Aug 20, 2014 7:36 PM by Ashlea Bullington
With the new school year now underway, educators at JW Faulk Elementary are determined to raise the school's letter grade. JW Faulk is currently the only "F" school in Lafayette Parish.
According to scores from the 2012-2013 school year, of the 39 schools in the Lafayette Parish School System, there are ten "D" ranked schools, ten "C", nine "B" and nine "A's".
With fresh curriculum and new staff in place, JW Faulk Principal Jamilah Hicks says she has a clear image of the goal for the new school year.
"The main thing we are focusing on is academics and improving our scores," said Hicks.
To move from the 'F' list to the 'D' list, the LPSS Accountability Department has calculated that 32 students must improve testing scores from an 'approaching basic' score to a 'basic' score.
New to JW Faulk, 5th grade teacher Marcia Hardy says she believes that can happen, as long as teachers focus on the students. Hardy said she took the job at JW Faulk because she wanted to be a part of the turn-around.
To turn JW Faulk around, the staff is putting a new learning structure into place, including flexible groups, where students will switch teachers in their grade level for certain subjects. After mastering the subject, they will move into a different level.
Also in the lesson plans will be a heavy push on English Language Arts integration for all major subjects: math, science, reading and social studies. Students in all grade levels will start the day with a two hour ELA block. Principal Hicks said they are doing this at the beginning of the school day because learning studies show that's when students retain the most information.
Other plans include continuing the volunteer reading programs through the United Way of Acadiana and Kiwanis Club. Teachers will also implement reading instruction sooner than other schools do and will use auxiliary teachers to work with students who need extra help.
Principal Hicks says she believes that refined plan will give JW Faulk the boost it needs. She said that the passion she and her staff have is what she wants to give to her students.
"We have to instill that same passion of excellence we have in our profession in them, so that it carries over into their work studies. We are all very passionate about this work, it is very important," said Hicks.