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Alisal USD schools, Bright Spots in Monterey County education

All schools of the Alisal Union School District were named “Bright Spots” by the Bright Futures Education Partnership, a Monterey County coalition that fosters progress in local education outcomes with a priority on closing equity gaps.

Alisal USD’s 12 schools were highlighted during a celebration held on Thursday, Feb. 7 at Cal State University Monterey Bay. The schools were honored for scoring at least 10 percentage points above the average in Monterey County across all grades OR for single grades scoring at least 20 percentage points above county average in at least one category identified as a target for improvement.

Erica Padilla Chavez and Jose Luis Alvarado

To be named “Bright Spots,” the schools or grades also need to have shown improvement for three years in a row and outpace the county and the state.

“Today we honor these programs that are doing the best for our less advantaged students,” said Erica Padilla-Chávez, Chief Executive Officer of Pajaro Valley Prevention and Student Assistance. “They are role models to follow in our educational system and can look to  them for support and reinforce what works,”

Notable among the schools was Alisal Community, which is rising above the rest in 4th grade reading and writing for families with parents with less than high school education; in all grades in math and 4th grade reading and writing for Latino students and English learners, with students in high poverty, and all grades in math for financially disadvantaged students.

Alisal Community Principal Elizabeth Armenta shared some insight on what’s helping her students achieve these results. She credited the dedication and focus of her team as a key ingredient.

Elizabeth Armenta speaking at Bright Spots event

“I’m very fortunate to have a great team. We support each other and push each other to do the best for our community,” Armenta told the audience. “We’ve been taking a closer look at our instructional practices, and that’s made a world of difference in how our kids are learning reading comprehension and writing. This is an area our kids need, and the strategies have helped students connect. Our school truly believes that good education plays a crucial role in building a bright future for our students. Even though we’ve had setbacks, they key is to keep our vision alive and clear as we continue to improve.”

John E. Steinbeck Principal Jer Soriano, along with Kate Guidi and Alvaro Rodriguez, also addressed the crowd as the school was highlighted for its progress in math. At Steinbeck, 34 percent of economically disadvantaged students in all grades have met state performance goals, improved scores by 10 percentage points and outpace the county by 15 percentage points.

Jer Soriano and Steinbeck team

“Today is about those (schools) who are at the result stage and have evidence of achieving those results for kids,” Padilla-Chávez said.

For the Bright Futures slide presentation of the event, click here.

Bright Spots breakfast celebration at CSUMB

For more photos of the event, click here.

The Bright Futures Partnership was established in 2014 with the purpose of establishing a long-term plan for increasing educational outcomes in Monterey County. The coalition has seven community goals where it’s focusing its efforts: early care and education; kinder readiness; language and literacy; critical thinking; youth development and engagement; college or job training readiness, and career pathways. For more information, click here.

 

Bright Spots of the Alisal Union School District highlighted during the event:

ACCESS TO CHILD CARE

Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. Academy

 

EQUITY FOR LESS ADVANTAGED STUDENTS

Super Duper Bright Spot

Alisal Community

 

ACHIEVEMENT IN SCHOOLS WITH PARENTS WITH LESS THAN HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATION

Super Bright Spots

Bardin, César E. Chávez, Jesse G. Sánchez, Monte Bella

Super Duper Bright Spots

Alisal Community, Cesar E. Chávez

 

ACHIEVEMENT FOR LATINO/AS IN HIGH POVERTY SCHOOLS

Super Bright Spots

César E. Chávez, John E. Steinbeck, Monte Bella, Virginia Rocca Barton

Super Duper Bright Spots

Alisal Community

 

ACHIEVEMENT FOR ENGLISH LEARNERS IN HIGH POVERTY SCHOOLS

Super Bright Spots

Bardin, Frank Paul, Virginia Rocca Barton

Super Duper Bright Spots

Alisal, César E. Chávez, Jesse G. Sánchez, John E. Steinbeck, Monte Bella Elementary, Oscar F. Loya

 

ACHIEVEMENT FOR FORMER ENGLISH LEARNERS IN HIGH POVERTY SCHOOLS

Super Bright Spots

Creekside

Super Duper Bright Spots

Bardin, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Academy, Fremont, Jesse G. Sánchez, Monte Bella

 

ACHIEVEMENT FOR READING AND WRITING FOR ENGLISH SPEAKERS

Super Bright Spots

Bardin, Fremont, Jesse G. Sánchez, Monte Bella

Super Duper Bright Spots

Dr. Martin Luther King

 

ACHIEVEMENT FOR READING AND WRITING FOR DISADVANTAGED STUDENTS

Super Bright Spots

César E. Chávez, Monte Bella, Oscar Loya, Virginia Rocca Barton

Super Duper Bright Spots

Alisal, John E. Steinbeck

 

SCHOOLS THAT ARE DOING A GREAT JOB WITH NEARLY ALL OF THEIR STUDENTS IN MATH

Super Bright Spots

César E. Chávez, Jesse G. Sánchez

Super Duper Bright Spots

Alisal

 

ACHIEVEMENT IN MATH IN HIGH POVERTY SCHOOLS WITH SOCIOECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED STUDENTS

Super Bright Spots

Cesar E. Chávez Elementary

Super Duper Bright Spot

Alisal Community,  John E. Steinbeck