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Fair Street school celebrates progress report
Principal: 'Were making tremendous growth'
Fair Street International School officials held a celebration Friday to mark the progress made since the school was placed on the chronically failing list.

Fair Street International School officials are optimistic that they can get off the state’s chronically failing list this year after recent assessments shows students significantly improving their reading and math scores.

The school celebrated its achievement Friday with a parade and ice cream party.

Administrators pointed at recent results to show that their students are making great strides in reading and math since the beginning of the school year.

Kindergarten assessments made in August 2016 showed that more than 50 percent of children in the school’s three kindergarten classes were reading below basic, about 35 percent of them scored at the basic level and less than 10 percent were deemed proficient in reading.

However, assessments made some two weeks ago show the students flipping those results. Now, 40 percent are below basic level, 40 are reading at grade level and 18 percent are proficient.

Similar results were found among the 417 students in grades 1-5 who were assessed in the reading inventory. At the beginning of the school year, 55 percent of the students were below basic, 35 percent were at basic and 9 percent proficient.

However, the most recent assessment shows that the number of students below basic decreased to 40 percent, those reading at basic level increased to 40 percent and the number at proficient doubled to 18 percent schoolwide

“This is data that we shared with our school governance council, it’s online and available for anyone to see,” Principal Will Campbell said. “It’s shows we’re making tremendous growth since the beginning of the school year.”

Results in grades 3-5 were as encouraging, according to the school’s Academic Coach Coleta Easington and Reading Coach Leslie Jost.

The two coaches say that the positive trend gives them confidence that students in grades 3-5, which is the group whose test results are incorporated in the state’s College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) scores, will get the school off the chronically failing list.

“We’re on a footing,” Easington said. “This trajectory, there’s absolutely no stopping us.”

Jost said CCRPI is not just a test, but rather it is made up of many pieces, including growth.

“You get points and it’s a weighted measure,” Jost said.

Campbell came up with the idea for a parade to celebrate the students’ growth and progress in the assessments. He pointed at district data showing Fair Street’s assessment results were outpacing all other elementary schools. Campbell asked his teachers to have students prepare a sign highlighting an achievement they’ve made this school year.

“The kids will show their pride with their signs, so our job is to cheer them on,” Campbell told his teachers.

An ice cream party capped the parade.

Officials are confident the school is on track to erase the bad taste of having been placed last month on the state’s list of failing schools, after Fair Street posted CCRPI scores below 60 three consecutive years.