Power of performance

Arroyo surpasses Rosemead high school by earning two Golden Ribbon School statuses, both in education and visual and performing arts.

Lilly Forsyth, Editor-in-chief

After successfully completing a WASC accreditation, guaranteeing another six year cycle, Arroyo took things to the next level by not only earning one but two Golden Ribbon statuses.

Early in the school year, administration sent in applications to be reviewed for their instruction as well as visual and performing arts, hoping to join the only other school in the district bestowed with the honor at the time, Rosemead High School.

“Since we no longer have a California Distinguished School award we needed a way to say ‘Look, we are doing great things in terms of education’ so the Golden Ribbon program was one of the ways to showcase what we are doing here,” explained Assistant Principal of Instruction, Mr. Jose Gallegos.

For the instructional analysis the main focus was the performance tasks being implemented in all classes. Previous curriculum had similar assignments, but the new performance tasks had heavier emphasis on explaining responses to ensure understanding versus just memorization. It was also created to help students with the SBAC exam.

Similar to the WASC accreditation, several staff members presented to a team of five representatives from the committee. Librarian Mr. Tim O’Rourke created a powerpoint that fully explained how the system was created, the goals, and the achievements of the performance tasks. Afterwards, the team surveyed classes, noting whether Arroyo was educating the way administrators claimed.

“What we try to do is look for things that are in a school’s report to validate that they are doing in fact what they stated they were doing. We have seen some good things so far, and now we just have to see if it matches what was written,” said Mr. Matthew Dultz, Assistant Principal of Activities at San Gabriel high school and one of the members of the team who visited the campus.

That seemed to be the case because soon after their visit, principal Ms. Angelita Gonzales announced to the school that the Knights were officially enrolled in a Golden Ribbon school.

The momentum did not stop there as administration turned their attention to the visual and performing arts department, that was to be observed shortly.

“I was very confident in our visual and performing arts; they have a long established history of producing great work in competitions in the art programs, in choirs, in all the bands,“ said Mr. Gallegos, “and we wanted to show that our programs are not just great but in the top percentile.”

Students, teachers, administrators, and parents convened in the choir room, awaiting the arrival of Mr. Jack Mitchell, who would be judging the department. All the visual and performing arts instructors had the chance to discuss their curriculum as well as have their students come forward and speak about their experiences.

After taking extensive notes and asking several questions to all present, Mr. Mitchell concluded his observations, and administration awaited his decision. Again, it was not long before visual and performing arts teachers could be seen with Golden Ribbon keychains.

“I was excited because we have so many hard working teachers here and students and I think that our department and students needed to be recognized on a different level. To have someone come down and actually look at what we have done thus far on a different level was great,” expressed art teacher Mr. Jose Olvera.