Konocti Unified School District
November 18, 2011
This is a series of articles highlighting Lake County Schools and Districts that showed an increase in their Academic Performance Index (API) in 2011. The Academic Performance Index is a numeric assignment given to each school based upon individual student testing scores in the areas of science, math, English and history. Students are tested each year, and their scores fall into one of five categories: advanced, proficient, basic, below basic, and far below basic. The yearly STAR testing system and the high school exit exam are the tests used to assess each school’s performance, and these tests are part of the California standards that allow the state to meet the requirements for the 2001 Federal law known as No Child Left Behind.
Konocti School District is the largest district in Lake County, serving over 3000 students; and while the district is faced with significant challenges in ensuring student achievement, their unified vision and confidence in the potential of their students is having a measurable positive impact. Dr. MacDougall, District Superintendent, is passionate about creating an environment of success for all the students of Konocti, and his leadership is focused on encouraging creative and intentional strategies to support Konocti students and families.
With an overall API increase of 23 points, Konocti is starting to see results from their focused work on student achievement. April Leiferman, Student Services Director at Konocti Unified School District, emphasized the significance of the 23 point increase, especially when viewed alongside other relevant data. Economic disadvantages and level of parent education are two indicators statewide that correlate with lower API scores. Konocti has the county’s lowest average parent education level, the highest percentage of free and reduced school lunch, and the highest percentage of English language learners. All of these rankings statistically present greater challenges in achievement for Konocti. Nevertheless, the district is determined to focus on what their students are capable of, the evidence of which is seen in this overall improvement. Also of note, their English language learners API score was 702, which was the highest county score in this subgroup. They also tied for second in the economically disadvantaged subgroup, with an API of 708. Leiferman, previously principal at Pomo Elementary School, is now focused on supporting teachers and schools throughout the district. Under her leadership, Pomo Elementary achieved a whopping 65 point increase in 2010, and she is enthusiastic about using her experience to support the entire district.