CAIS Students Have the Edge

April 05, 2018

Nationally recognized expert Dr. Helena Curtain has aggregated 50 years of research on immersion education and shared the findings last month at a CAIS 201 with parents. Overwhelmingly, the research shows that immersion students enjoy benefits and a competitive edge in both languages. This maps directly to our CAIS student experience and outcomes as well. For example, our outstanding high school placements and the very affirming ERB CTP results, both shared below, demonstrate that CAIS students more than hold their own in comparison with monolingual school peers.

Class of 2018 High School Acceptances and Attendance

CAIS alumni have a record of success at academically rigorous secondary schools. Combined with the Class of 2018’s impressive credentials, this has yielded the following spectacular slate of high school acceptances:

Acceptances at Independent Day School

Acceptances at Boarding School

Acceptances at Public Schools with Selective Admission Criteria

The Athenian School (1)

The Bay School (8)

The Branson School (2)

Convent of the Sacred Heart (1)

The Drew School (8)

International High School (9)

Lick-Wilmerding High School (4)

Loyola High School (LA) (1)

Marin Academy (2)

The Nueva School (1)

The Proof School (1)

Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep (6)

Saint Ignatius High School (3)

San Francisco Waldorf High School (1)

Stuart Hall High School (2)

University High School (8)

The Urban School (5)

Choate Rosemary Hall (1)

Peddie School (1)

Ethel Walker (1)

Mercersburg (1)

Stevenson (2)

Northfield Mount Hermon (1)

Loomis Chafee (1)


Lowell (14)

SOTA (2)

CAIS students scale the heights in and out of the classroomHigh School Counselor Kaicy MacLeod advises families to focus on fit and consider options which match an array of student interests and strengths, whether in the Bay Area or beyond. Accordingly, the particular mix of schools varies from year to year while consistently reflecting that students continue to challenge themselves. Students of the class of 2018 plan to attend the following:

The Bay School
The Drew School
Carlmont High School (Belmont)
Choate Rosemary Hall
Convent of the Sacred Heart
Gunn High School (Palo Alto)
International High School
Lick-Wilmerding High School
Lowell (SFUSD)
The Nueva School
The Proof School
Stuart Hall High School
The Urban School
University High School

National Assessment to Benchmark CAIS Progress

Each year CAIS administers the Educational Record Bureau’s (ERB) Comprehensive Testing Program (CTP) as one of many data points to evaluate our program rather than as an assessment for individual students. We compare our students as a group against the independent school group norm to help guide long-term curriculum adjustments, such as the introduction of Readers and Writers Workshop in recent years. For example, English Curriculum Director Cristina Calcagno notes that this year in Middle School, “We saw that our reading and writing scores were at or above peer schools. This positive trend correlates with our programatic shift to the Reading and Writing Workshop two years ago.” This can be seen in the two graphics below by looking at the green diamond compared to yellow square. The first image (2015-2016 results) reflect Reading Comprehension and Writing Concepts and Skills BEFORE CAIS introduced the Workshop Curriculum. The second image (2016-2017 results) shows the impact of the curriculum change as CAIS students stay as far ahead or gain more “distance.”

CTP is just one of many assessments we use to collectively understand our students, reflect on our teaching, and measure growth. Other classroom assessments are more closely aligned with our curriculum and provide the teachers with the most useful data for individual student performance. These include our internal writing assessment cycles, running record reading assessments, unit reading assessments, spelling and vocabulary assessments, and ongoing measurement of student growth in reading and writing from one-on-one conferring with students.”

As we emphasized during the Coffee & Questions informing parents on how to read the CTP test results, the numbers at the top of each bar in the graphs below are reflective of the National Norm Group Percentile. We invite parents to compare the green bar (CAIS) against the yellow bar (Independent School Norm Group Median Score). While we expect that our classes will perform at or above independent school norms, we understand that each group of students will have varied strengths.

Green = CAIS median
Blue = suburban public median
Yellow = independent school median  
Orange line = national norm

Congratulations to all our students (and families by extension) on their impressive achievements.