Norton Space and Aeronautics Academy opened in 2008 to provide students with a very unique learning environment for students in kindergarten through 6th grade with the school adding a grade level yearly until they provide classes through 12th grades. The school offers a space science oriented environment, which most students’ state is amazing. The student body is diverse with 50% Hispanic or Latino, 28% African American, 15% White, 5% Asian, 1% American Indian, 1% Filipino, and 1% Pacific Islander.
The majority of parents love the dual immersion program. The school has the goal that all students will be able to read, speak and write in both English and Spanish in all academic areas after only five years in the program. Parents have stated that they are amazed at how well their children are speaking both languages.
Along with core subjects, students are encouraged to join other activities such as cross-country, volleyball, softball, basketball, cheerleading, and soccer.
The overall opinion of the school is pretty good, however, some parents expressed concerns that students are taught 80% in Spanish until they reach 4th grade when it will be 50% in English and 50% in Spanish. Most parents stated that the test scores are not a true measure of the school as it is a dual immersion school and students should be tested accordingly. Other parents stated they really like the teachers but the office staff can be rude and unprofessional. Another negative remark from one parent is the lack of music programs or advanced courses. Students really enjoying going to school and love the curriculum and the way they have the opportunity to do school work in both English and Spanish.
The Academic Performance Index increased 25 points from the previous to 675. The statewide goal is 800. Parents are pleased with the increase and understand that teachers are working to improve the score.
The California Standards Tests is used to learn if students are mastering core subjects. The various tests are given to 2nd through 11th grades in English, grades 2nd through 7th are given tests in math, and science tests are administered to students in grades 5th, 8th, and 10th, while history tests are given to students in 8th and 11th grades.
The percentage of students passing the exams was not available at the time of this writing. The ones that were showed students below state averages. This was very disappointing for parents that believe their children are doing very well in the school and that there should be a different type of exam for students attending a dual immersion program.
Overall, the school is providing students with an exceptional education. It would be in your best interest to ensure that your child will excel in a school with a dual immersion program. Take a tour and talk with teachers before making your final decision.
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Norton Space and Aeronautics Academy
503 E. Central Ave.
San Bernardino, CA 92408