June 3, 2013 Synergy Charter Academy in South Los Angeles has been named the Best Urban Elementary School in America by the National Center for Urban School Transformation. Synergy has an Academic Performance Index (API) score of 935, making the South LA elementary school not only number one in the community, but among the top 10% of all schools statewide, including outperforming schools in Beverly Hills. On the latest California Standards Test (CST), 93% and 84% of Synergy's 2nd-5th grade students are performing at or above grade level in math and reading, respectively.
Synergy Charter Academy is high-performing, even though it is a high-minority and high-poverty campus where 99% of its students are Latino and African American, 57% of students are English Learners, and 88% of students qualify for free or reduced price lunch.
"This provides evidence that all students can thrive under the right circumstances," the school wrote in its press release. "Synergy believes that all schools can be high-performing regardless of their students' demographics and regardless of whether they are traditional or charter public schools."
The California Charter Schools Association honored Synergy as California Charter School of the Year in 2008.
Synergy Charter Academy, founded in 2004 by former Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) teachers Meg and Randy Palisoc, credits its success to a passionate teaching staff, resilient leadership, andeffective instructional strategies that include a blended learning curriculum that integrates technology in the classroom.
Synergy shares out its best practices through its free Synergy Trade Secrets Tours, which it offers throughout the school year so that anyone interested can learn about Synergy's strategies and observe Synergy's classrooms in action. The last tour of the year was on May 22nd and Synergy will resume these tours in the next school year. By sharing out its best practices, Synergy is empowering other schools to also become the best schools in the nation.