
These awards just prove how excellent a principal Carmen Mizell is and together with Dr. Ghysels how great a leadership team they make! If only the other schools in the district could rise to this level under such great leadership. Perhaps Ms. Mizell could spend some time at the other sites to guide them on the right path. It would be a win-win for everyone! Go Landels Lions!
Posted by James, a resident of the Whisman Station neighborhood, on Apr 26, 2010 at 2:40 pm
I think the schools could benefit from recruiting volunteers from local companies. There are armies of smart young people at these tech firms many of whom don't have families yet and as I remember have more free time than those with kids in school. I think it would be of great benefit to all.