Rowland Unified School District

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California Business Community Recognizes Four Rowland Unified Schools for Superior Student Achievement

california business community recognizes four rowland unified schools for superior student achievement


Hollingworth, Killian and Shelyn Elementary Schools and Oswalt Academy Selected by California Business for Education Excellence for Prestigious Honor Roll


ROWLAND HEIGHTS, CA – DECEMBER 7, 2009 – Rowland Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Maria Ott announced today that four of its schools – Hollingworth Elementary in West Covina, Shelyn and Killian Elementary Schools in Rowland Heights and Oswalt Academy in Walnut – have been selected by the California Business for Education Excellence (CBEE) to be on the “2009 Honor Roll.” Schools receiving this distinction have demonstrated consistent high student academic achievement and have made significant progress toward closing achievement gaps among all their students. 


 “This is a very special award since it is from the state’s business community,” said Ott. “We appreciate that they value the dedication  and extraordinary efforts being made by our teachers and administrators to focus on the individual needs of every student to help them perform at the highest levels.”


No other school recognition program in California uses hard data, individual school and student subgroup performance data based on the California Standards Tests and the California High School Exit Exam, to evaluate school academic performance. It is only by analyzing the hard data, student test scores, and evaluating students and schools based on grade-level proficiency of the California standards, that educators, parents and the public can thoroughly understand what is happening in our schools and ensure that schools are on track for all students to meet grade level proficiency.


“We know from the success of these schools that it’s possible for all schools and all students in California to reach high levels of academic achievement and to close achievement gaps,” said Kirk Clark, executive director of CBEE.


“Schools on the Honor Roll dispel the myth that certain students can’t reach grade-level proficiency and that schools with a challenging student population won’t be able to succeed,” said Greg Jones, CBEE Chair. “These schools are overcoming challenges every day.  What has impressed the business community the most this year is the large increase in the nearly 400 high-poverty schools that are exceeding expectations.”


Hollingworth Elementary and Killian Elementary were named Star Schools. CBEE Star Schools are those with significant populations of socio-economically disadvantaged students that have shown a significant increase in grade-level proficiency over four years for all subgroups. Hollingworth Elementary is a two-time California Distinguished School winner and a nationally recognized NCLB school. The school was also just named the first Turn Around Schools – No Excuses University in the San Gabriel Valley, a program that actively promotes a comprehensive model of college readiness to all students the moment they begin elementary school. Hollingworth teachers were selected for their exceptional high-quality to be part of the Cotsen Foundation Mentor and Fellows “Art of Teaching” program. Killian Elementary is a 2007 National Blue Ribbon School, and a two-time winner for both California Distinguished School and State Title 1 Achieving School awards. Killian is known for its strong parent and community support, a variety of extra-curricular activities for students and an American Chinese School on the campus which provides instruction in Mandarin after school and on Saturdays. Killian teachers were also selected for their exceptional high-quality to be part of the Cotsen Foundation Mentor and Fellows “Art of Teaching” program.


Oswalt Academy and Shelyn Elementary were both named Scholar Schools. CBEE Scholar Schools are schools that are showing significant levels of academic achievement, but do not have a significant socio-economically disadvantaged student population. Oswalt Academy is a K-8 and is one of the highest performing schools in the Rowland Unified District. Oswalt is in the process of becoming an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (PYP) school. The Academy also features the innovative Apple One to One Laptop program for all teachers and students in grades 5th – 7th and the iPod Touch Program for Grades 2nd-4th. Shelyn Elementary is also one of the highest performing schools in Rowland. Shelyn teachers were also selected for the Cotsen Foundation Mentor and Fellows “Art of Teaching” program. The school also offers 6th grade Algebra, Meet the Masters Art Program, Cooking and Nutrition classes and during and after-school GATE courses for students.


Over the past four years, the Honor Roll list has grown from 304 schools in 2006 to the current 1,304 for 2009.  A full list of the Honor Roll schools, sorted alphabetically by county, can be found at


California Business for Education Excellence

The mission of California Business for Education Excellence ( is to raise student academic achievement and close achievement gaps in California public schools by ensuring every student reaches a minimum of grade level proficiency. This is accomplished by providing a voice to high performing, high poverty public schools so that all schools can replicate their best practices.  Since 1998, CBEE has worked to focus businesses around a common agenda for better public schools and serves as the business community’s leading voice in education.


The Rowland Unified School District is proud to serve 16,500 students at 23 elementary and secondary schools in the communities of Rowland Heights, Walnut, La Puente, City of Industry, and West Covina. More than 5,000 adults (16+) are also served by the Rowland Adult and Community Education School. For more information about Rowland Unified, call (626) 965-2541 or visit 


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