PIEDMONT -- An engaged parent community and top-notch teachers and administrators led to Piedmont schools' high ranking once again in the state STAR (Standardized Testing and Reporting) scores released late last week.
Piedmont ranked No. 1 statewide in science scores for grades 5, 8 and 10, and No. 1 in history. They ranked third in English language arts and second in earth science; with a ranking of seventh in math.
"Our math scores are lower than other content areas," Assistant Superintendent Randy Booker said. "The reasons are varied and difficult to pinpoint. Elementary and middle school math scores are very strong. We continue to discuss curriculum and place interventions to support students."
According to the state Department of Education, release of the scores was delayed two weeks after a breach of security was discovered where some 442 images of test materials were posted on social network sites by 12 schools throughout the state, including San Jose School District. Piedmont was not named in the security breaches.
In the city's elementary schools, the Havens students scored the highest in science, with 97.8 percent proficient or advanced. They scored 90.3 percent proficient or advanced in English language arts, and 90.9 percent in mathematics.
Beach students scored highest in proficient or advanced in English and math, with 94.3 percent in English and 94.3 percent in math. They also had high science scores of 94.2
Wildwood elementary followed closely behind Havens in science, with
97.2 percent. Students there also scored well in math with 93.3 percent and English 90.3 percent, all in the proficient or advanced category.
Piedmont middle school students also scored high in all learning categories, as proficient or advanced. They scored 94.4 percent in English language arts, 95 percent in history. Students scored 91.2 percent in math, with 94.3 percent in science.
Piedmont High in proficient or advanced levels scored 89.4 percent English language arts, 88.5 percent in history, 57.5 percent in math, and 91.3 percent in science.
Millennium High, the alternative high school, had its small student population scoring 32.6 percent in English, 37.5 percent in history, 2.9 percent in math and 50 percent in science.
State schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson noted that students statewide have improved their performance on mathematics and English language arts for the ninth straight year, despite school budget cuts.
Approximately 4.7 million students participated in the STAR testing program.
English-language tests are given to students in grades two through 11.
Students grades two through six take a standard math test; students in seventh grade took seventh-grade math or an Algebra I test; math tests for grades eight through 11 included algebra, geometry and integrated mathematics.
Fifth, eighth and 10th graders tested in science; history tests were administered to grades eight and 11.
The district attempts to have every student take the STAR tests. Those who miss the tests are encouraged to take makeup exams, though parents may elect to not have their student participate.
"We are extremely proud of our students and educators, with their dedication toward teaching and learning," Booker said.
Other local districts scoring high in various categories include Pleasanton, Sunol Glen, and Albany. Statewide, San Marino, La Cañada and Manhattan Beach school districts ranked high on the charts.
Piedmont is an affluent bedroom community with a median household income of $156,000 per year and median home price of $1.1 million.