The year was 1963. Doctor Martin Luther King made his powerful “I have a dream” speech, the Beatles seized the Billboard charts with their first hit, “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” and President Kennedy challenged his countrymen to chart a “New Frontier” of space exploration and social programs. In Diamond Bar, Golden Springs made its debut, filled with the promise that accompanied its spot as the city’s first elementary school.
Though named for the graceful, hill-lined street that abuts its campus, Golden Springs has also come to serve as a metaphor for the sparkling succession of students who have used their time at our school to serve as a (golden) springboard from which they could catapult themselves into the rest of their lives … well prepared to serve as model students, professionals and citizens.
In an era of reduced expectations –who among us hasn’t been touched by lay-offs, investment losses or dwindling retirement plans? – It is comforting to see the steady, year-after-year performance of our students, as measured by the California STAR Academic Performance Index, our API score. Since 2000, Golden Springs has been rated in the top one percent of all schools, statewide, with an average API of 907 since 2006, we’ve earned scores of 900, 903, 908 and 913.
The strength of Golden Springs’ academic programs is well documented but goes beyond its status as an “academic performance powerhouse”, Golden Springs prides its self on educating the whole child in an ecstatically pleasing, family oriented, neutering learning environment providing our students a world class education for the World of tomorrow.
As Golden Springs shifts into a Pre-K8 school beginning with the 2009-10 academic year, we will continue to emphasize many of the pillars that helped our school arrive at its current high standing:
- State-of-the-art technology, equipment and software strategically deployed across all ten grade levels, both in the classroom, on campus via our gleaming multimedia center and even at home through the teachers personalized classroom web pages.
- Augmenting core academic programs with offerings such as art appreciation, public speaking and physical education designed to help produce well-rounded students. In addition, our older students are given unparalleled access to student-produced theater, chorale and publications.
- An unrivaled partnership between our PTO, teachers and staff and local businesses that allows us to give our children an unforgettable array of educational assemblies and field trips.
- Robust reading and writing curriculum that flows from the statistically-proven fact that children who love to read … will excel in all academic areas. From our youngest students phonetically journaling their daily activities with “Kinder-speak” to our fifth and sixth graders producing annotated 40-plus page reports and on to our middle school students producing the schools student-run yearbook and newspaper, the “Cougar Kids Chronicle,” we continually seek novel ways to spark creative expression via the written word.
Since our inception, the unmatched commitment of our families has been the foundation that underpins our school’s proud heritage and consistent record of success. With your help and support, we intend to recast the challenge of our schools transition into increased opportunity for all children. We embrace our transformation into a Pre-K8 school with the same level of enthusiasm that sixties-era rocket scientists and astronauts summoned to meet the man-on-the-moon mission set for them by President Kennedy.
Our arrival as a Pre-K8 school is the “New Frontier” of our time! And we will get there by continually perfecting the solution to this one question: How can we best build upon our reputation for producing a high-caliber of students-citizens who are equally well prepared to compete in the classrooms and workplaces of tomorrow?
--Scott Willingham, October 2009