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Santa Ynez Valley Charter School’s State Scores Raise the Bar

Its API score is among the highest in Santa Barbara County and the highest ever for the school.

The Santa Ynez Valley Charter School has announced its Academic Performance Index scores released from the state for 2008.

The API is a state-measured performance index for all public schools that evaluates the academic performance and improvement of schools based on statewide testing. The scores range from a low of 200 to a high of 1,000 and are calculated using a number of formulae and testing measures. More information on the API scores can be found at

The SYVCS API score released Thursday was 890, among the highest in Santa Barbara County and the highest score for the charter school since it was established in 2000. It was a 64-point increase over last year, making it the biggest point increase of any school in the Santa Ynez Valley.

“We have a lot to attribute these scores to,” said Mariann Cooley, director of the school. “We have an excellent staff that has high expectations for their students, and the students rise to meet those expectations. Our teachers perform a lot of diagnostic assessments throughout the year to see what skills students need assistance with. Teachers also schedule extended day learning groups for small groups of students who need additional interventions.”

In addition, as a charter school, there is more flexibility in how the school delivers the curriculum while still teaching California State Standards. The school boasts a self-paced math program that allows students to work at their own level, supporting those who need assistance and accelerating those who are above grade level.

Parent participation is mandatory under the school’s charter and communication between the school and home is highly essential, which help create a supportive learning environment for students.

Families interested in attending the school are urged to visit

Erik Raney is a member at large on the Santa Ynez Valley Charter School Board of Directors.

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