In addition to improving the API scores of its students and, as a subgroup, its low-income students, Title I High Achieving schools must also show Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for two years toward the federal goal of having all students proficient in English and math by 2014. At Santa Fe High, Principal Monica Oviedo said the staff “really does hold students to such high expectations.” “Every year when we look at our test scores, we come up with a doable plane on how to attack and improve” students’ weak areas, she said. “Ultimately, I think the staff and students are amazing,” she added. “They have high expectations for themselves, and that’s what keeps us moving and improving every year.” [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WHITTIER – Six Whittier-area schools are being singled out by state officials for showing significant improvements in academic achievement during annual testing over the past two years, despite having higher numbers of disadvantaged students on their campuses. Phelan, Birney, North Ranchito, Montebello Gardens and Potrero Heights elementary schools, as well as Santa Fe High School, will be among 476 schools statewide to receive the Title I Academic Achievement Award during an annual state banquet next month in Costa Mesa. “This is big,” said Kathy Marin, principal of Phelan Elementary in West Whittier. “It’s big because there are so many Title I schools, and you not only have to make continuous progress, but you also have to double the \ targets for two years” on the state’s Academic Performance Index. “Right now, this is a great place to be,” she added. Title I schools are those that receive federal funds to help low-income students improve academic achievement. Title I funds are given to schools with at least a 40-percent enrollment in the free and reduced-lunch program. There are nearly 6,000 Title I schools in California, state officials said. “All of these schools serve students from low-income areas,” said state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell. “Despite the challenges these schools face, the high number of award winners this year demonstrates that hard work by teachers and administrators is paying off with higher achievement levels and a brighter future for our students,” O’Connell added.