Getting apples-to-apples numbers on how things are going at Desert Trails — rechristened as Desert Trails Preparatory Academy — is difficult. With the implementation of the Common Core state standards and the accompanying Smarter Balanced statewide test, the state has suspended all of its California Standards Tests aside from the science test (which will be replaced by a new test aligned to the not-yet-implemented Next Generation Science Standards), meaning that Desert Trails Elementary and Desert Trails Prep have different tests with different scores to compare.
In science, at least, the new school is doing well: Forty-seven percent of students who took the science CSTs last spring scored Advanced or Proficient on the test, up from 12 percent in spring 2013 and 31 percent in spring 2012.
“This is wonderful growth and shows the hard work and dedication by both scholars and teachers,” Principal Mandy Plantz wrote in an email.
The school has added a music program for the 2014-15 school year, Plantz said, along with a school library and food service program. A Desert Trails parent survey commissioned by Parent Revolution this past spring gave the new school high marks for satisfaction
“We’re doing well,” school director Debra Tarver said Thursday. “This is so much smoother this year than it was last year. I’m very happy with the way things are going.”
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