February 25, 2020

Chawanakee Unified Outperforms State, County in Graduation Rate and College Readiness

Chawanakee Unified School District has reason to celebrate with the release of the California School Dashboard.  Every year, the California Department of Education releases information about schools and school districts in California that measure school success.

On California’s 2018-19 Dashboard results, Chawanakee Unified School District had the highest graduation rate in Madera County, outperformed the state average and had the number one graduation rate when compared with 71 similar schools.

And the good news does not stop there.  Chawanakee Unified also outperformed all other Madera County schools in College Readiness, outperformed the state average, and was number one in the 71 similar schools ranking.

“This is a testament to the commitment of our teachers and staff to prepare our students for success in college and beyond,” said Chawanakee Unified School District Superintendent Darren Sylvia.

With a 3.2 out of 5 overall rating on the California Dashboard, Chawanakee Unified had a higher average rating than the state and county, and saw a .4-point increase over the previous year.

Serving students in eastern Madera County, Chawanakee Unified School District is an award-winning school district that prides itself in delivering a rigorous educational program in a small learning environment.

Chawanakee Unified prepares students for success in college and career with a 21st century curriculum that has state-of-the-art technology at its core.  Students have access to a dual-platform technology program equipped with iPads, Chromebooks, and MacBook Air computers.  In addition, students have a unique opportunity to take dual college credit courses, so they can earn their Associates Arts Degree while obtaining their high school diploma.

The school district offers extensive opportunities for students to engage in extra-curricular activities, including academic competitions like Academic Decathlon and Mock Trial,  athletics and the performing arts.

The district opened its newest school, Hillside Elementary School, in August 2018.  The school is located in the Hillside Village at Tesoro Viejo, Madera County’s newest, award-winning master-planned community.  Serving students in transitional kindergarten through 8th grade, the school has a strong focus on science and technology.

It boasts an “outdoor classroom” concept for hands-on learning with natural resources of the community’s landscape, and the school recently won a $30,000 community partnership grant with Wilbur Ellis for an integrated agriculture, science and project-based learning program.

Hillside Elementary School has received two design awards, recently receiving national recognition by American School & University magazine for its outstanding design.  It was the only new elementary school in the Central Valley to receive an award of distinction from the 2019 Education Design Showcase awards by School Planning & Management.

The school is recognized for its flexible building design that accommodates a collaborative learning environment and welcomes the community to share its facilities.  Hillside Elementary School’s award-winning design features a 12-foot sliding door system that allows for innovative instruction.  The oversized openings expand the learning space where teachers can collaborate with other teachers and provide learning opportunities outside the traditional classroom walls.

To accommodate the planned growth at Tesoro Viejo, Chawanakee Unified plans on building an educational complex to serve students in transitional kindergarten through 12th grade.  They have hired an architect and the project is in initial design.  The Rio Mesa Educational Center is planned to open in Fall 2025.

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