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Gilroy Unified School District

Gilroy, California

The Gilroy Unified School District began their targeted work to improve student achievement results in the fall of 2001. Working with the district, our consultants implemented a system-wide local assessment process to gauge each school’s needs in literacy and math. After a year of study and recommendations from the assessment, we helped develop training for all of the district’s teachers in language instruction, to enable students with limited English skills to participate more fully in English instruction. These schools’ focused efforts have begun to show results, as many more students are reaching proficiency in English.

In the summer of 2001, district superintendent Edwin Dias assembled a leadership team to set what he termed “bold and challenging” goals, one of which was to have 90 percent or more of their students pass the California high school exit exam — a challenging test that only 25 percent had passed the previous year.

Understandably, this goal was met with disbelief among many in the community. However, within just three years, every student at Gilroy High School was able to pass the exam.

Our services included:

  • Crafting a district-wide, three-year, targeted professional development plan for all principals and teachers around researched-based teaching strategies for second language learners.
  • Training principals and teacher leaders in the use of tools and processes to monitor and support instructional improvement efforts.
  • Coaching and supporting the superintendent, assistant superintendent, and district literacy coaches.

Here are the results:

The following charts represent the growth seen by schools in this district: