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Test gains celebrated with pies in faces
Because Carroll Fowler Elementary School exceeded expectations in the recent Academic Performance Index (API) results, students were rewarded with a rare treat: Being on TV as five top achieving students threw pies in the faces of school administrators.

Alan Sanchez of CW Channel 31's "Good Day, Sacramento" morning news program came to the Ceres school to broadcast the Monday morning school assembly to celebrate student accomplishments.

Carroll Fowler gained the most API points in the Ceres Unified School District with a 28-point improvement and earned a score of 805. The state considers a score of 800 to be proficient. A total of six Ceres schools attained an API score of 800 or greater: Carroll Fowler, Virginia Parks, Sinclear, Samuel Vaughn, and Westport elementary schools, as well as Summit Charter Academy. Westport earned the highest API, at 858 points.

Selected to "pie" school staff members were five students who scored a perfect 600 on their state tests: Richard Garrad, Kenny Gross, Yvonne Khanishian, Haley Meece and Krista Raper.

Sanchez, a Keyes resident who interned with the Sacramento station and earned a position, decided to take a pie to the face for the broadcast, without the protection of a plastic garbage bag nor a hair net. Students frolicked as each member of the staff, including teachers Brian Maben and Benjamin Reece, Principal Bruce Clifton and Administrative Assistant Ismael Maldonado, were issued untraditional pies in the face. Sanchez's pie consisted of a corn and Cool Whip.

Clifton charged his students with continuing their progress, saying 800 is the proficiency level but a perfect score is 1000.

This week the school is celebrating certain numbers significant to its API successes. The "805 Celebration Week" included Tuesday's celebration of the number 782, which was the API earned by Carroll Fowler students last year. Today's number celebrated is 789, which was the school's goal to reach. Tomorrow the school celebrates 800, which is the profiency level and 805 on Friday.

CUSD Superintendent Scott Siegel said the district is proud of its schools and noted the goal is "that every school will achieve a ranking of 10 among similar schools."

Academic achievement among Ceres students continues to increase steadily. Each spring, students in grades 2 through 12 take a set of tests to measure performance in the areas of language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. Scores are then reported as the API, with a numeric index (or scale) that ranges from a low of 200 to a high of 1000. The statewide API performance target for all schools is 800.