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Superintendent's Welcome Letter

Dear PYLUSD Families:

Welcome back families!  I am pleased to start the year by sharing that State and federal accountability measures were released in mid-September and our district once again posted record gains. 

The PYLUSD’s Academic Performance Index jumped from 836 to 848, a 12-point one-year gain and another all-time high for the school district.  The district already surpasses the State’s goal of 800 for all California schools.   Individual school scores tell the same story with 25 schools above 800 and nine of those above 900.  An additional eight PYLUSD schools have APIs above 700.  The PYLUSD is also higher than the Orange County API average of 826 and California’s average of 767.

It is rewarding to see that our students continue to excel and this is a direct result of the outstanding team effort of our teachers, staff, leadership and families—who regardless of outside challenges continually rise to the occasion for the benefit of students.

Statistically, the posted gains are even more impressive when you consider that it becomes an even greater challenge to move up the scale as students reach these higher levels of achievement.

On federal measures, called Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), the PYLUSD surpassed the steeply escalating federal targets.   In English language arts, 69.4 percent of PYLUSD students scored proficient or advanced surpassing the federal target of 56 percent.  In math, 71.7 percent of PYLUSD students scored above the 56.4 percent federal target. 

The federal government also requires districts and schools to demonstrate proficiency for up to 50 statistically significant subgroups such as students with disabilities, English learners and economically disadvantaged.    The PYLUSD has 42 statistically significant subgroups and individual schools can have more or less depending on school populations, raising the level of requirements for schools when more subgroups are identified.   The PYLUSD met 32 of 42 criteria for statistically significant subgroups.  The good news is that all subgroups demonstrated growth over last year. 

By the year 2014, the federal government requires that 100 percent of students in all schools in the nation, including all subgroups, demonstrate 100 percent proficiency in all areas.

This is a great time to be part of the PYLUSD.   Everyone’s contributions make a huge, positive difference.


 Dennis Smith

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