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Sam Vaughn celebrates high state score
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Sam Vaughn Elementary School Principal Sharon Carter donned a penguin suit on Friday as students danced to a video in the multi-purpose room during a reward assembly. A total of 297 students who scored at proficient or advanced or improved their test scores were invited to the event since the school improved it overall API. - photo by JEFF BENZIGER/Courier photo

Hot dogs, nachos and a dance party were the spoils on Friday for Sam Vaughn Elementary School students who boosted the Academic Performance Index (API) score.

A total of 297 students participated in the 40-minutes party in the multi-purpose room. Every student who either scored at "proficient" or "advanced" levels or who grew at least one level, was invited.

Two years ago Principal Sharon Carter promised her students that she would dress as a penguin for a day if they scored a 10-point gain. The school gained five points. However, last spring the school's students gained 11 points, bringing Sam Vaughn's API to 832.

"We don't know how we will be scored in 2014 since the STAR testing has gone away, so we're going to celebrate our growth now," said Carter.

In addition to the party, at Friday's morning assembly called the Jamboree, Ceres Unified School District Assistant Supt. Denise Wickham presented the school with a banner proclaiming its API score.