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McKinley Principal Goes Blue in Celebration

The elementary school celebrates a one-year, 48-point increase in its API score

How does a principal celebrate a whopping 48-point Academic Performance Index score increase, raising the school score to 748?

McKinley Elementary School, on Loma Alta in Santa Barbara, and Principal Emilio Handall celebrated the students’ exceptional one-year score gain when Handall unveiled his new hair color Monday.

McKinley’s school colors are blue and white and, after two bleaching sessions this weekend, the principal is now sporting a vibrant shade of royal blue — instead of his usual black hair.

According to the California Department of Education: “The Academic Performance Index measures the performance and growth of schools and districts based on the test scores of students in grades 2 through 12. The California Department of Education calculates the API and disseminates the results directly to schools and districts. The API is a single number on a scale of 200 to 1,000 that indicates how well students in a school or district performed on the previous spring’s tests. An API is calculated for the whole school plus its ‘numerically significant subgroups,’ including socioeconomically disadvantaged students, English learners and students with disabilities.”

On a scale of 200 to 1,000, the goal is for schools to reach 800.

— Barbara Keyani is the administrative services and communications coordinator for the Santa Barbara School Districts.

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