LA VERNE - Bonita Unified School District, like school systems throughout California, will have its share of challenges in the near future, but the picture of the present is very positive, Superintendent Gary Rapkin said Thursday.

Rapkin shared all of the positives at the State of the Bonita Unified School District at The Meeting House At Hillcrest.

All 12 of the district's comprehensive schools have an Academic Performance Index score above the state's goal of 800, including three schools scoring above 900, he said. Bonita Unified's overall API was 865.

"We've hit our 10th consecutive year of growth for the district as a whole," Rapkin said.

A Newsweek study put the school district's high schools in the Top 5 percent nationally, while the graduation rate is 98 percent, which is 26 percentage points above the Los Angeles County average, Rapkin said.

Additionally, 85 percent of graduates go on to post-secondary education, he said.

Rapkin said he had "high expectations for all students, staff and ourselves in a culture of respect ... and support."

Additional good news for Bonita Unified include modernization projects from a March 2004 voter-approved measure have all been completed. Projects are moving forward related to the November 2008 Measure AB bond, including an expansion of the San Dimas High School gymnasium and the Bonita Performing Arts Center that is set to be finished in April 2014.


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Future challenges for the district though are present and they include students' college and career readiness as well as its budget.

According to the district's first interim budget report, total expenditures for the 2012-13 fiscal year were projected to be $55.3 million, while the 2013-14 year is supposed to be about $54.7 million. The 2014-15 year is projected at more than $55.7 million.

Rapkin ended his speech by echoing the words of motivational writer Jim Collins: "Good is the enemy of great and that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great."

wes.woods@inlandnewspapers.com

909-483-8549

@ClaremontNow