Washington Unified School District’s staff and students have worked hard to improve academic achievement in all grade levels. State test scores, released last week, show that this work is paying off.    The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) measures student achievement in the areas of English-Language Arts and Mathematics for students in grades 3-8 and 11.  WUSD is excited to announce that our students made exciting gains, improving 6.6 % in English Language Arts and 8.5% in Mathematics, overall.

Washington Union High School students saw impressive gains in English-Language Arts as the school has focused on reading and writing in every subject.   59% of students who took the test scored at or above standard.  Assistant Superintendent, Hank Gutierrez, says the dedication and commitment of WUSD teachers is the reason students are succeeding. “Washington Unified School District’s English Language Arts SBAC improvements are centered around standards based teaching strategies and lesson design, effective student engagement strategies, and aligned benchmark indicators focusing on strategic Professional Learning Community data mining.  Teachers in WUSD are using laser-like approaches to effectively reach all students with enriching relationships, yet promoting rigorous learning environments.”

West Fresno Elementary School’s scores also improved.  WFES is particularly proud of their 11% gain in English Language Arts and Mathematics. “The focused efforts of our teachers directly led to these gains,” stated Principal, Toshia Foth.  “Our staff has worked hard to individualize reading instruction to the needs of each student in order to ensure that every student achieves at high levels.”

A districtwide focus on the “Mathematical Mindset1” has also helped all students see math as a subject that they can tackle and be successful in.  Teachers and students have worked together to develop a “growth mindset2” when it comes to math, helping them to see mistakes as opportunities for further learning.

Dr. Annie Sharp, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment is proud that every WUSD site saw improvement in ELA and Mathematics.  “Each school’s commitment to the district’s academic foci has contributed to the culture of achievement that we are seeing,” stated Dr. Sharp.

Washington Unified’s dedication to early literacy, effective and strategic lesson design, and to preparing all students for college and career have proven effective as student achievement continues to increase.


  1. Boaler, Jo (2916). Mathematical Mindsets.San Francisco, Ca: Jossey-Bass.

  2. Dweck Ph.D., Carol (2006). Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.  New York: Ballantine Books.