Fairgrove Elementary honored for improving students' test scores

Fairgrove Elementary in Grover Beach was selected today as one of 209 schools in California — and the only one in San Luis Obispo County — to receive an award given to schools with a high number of low-income students that also raise test scores.

To meet criteria for the Title 1 Academic Achievement Award, a school must improve academic achievement of all its students, and students on the school’s free and reduced meals program have to double the achievement targets set for them for two consecutive years.

At Fairgrove, which was also recognized in 2006, teachers regularly assess data to determine whether students are grasping various concepts, said Principal Lara Storm.

“Everyone here is focused on student learning and student growth, and will go above and beyond for the kids,” she said.

The school has steadily improved on the annual Academic Performance Index, used to measure academic performance and growth. The state’s target is 800 on a scale of 200 to 1,000; Fairgrove Elementary improved by 17 points in 2010 to score 821.

To be eligible for the award, schools must receive federal Title 1 funds, given to schools with about 40 percent of students qualifying for free and reduced meals. Of the 9,000 schools in California, more than 6,000 participate in the Title 1 program.

The award recipients will be honored at a reception and banquet at the Disneyland Hotel on May 20.