Federal official praises San Francisco school’s turnaround 

Shaun Donovan, the secretary of the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department, visited Everett Middle School on Tuesday to witness the school’s turnaround.

Three years ago, Everett was considered a failing school. Today, its Academic Performance Index scores have jumped 40 points — the highest recorded in city history, according to city officials.

The API is calculated by converting a student’s performance on statewide assessments across multiple content areas into points on the API scale. These points are then averaged across all students and all tests.

Everett benefited from some of the $30 million grant HUD issued to the Mission Economic Development Agency, which uses the funds to improve the surrounding area and the school.

“It takes a village to revitalize a village,” Donovan said.

Everett Principal Lena Van Haren said the grant funding has allowed the school to hire more staff and invest in new technology. It now offers more nonacademic programs.

Several Everett students spoke about their enthusiasm for the school and their teachers, including one boy who has only been in the country for two years and credits Everett with helping him learn English. Among other programs, Everett offers English-language development classes for recent immigrants.

“This [education] is the most important thing you can do with your future,” Donovan said as he praised the school’s turnaround.

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