Two schools in Stanislaus County took bows this week for high test scores by English learners.
Ceres High placed 44th among California high schools for having 38 percent of its English learners scoring as proficient in English language arts. Nearly half passed the bar in math.
Glick Middle School in Empire placed 19th among the state's junior highs with 57 percent making the grade on the English reading and comprehension test. In math, 35 percent passed.
Both placed on the Top 50 Lists of High Performing Schools for English Learners compiled by the Riverside County Office of Education.
In San Joaquin County, Jefferson Elementary School District in Tracy placed 38th on the list of top districts and Morada Middle School placed 43rd on the middle school list. No Merced, Calaveras or Tuol-umne districts were named on the lists, released Oct. 24.
Empire Superintendent Bob Price said Tuesday that the district focuses on vocabulary kids need to understand assignment and test questions. As in other districts, teachers use sheltered English strategies to help students bridge the gap of words they don't know.
Teachers prompt English learners to speak in complete sentences, requiring them to respond to questions or ask questions in complete sentences, he said.
"Probably the most important piece is allowing English learners to practice their language skills in every lesson, every day," Price said.
In Ceres, Deputy Superintendent Mary Jones was surprised by the news. "They never even talked to us. We didn't know that list existed," she said.
But Jones said the push for every student to be college ready means higher expectations across the board.
"I think rigor has a lot to do with it, making sure our kids have access to those harder classes," Jones said.