2013 Hero Story 9: Sandra Garcia
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2013 Hero Story 9 – Sandra Garcia: The following story was submitted by community members Kim Rocha and Stacy Benedict.
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According to Kim and Stacy: Sandra García was part of the original design team that createdAdelante Dual Language Academy, one of the Alum Rock Union School District’s most successful small autonomous schools. As the school’s principal for the past 9 years, “Directora García,” as she is fondly called by students and parents alike, has built a solid foundation for Adelante to become a well-respected and vibrant institution in District 5.
Adelante’s curriculum is an innovative approach to providing a well-rounded and rigorous public school education resulting in students being bilingual and bi-literate in English and Spanish by graduation from the 8th grade. Adelante opened 10 years agoon the campus of Cesar Chavez Elementary School. UnderDirectora García’s leadership, the school has grown to over 540 students from kindergarten through the 8th grade on its own campus. Despite the growth of Adelante, Directora Garcia is distinguished by her personal relationship with each student and their families. It’s not unusual to see the Directora walking through campus greeting students, siblings, and parents by their first names.
As a result of these relationships, Directora García has created a family environment in the Adelante community. Adelante has the most robust and successful parent participation program in the district. The parents are leaders on campus in the variety of extracurricular activities and programs offered at the school. She has also translated her community-building skills into bringing much needed resources to campus. This spring, Comcast and NBC-11 provided over $30,000 in materials and volunteer hours to beautify the campus and create a positive leaning environment for Adelante’s students. Prominent public officials and community VIPs regularly visit Adelante to learn about its innovative educational program.
This year, Adelante graduates its second 8th-grade class. The students have distinguished themselves as leaders in academics and extracurricular activities. When Directora García became principal at Adelante, the school’s Academic Performance Index (API) score was 692, well-below the goal of 800 set by the State of California. Since then, Adelante has become the fastest growing school with respect to API scores in the district, and one of the fastest growing in the state. Last year, Adelanteposted an amazing 836 as an API score, nearly increasing 150 points in just a few years. Additionally, Adelante athletic teams, music program, and Math Engineering, Science, and Achievement teams are well-known throughout the district.
Directora Sandra García has led the effort to make public education in District 5 a great choice for families. She has built a team of dedicated teachers, parents, and students with high expectations, a passion for her community, and a sincere love for her students and their success. For these reasons, Sandra García is a District 5 Hero.