By CLAIRE ST. JOHN
Two Tuolumne County schools made it over the hump this year, scoring above 800 the state's target on the Academic Performance Index.
Scores at three schools that reached that goal last year continued to climb with most of the other county schools creeping up behind them.
Chinese Camp School got the biggest bump, increasing by 176 points to an in-the-clear 802.
Sullivan Creek School also came from behind, increasing last year's score by 51 points and earning the top score in the county 835.
"I would say the biggest factor is the coordinated curriculum throughout the grades," said Sullivan Creek Principal Liz Burr. "The kids are really excelling because it's not something different each year."
Belleview School, Soulsbyville School and Black Oak School all received marks of 800 or better last year, and continued to increase this year, scoring, respectively, 819, 806 and 818.
Released Friday, API scores are based on results from the Standardized Testing and Reporting program, or STAR tests. Second- through 11th-graders took the test in spring.
Resulting API scores range from a low of 200 to a high of 1,000, with 800 being the state's target goal.
Schools are not in danger of sanctions as long as they are improving.
Under present policy, low-performing schools that do not improve API scores for two years in a row could be taken over by the state, made over into charter schools or shut down.
Schools must show a 5 percent increase in the difference between their last score and the 800-point target.
No Tuolumne County schools are in danger of state sanctions.
Curtis Creek School, in the same district as top-ranked Sullivan Creek, is one of the three Tuolumne County schools to lose points, going from 764 last year to 757 this year.
"I think we'd like to see improvement all over, but they're still very high scores," said Curtis Creek District Superintendent Larry Hoyt.