The Pinellas County School District will begin providing additional services to students at five schools through a specialized model of support based on the successful components of the JWB Children’s Initiative at Fairmount Park Elementary. The four-year initiative provided an enriched learning environment, additional social services and parental engagement.
This model of support, designed in collaboration with the JWB and the principals and teachers of the five schools, focuses on increasing achievement for all students with an emphasis on closing the achievement gap and turning around low-performing schools. This reform plan will be implemented at Campbell Park, Fairmount Park, Lakewood, Maximo and Melrose elementary schools.
“Our enhanced model of support is designed to generate a significant improvement of student achievement,” said Michael Grego, superintendent of Pinellas County Schools. “As we see this succeed, we hope to use this model in the future to help students throughout the district.”
The comprehensive plan includes the following areas of focus:
· Mental and social counseling
· Additional classroom assistance
· Full behavior management systems
· Enhanced family engagement
· Ongoing professional development
· Frequent district monitoring
· Preferential human resource processes
· Wraparound services
· Enhanced extended learning opportunities
Implementation will be individualized at each school through its School Improvement Plan. The schools anticipate beginning implementation by September 2014.
“We are grateful for our partnership with the JWB and look forward to working with all our community partners invested in turning around our most struggling schools,” Grego said.
The pilot initiative at Fairmount Park Elementary included 137 students and a total of 75 families. The successes included increased academic achievement, less discipline issues, more family involvement and increased school readiness. More than 80 percent of the families attended monthly meetings during the four-year initiative. More than 2,300 home visits were conducted by social workers. Eighty-five percent of the students participated in Summer Bridge and more than 90 percent of the initiative students entered kindergarten prepared to learn.