Garden Grove Journal
Local public schools in the Garden Grove-Stanton-Westminster area were showered with academic honors this week.
In the Academic Decathlon held by the Orange County Department of Education, four area high schools placed in competition with other schools. The competition was held on Jan. 30 at Tustin High School and the award conferred Feb. 11 at Orange Coast College.
Westminster High School took first place in Division 1, while Bolsa Grande High School took fifth place in Division 2. In Division 3, La Quinta High School grabbed second place. In Division 4, Garden Grove High took third place.
The Academic Decathlon is a 10-event scholastic competition with each school fielding a nine-person team with three “A” students, three “B” students and three “C” students. School teams are grouped in one of four divisions, with rankings determined by the school’s average team score in the two most recent competitions.
All teams and alternates beyond a school’s first team are placed in Division 4.
As overall winner, Westminster will represent Orange County in the state event in Sacramento next month.
Also, four Garden Grove Unified School District schools have been designated “Title I Academic Achievement Schools” for 2009-10, Jack O’Connell, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, announced last week. (Feb. 11).
The GGUSD honorees, Carrillo, Excelsior, Murdy, and Sunnyside elementary schools, are among the 22 Orange County schools and 238 statewide selected for the prestigious award this school year.
Two district schools, Murdy and Sunnyside, are repeat winners among the five district campuses honored as Academic Achievement Schools last year. Murdy, a 2009 U.S. Blue Ribbon School, stands alone in being selected for the award for seven of the last eight years.
The prestigious recognition is given to Title I schools that are exceeding expectations in meeting state and federal standards based onacademic assessment criteria despite having poverty levels of 40 percent or higher. Title I is a federal education program for schools serving large populations of disadvantaged pupils.
The criteria to qualify for the Title I Academic Achievement Award have become more rigorous in recent years. To meet the criteria for this distinction, the school must demonstrate that all students are making significant progress toward proficiency on California’s academic content standards. Additionally, the school’s socioeconomically disadvantaged students must have doubled the achievement targets set forthem for two consecutive years.
Representatives of the four district schools and select GGUSD leadership will attend the annual Title I Academic Achievement Awards reception and banquet next April 21 at the Disneyland Hotel where the schools will receive a plaque and a 2009-10 Title I Academic Achievement School banner.
The Garden Grove Unified School District serves most of Garden Grove and portions of Santa Ana, Westminster, Fountain Valley, Cypress, Stanton, and Anaheim.