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September 24, 2013 > What a close shave!

What a close shave!

Submitted By Graham Elementary School, Newark

Now that the 2013 API (Academic Performance Index) test results have been announced, a principal in Newark kept his promise to shave his head at a school celebration assembly on September 6.

Last spring, students of James A. Graham Elementary School were challenged by Principal Terrance Dunn. He promised that if their STAR test scores increased, he would shave his head. The challenge worked. The schoolÕs state API growth target is five points; this year, GrahamÕs scores skyrocketed by 45 points! This was the greatest growth of any elementary school in Alameda County, and one of the Top 50 growth achievements of CaliforniaÕs 6,219 elementary schools.

Dunn says, ÒAt Graham, we have recognized that our diversity is a great strength. We learn to work together. We learn to communicate. We learn to appreciate each other to build a positive community. HereÕs our secret - we succeeded together.Ó

He attributes the schoolÕs growth to several key factors. ÒWe have skilled, veteran teachers who are open to new ideas. We have caring parents who want the best for their children. We have students who do their best. We have support from the district and from community groups including the Rotary Club of Newark, the Rotaract Club of Greater Fremont, and Avanzando. And, we have a staff full of people who love the school and the children. It takes all of us to make a difference.Ó

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