By Melanie Patterson
The North Jefferson News
At a recent Warrior Elementary faculty meeting, teachers agreed to work with students on their own time in order to improve test scores.
The teachers were trying to think of a way to keep the school’s Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) scores up, which is a requirement under the No Child Left Behind Act. AYP establishes state performance standards and goals.
The school’s solution is an extended-day program that gives students extra time studying reading and math.
Warrior Elementary has always made AYP, but principal Mike Frugoli said the hard work must continue.
“The bar rises every year,” he said.
The program is into its third week and will last about nine weeks until all third-, fourth- and fifth-graders take the yearly SAT and Alabama Reading and Mathematics Test in April.
The extended-day program has students studying reading after school on Mondays and math after school on Thursdays.
Frugoli said about 30 students attend the program each day. Their parents agreed to pick them up since they don’t ride the bus on those days.
He was pleased when every teacher volunteered to stay after school to help with the program.
“All the hands went up,” he said. “Our teachers are doing over and above what their contract calls for because they want the best for these kids. It’s refreshing to see that.”
Teacher Allyson McCombs is teaching math for the program. Even though there were enough willing teachers for them to take turns staying after, McCombs said she wanted to stay every week.
“I volunteered to do it every Thursday. I feel more accountable because they’re my students,” she said. “We’re targeting students that might need that extra help. Some kids need that extra hour to give them more help to succeed.”
Frugoli expects the extended-day program to bring results.
“So far it looks like it’s making a difference,” he said. “We’re putting a foundation down right now. We want as many of them to go to college as possible.”
What’s more, McCombs said the kids actually like doing the extra work.
“The majority of them are excited. They feel like they’re getting a jump ahead of everybody,” she said.
By Melanie Patterson