Families chose sweet music at Rowland High

Looking for a nice oboe for your kid? How about a great cello that will make
other kids jealous?

Families got a chance to try out these instruments and more during the annual
music fair in the Rowland High gym. Several music stores were on hand Aug. 29 to
provide instruments for Rowland Unified students.

It’s all part of the district’s instrumental music program in local
elementary schools. Students in the fourth to sixth grades got a chance to try
out the different musical instruments.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story MUSIC.

Alvarado students get hearts’ ‘Desire’ in Rowland Heights


The hammering is dying down, the steamrollers have left and the landscapers
are finishing up.

Alvarado Intermediate School has been transformed into a model campus in
Rowland Heights, following a $5 million renovation that’s taken several years.

The four phases of construction don’t seem to have phased Principal Ying L.
Tsao. In fact, the administrator couldn’t be happier with her “new” school.

“The staff and students are thrilled by the remodeled classrooms and campus,”
Tsao said. “The contractor worked on two wings at a time and they should be
finished by the end of September.”

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story DESIRE.

Walnut Valley posts highest scores on STAR

Despite growing budget cuts, school districts across the state, county and
the San Gabriel Valley saw incremental gains and improvements in student math
and English-language arts tests scores for the ninth consecutive year, state
education officials announced Friday.

Still, while scores may have improved, some local school districts reported
scores far below the state average.

Known as STAR, or Standardized Testing and Reporting, the results are
measured in five categories: advanced, proficient, basic, below basic and far
below basic.

Statewide, the number of students proficient in English increased by 2.8
percent compared to last year – from 54.4 percent to 57.2 percent, according to
the 2012 results released Friday.

And in math, test scores showed California students improved by 1.1 percent,
up to 51.5 percent.

While the year-over-year increases were small, they mark a large improvement
in the past decade. In 2003, 35 percent of students statewide were proficient in
both English and math.

Districts that posted the highest scores in the region were Glendora Unified,
with 74 percent proficiency in English and 68.3 percent in math, and Walnut
Valley Unified, with 80.1 percent in English and 77.1 percent in math.

Read more in STAR.