A Fresno Unified elementary school is just two points short of perfection on state test scores. Manchester Gate tied two Silicon Valley elementary schools for the top A.P.I. score in California at 998. That means the student body scored well in math, language arts and science.
Excellence in academics is nothing new for more than 700 students at Manchester Gate. In 2009 it was a nationally recognized Blue Ribbon School. Manchester Gate has also been a California Distinguished School four times since 1987.
Students and parents are excited about the test scores. Payton Polanco is a 6th grader at Manchester Gate. "I'm just so happy that our little school in Fresno is so big and so great and I think it really deserves to be that great."
Joel Venkatesan's son is in the 4th grade. "This means there's a lot of learning going on here. The kids are staying educated just like they need to be. Doing well here obviously and have a bright future for them."
Principal Russ Painter is in his 21st year at Manchester Gate. He says the 998 is four points better than last year. He gives all the credit to his teachers. "I try to tell them you know what trust your instincts. We've been doing well for a number of years. You keep doing the things you've been doing and you'll do good things for kids."
Ryan Venkatesan is a 4th grader who also has high praise for his teachers. "Definitely the teachers and how they teach. They teach so well that's what makes our academics so high."
Students are proud of their accomplishments but they're not expecting a party or a parade on campus. 6th grade student Cacey Pitcher says it's time to get back to work. "Every single year I thought this was a perfect school and it is a great place for kids to go. It's a great place for kids to have fun and to learn."
High test scores are nothing new at Manchester Gate. But being two points away from perfection and tying two other schools for state honors is something to be proud of.
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