New Academic Programs Implemented

As Florida schools fight to meet state achievement standards, new programs and guidelines are being implemented.

Fifth grade teacher Alissa Hingson is one of several Lafayette County teachers who just completed a mathematics training workshop.

Alissa Hingson said, "We were taught how to teach them to discover, so when they finally figure out something that's theirs, they can own it."

The school district is implementing several new programs to help improve math, writing, and reading scores. Such as a method for teachers to ensure all students have mastered the skill at their grade level and intensive reading instruction for students with low FCAT scores.

Laracia Powe, a ninth grader, said, "I think it's a good idea because it'll boost FCAT scores. I felt like I could've been more prepared for it than I was. I make good grades but when it comes to tests, it's different."

According to a letter to parents from the Lafayette County School Board, these efforts are in response to the district's failure to meet state proficiency standards last year. The letter goes on to attribute the district's failure to the failure of African-American, economically disadvantaged, and disabled students to make adequate progress in reading. Furthermore, according to the letter, African-American students and students with disabilities did not make adequate progress in math.

Gwen Watkins, a parent, said, "My first concern was some, we can't just separate one group from another, but the parents themselves are going to have to do some hands on. Because really it's our responsibility to make sure our kids are getting what they need."

Superintendent Fredric Ward says each school in the district is dedicated to helping all students become successful.

Superintendent Ward says the data from Florida Department of Education is constantly being reviewed.