SAN YSIDRO – San Ysidro School District students showed impressive improvement on their year-over-year performance in the state’s second round of standardized testing on the new California Standards for English language arts (ELA) and math, according to a recent released state report.

The two tests are the focal point of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), administered to grades three through eight. The exams, created by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, assess writing, critical-thinking and problem-solving skills far beyond the scope of California’s previous standardized tests.

The new test scores offer the first chance for schools to track growth in student understanding of the California Standards, implemented three years ago. The standards focus on student-driven instruction, collaboration, integration of technology and critical thinking.

“We are incredibly proud of the performance demonstrated by our students,” San Ysidro School District Superintendent Dr. Julio Fonseca said. “There has never been a doubt about our students’ abilities – we know that with proper structure and support our students can and will achieve anything.”

San Ysidro students boosted proficiency on the ELA test by 4 percentage points and on the math test by 5 percentage points – keeping pace with San Diego County’s overall growth.

The District credits its rising scores to its Instructional Design Plan implemented last year, a three-year plan to ensure the District’s curriculum aligns with the new California Standards for ELA and math. The plan includes specific goals such as providing teachers with expectations on student academic ability at different points throughout the school year. The plan also focuses on teacher support and training, providing opportunities for greater collaboration and sharing of best practices.

District leaders say they expect to see further growth in test scores based on the development of an English Learner Master Plan, which is designed to ensure EL students are provided with the proper support and resources to become proficient in English and be reclassified.

“The climb in recent test scores is a direct reflection of our students’ capabilities as well as the hard work and dedication of all of our District employees,” SYSD Board of Education President Marcos A. Diaz said. “Everyone has put in tremendous effort to set our school district on the right path, and now that we’re there, we will continue to improve and provide our students with the best opportunities.”

Full implementation of the EL Master Plan will take place in 2017-18.