Alpha: Blanca Alvarado Middle School ranked among top middle schools in the Alum Rock, CA district

August 29, 2013 — Alpha Public Schools is pleased to share academic results for its first campus (Alpha: Blanca Alvarado Middle School) and school year (2012-2013), as measured by California’s standardized assessments and the resulting academic performance index (API), which measures the academic performance and improvement of schools. Thanks to strong academic performance in mathematics and English language arts by students at Alpha: Blanca Alvarado, the school earned an API of 828 — higher than the statewide achievement target of 800. API is calculated on a scale of 200 to 1000 based on the combined proficiency levels of individual students. Many schools’ API scores dropped statewide during the 2012-2013 school year.

With 63% of sixth-grade students testing proficient or advanced in English on the state’s STAR tests, and 66% of them testing proficient or advanced in mathematics, Alpha students outperformed their district counterparts, earning the school a spot among the highest performing schools in the Alum Rock Union School District.

Alpha Public Schools is a new network of secondary schools that use a blended learning model. The creation of Alpha Public Schools was set in motion by East San Jose parents who were unwilling to sacrifice any more of their children to chronically underperforming middle schools in their community. In 2010, these parents and community members organized and advocated for the creation of a new network of schools that would ensure their kids were college-bound. Understanding the need, the Alpha founding team worked with families to create Alpha: Blanca Alvarado Middle School.

Alpha uses technology to create a personalized learning environment and empower teachers to effectively support student growth. While these tools are integral to the school’s approach, Alpha develops independent learners through an emphasis on high expectations, developing entrepreneurial teachers and a culture of data-driven innovation.

In its first year, Alpha served 170 students from traditionally underserved communities in grades six and seven. As of fall 2013, Alpha serves 350 students in grades six through eight and is seeking approval to open a second middle school in 2014. Parents, teachers, and students work hard to fulfill the school’s mission: to provide children from low-income communities an education that effectively develops the academic skills and competencies of character needed to overcome the achievement gap, graduate from college, and become self-reliant and productive leaders in their communities.