ELK GROVE — State Superintendent Tom Torlakson visited Adreani Elementary School in Elk Grove, to recognize students, teacher and staff.
“Eighty-six percent of them meet or exceed the standards of English language arts. That’s just phenomenal. And in mathematics, 81 percent. And this is double the state proficiency rate,” Torlakson said.
So what’s their secret? They have 32-year veteran Mr. George Helms, who was awarded Sacramento County’s 2017 Teacher of the Year. But Principal Mark Vierra also admitted they set high expectations for themselves.
“We really compare ourselves to ourselves. So we have a bar that we set, and we always think of how do we get them to the next level?” Vierra said.
Adreani Elementary School also places heavy emphasis on attendance. In fact, the school has a 98 percent attendance rate — one of the highest in the state.
“Currently, we have a slogan that says, ‘every day, all day, and on time,'” Vierra said. “We have a weekly student of the week assembly where we celebrate attendance on a weekly basis. And then we celebrate it trimesterly. So we celebrate it constantly.”
“Being here is so important. Because if you’re not here, you can have the greatest teachers and classrooms, and greatest equipment, but you can’t learn if you’re not here at school,” Torlakson said.
Studies show missing class leads to students dropping out of school, joining gangs and using drugs. Even the state’s top educator said he’s learning a few things from this high-performing school.
“I’m taking the lessons I’m learning here at Adreani Elementary School to share around the state because they are good lessons, and they found the magic formula,” Torlakson said.