Second-Grader Receives Perfect Score on STAR Test

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John Isaiah Norwood

John Isaiah Norwood, an eight-year-old third-grader at John Sinnott Elementary School  in the Milpitas School District and recent Greene Scholar Science Fair award recipient, accomplished an extremely rare feat for his school, school district, and even the state of California.
When he took the STAR test for the first time as a second grader, he scored a perfect 1200 on the California Standards Tests (CST)–600 on both Math and English Language Arts tests.
Several seasoned school administrators who are familiar with the STAR test commented that they had known of students obtaining perfect scores on one test or the other, but none recalled any student having accomplished a perfect score on both tests during their respective tenures.
Young John’s father Chris Norwood, who is CEO of XCEL Educational Services–a Bay Area tutoring and academic coaching service–shared his thoughts about his son’s extraordinary test results.
“With the 2013 STAR test exams right around the corner, it is important that I encourage parents and children to believe that academic excellence is possible and the achievement gap can be erased,” he said.
“I attribute my son’s excellent scores to a healthy combination of positive parental support; exposure to academic curriculum at an early age; computer use for blended learning with programs such as StudyIsland.com; controlled television viewing; appropriate video game play; the Greene Scholars Program; West Coast Berryessa Martial Arts; his desire to keep up with his GATE student big sister Yazmeen; and a wonderful group of teachers at his preschool and at John Sinnott Elementary School.”
John’s mom Arzee added, “My son has an amazing support system that includes extended family, regular church attendance, physical exercise and a healthy imagination.” Under her tutelage and personal engagement John’s after-school activities include dedicated homework at appropriate time and place; piano lessons once per week; and reading together a wide variety of books every night for at least 20 to 30 minutes.
In John’s own words, “When I finished the test, I thought I might have gotten them all right, but I wasn’t sure. When I heard the news that I actually achieved the perfect 1200, I was extremely proud. I also earned the Lego Mindstorm NXT 2.0, which is pretty cool, too. My dream is to be a car designer at Tesla. I told my sister I’d design her first car.”