Principal Takes It In The Face

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz
At a pre STAR test assembly this spring Principal Doug Orr made a promise to his students: they could throw a pie in his face for every point Heron School’s overall score went up.

Today, Orr made good on that pledge and was on the receiving end of 38 whip cream pies.
According to the state 2010-11 Accountability Progress Report released earlier this week, Heron K-8 School not only met all student standardized test score targets but also had highest growth among schools in the Natomas Unified School District. Heron’s API score jumped from 801 to 839.
“We were thrilled with the kids, they did such a great job,” kindergarten teacher Georgia Schaaf said.
Last year, Heron aligned each grade level’s daily schedule, allowing teachers to collaborate and target students’ academic needs by subject area. The K-8 campus also hired single-subject teachers for its middle school students, which Orr said helped boost 7th and 8th graders’ scores. 

“Every grade level did really well,” he said. “Fifteen kids in the whole school are below basic in math, that’s a manageable number. Twenty kids in language arts. We’re going to go after moving those kids up with extra intervention.”

Parent Elizabeth Brushwyler, on hand for today’s festivities, said the API results were exciting.
“We grew in every subgroup, nobody was left behind,” said Brushwyler, who has a 2nd grader and a 4th grader at the school and sits on the district’s Parent Advisory Council. “It shows that our school is reaching everybody, not just a select few.”
Today, she said, the students felt celebrated for their accomplishments. After the pies, music played on the playground while Orr served students ice-cold treats.

“I heard several kids say ‘this is the best day of my life’,” Brushwyler said. “They understood it was because of them.”
Orr is already looking forward to next year’s API results, saying he’ll eat a cricket for every point the score increases.

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