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Principal shaves head for test scores

September 25, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
A local high school principal promised that if the school's Academic Performance Index score improved this year, he would shave his head. True to his word, at lunch time on Thursday, San Gabriel High School Principal James Schofield shaved every last follicle of hair from his head.

When asked what Schofield's wife will think of his new hairdo, he said, "My wife has already said I may not get in the house this evening if I'm too scary looking. So, we'll see."

But it was far from a fashion statement. It was because of the success of the student body.

Last year, the school's API test score was a 687, which teachers say is not very good. Teachers also say if it went lower, they could risk losing funding. However, the students were told if they could get that score over 700, there would be an incentive.

"Jim Schofield presented it as an idea to kind of get the kids really motivated, to dye his hair red and blue and shave it off. And, the scores -- the proof is in the pudding! Our scores jumped significantly," said teacher Marisa Meyka.

"This should prove to everyone of you out there, is when you guys work together, and you come together as a campus and you set goals, you can achieve anything that you want to achieve," Schofield told his students.

Students say those achievements are now off the charts.

"The district only actually gave us a goal of six points. And, for us to grow 35 actually makes me really proud to be here, be part of it," said student George Soriano.

"'No Child Left Behind' is chasing every school down. And right now, we're keeping ahead of that. I think, you know, for the school that this says to the community ... It starts letting them know that San Gabriel High School really is the diamond of our school district. And people are going to start learning that and finding that out about our campus," said Schofield.

The principal says if the students get their score up to 800 points, he'll have another incentive for them. He says he will have all of the teachers shave their heads as well.

 

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