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Latino population now exceeds others at FHS

Fallbrook High School’s 2007-2008 School Accountability Report Card (SARC), which was presented and approved at the January 12 district board meeting, reveals the Latino population at the school is now greater than any other group; that improvements have been made in student proficiency in certain subjects; and proficiency is declining in other areas of study.

Compared to the school’s 2006-2007 SARC, the new data shows a 3.3% decrease in the Caucasian student population and a 2.3% increase in students of Latino heritage. In the 2007-2008 report it reflects a total enrollment of 2,903 for Fallbrook High School with the Latino students now accounting for 44.6% of the student body and ‘White (Non-Hispanic)’ students 43.6% of the population.

In the 2006-2007 report, Latino students were counted as 42.3% of the population and ‘White (Non-Hispanic) as 46.9%. Increases, albeit much smaller, were also noted in cultural backgrounds including African American, American Indian, Asian, Filipino and Pacific Islander.

Five years ago, statistics listed in the 2002-2003 SARC report, provided by FUHSD assistant superintendent Jim Yahr, reflected the ‘White (Non-Hispanic)’ student population as 52.3% and the Latino as 37.7%.

The portion of the student population considered ‘socioeconomically disadvantaged’ also increased at Fallbrook High School from 31% in the 2006-2007 report to 35% in 2007-2008. Yahr said the category ‘socioeconomically disadvantaged’ pertains to students that are eligible for the free or reduced lunch program, or, where neither of the student’s parents has earned a high school diploma.

Also included in the SARC report are statistics that reflect the level of proficiency possessed by Fallbrook High School students in various subject area. In the 2007-2008 report, the percentage of students that tested at or above proficiency level in core subjects was revealed. It reflected the following: English-Language Arts, 47.4%; Mathematics, 21.3%; Science, 37.6%; and History-Social Science 24.1%. When compared to the statistics from 2002-2003, marked improvement can be found in English-Language Arts (+8%) and Science (+9%). In the subjects of Mathematics and History-Social Sciences, student proficiency at the school has dropped significantly, by 4% and 13% respectively.

Based on these reports, it appears Fallbrook High can be proud of the percentage of students they have completing their high school education and graduating. The report shows Fallbrook High’s latest graduation (completion) rate as 93.2%, compared to a District average of 87.1 and a statewide average of 79.5%. This is the third year in a row that Fallbrook High has increased its graduation rate percentage.

From 2006-2007 to 2007-2008 the SARC reports reveal that class sizes were increased across the board. In English classes, the number of students assigned to a class increased from an average of 25 to 27; Mathematics went from 26 students per class to 28; Science went from 28.5 to 29.7; and Social Studies rose from 29.4 to 31.3.

In the 2007-2008 report it showed that teachers were compensated at a higher level (based on the Fiscal Year 2005-2006) than the prior year. The beginning teacher salary was reported as $32,299; mid-range teacher salary as $61,260; and the highest teacher salary at $75,740.

The salary paid to the superintendent of the district also increased, by $15,133, from $164,823 to $179,956. This latest salary figure is $34,604 higher than the state average for districts in the same category, according to the report.

Conversely, the salary for the principal of Fallbrook High School dropped from the previous amount of $108, 741 to $102,828 according to the report. The statewide average principal’s salary for a district of Fallbrook’s size category is reported to be $8,606 higher, at $111,434.

Numerous phone calls made by the Village News to the Fallbrook Union High School District office seeking comment on the findings of this report; plans to address student proficiency levels; and more were not returned.

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