After-School Program for FCAT Improvement

A local school district is taking corrective action to improve student test scores.

Taylor County second through fifth graders did not meet adequate yearly progress, or AYP, last school year.

The federal No Child Left Behind legislation requires the school district to do something about it.

Principal Jan Walker of Taylor County Elementary School said, "This is what we're doing here at the elementary school. We're offering math tutoring after school for those students who did not make Level 3 FCAT."

Additional intensive instruction is provided three days a week at the Supplemental Education Services After-school Program where the main focus is math.

Third Grader Jayla Island at Taylor County Elementary School says, "I learned adding with four-digit numbers, rounding, and subtracting."

Students are divided according to grade and skill level. Teachers use various teaching methods, including computer-based instruction. The student-teacher ratio is only about five to one.

Fifth Grader Dylan Doster at Taylor County Elementary School says, "We usually sit down and work. If we don't understand, we'll raise our hand and the teacher will come and help us out. Once we do two or three pages, she'll let us get on F-CAT Explorer."

Coordinator Deana Garrett of the SES After-School Program said, "The kids are wonderful. They seem very excited to be here. We have several who do have perfect attendance. Every day they come, they participate very well, they work hard."

Principal Walker says the goal is to show progress on the FCAT next February. She says there's a great "probability" of accomplishing just that.

The after-school program is funded through federal Title One funds.