"I'm really just enthusiastic to learn and do everything," said fourth-grade student Paris Alfonzo.
Alfonzo is one of about two dozen fourth-graders who are getting help with their homework, while also getting ahead on future lesson plans. The 9-year-old says these kinds of programs make a huge difference scholastically.
"When it came to CST Testing today or on Monday, it just wasn't really a tough time for me," said Alfonzo. "I was really prepared."
Alexandria Elementary, located on the northeastern edge of /*Koreatown*/, is one of several /*LAUSD*/ elementary schools that made significant gains on the state's /*academic performance index*/. The index is calculated using students scores on a series of standardized tests. At Alexandria, the school's index climbed 40 points in the 2008-2009 school year.
Manuel Ponce, the principal at Alexandria, says most schools typically make improvements of 10 or 15 points. But an increase of 40 points on the /*API*/ was very welcome news.
"It's great to know that the hard work that you put in to the work that you're doing has paid off," said Ponce.
The target API score set by the state's department of education is 800. At 738, Alexandria isn't there yet, but Ponce feels that it's only a matter of time. And the students say they're not going to settle for less.
"They're telling me to study hard and try to be the best I can and believe in myself," said another fourth-grader Eduardo Peralta.