San Mateo County Schools are Beginning to Close the Achievement Gap

REDWOOD CITY, CALIF. – The San Mateo County Office of Education (SMCOE) released its Achievement in Motion report today at the tenth annual Zap the Gap Summit. The data-based report highlights five schools in the County that have improved outcomes for all students, including traditionally underserved youth: Menlo-Atherton High School (Sequoia Union High School District), Oceana High School (Jefferson Union High School District), Heather Elementary School (San Carlos School District), Encinal Elementary School (Menlo Park City School District), and Ralston Middle School (Belmont-Redwood Shores School District). The report includes promising practices that the schools implemented to improve student outcomes in addition to data tables, program and initiative highlights, and a research-based framework of best practices for closing the achievement and opportunity gaps.

The report is part of SMCOE’s work on data-driven, continuous improvement to effectively close achievement and opportunity gaps for students of color, students living in poverty, foster youth, students with disabilities, and English learners throughout the county.

“It is a pleasure to shine a light on some of the promising practices occurring in schools in San Mateo County and to share these practices countywide,” said Dr. Gary Waddell, Deputy Superintendent of the San Mateo County Office of Education. “Every student can succeed, and we can eliminate historic barriers to educational attainment. This is an important part of our larger effort to ameliorate achievement and opportunity gaps in San Mateo County, and I am appreciative of the opportunity to share the stories of some of the schools in our county that are creating positive outcomes for children and youth.”

The Zap the Gap Summit, co-sponsored by Oracle, brought together 250 policymakers and educators to explore ways to continue closing the achievement and opportunity gaps in San Mateo County. Leaders from the five schools highlighted in the Achievement in Motion report participated on a panel moderated by San Mateo County Board of Education Vice President Hector Camacho, Jr.

In addition to the panel, the Summit included an in-depth, interactive presentation by Kimberly Papillon, founder of The Better Mind, on the impact of decision-making on student achievement and the development of sound and fair decision-making policies and practices in public schools. Attendees also heard from Sarahi Espinoza Salamanca, founder and CEO of DREAMer’s Roadmap, as well as San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools Anne E. Campbell, Assemblymember Kevin Mullin, San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa, and US Representative Jackie Speier.

For a copy of the report, visit the SMCOE website at here for a copy of the press release.


The San Mateo County Office of Education is committed to ensuring excellence and equity in education by inspiring students, investing in teachers, invigorating leaders and involving communities.