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Gainesville schools focus on student achievement
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Gainesville City Schools board meeting

When: 6 p.m. Tuesday

Where: 508 Oak St., Gainesville

Coming on the heels of one of its schools being labeled “chronically failing” by the state, Gainesville school board officials will hear a report tonight on the district’s five-year strategic plan that centers on improving student achievement.

Superintendent Wanda Creel said Monday she’s been delivering monthly updates on the strategic plan, which focus on what school leaders are doing to meet the goals established by the district. School officials began implementing the plan in the summer of 2014.

The school board changed its meeting to Tuesday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday.

A major focus of the 2015-19 strategic improvement plan is identifying and working on areas of greatest need, which include college and career readiness, graduation rates, along with math and reading scores.

Recently, Creel explained some of the methodology used to address student achievement while responding to the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement report card released Jan. 5 that placed Gainesville’s Fair Street School on a list of chronically failing schools. The state recently released school performance and report card grading based on College and Career Ready Performance Index scores from last year.

Creel said the report card did not tell the whole story because it does not take into account the improvement going on at Fair Street. She said the school saw an increase from the 2015 CCRPI score of 50.9 to 55.1 in 2016.

“Fair Street International School, along with each school, has a plan in place and is working on that plan,” Creel said. “School teams are currently conducting comparative analysis of the data from the beginning of the year to the mid-year point and determining what adjustments need to be made.”

As part of a comprehensive plan to bolster student achievement, the school district developed a K-12 “literacy framework,” Creel added.

“Each of our schools have targeted instructional time during the day to reteach when a child needs additional instruction,” Creel said.

The strategic plan carved out three goal areas — “student focused, high-performing organization,” “high-quality instruction with equity of access for all students” and “people with a shared purpose and collaborative culture” — along with specific initiatives within each goal area. The plan is available on the school district’s website.