With an overview of the 5 troubled (Grade F) elementary schools that have been in the news and in the concerns of the community/education system, Chair Gordon advised the audience the 2015-2016 grades reported three schools have improved with Grades as follows:
- Maximo is now Grade C (was F)
- Lakewood and Fairmont are currently a Grade D (from F)
- Campbell Park and Melrose are currently a Grade F
- Four of these schools got new principals
Lori Matway, Associate Superintendent Student & Community Services with Pinellas County Schools provided an updated from a school administration perspective.
Lori addressed the audience saying our Grade A and Grade B schools remain strong; moving School Principals is a state mandate for transformation schools; Pinellas County has a strong plan with the goal of no Grade D or Grade F schools. Matway added we are seeing gains in the achievement rate with the highest percentage of African American 2016 High School graduates.
Continuing, Lori advised some of the changes that have been made that have resulted in improvement include:
- Additional resources that went in to the failing schools
- Differentiate teacher pay scales
- JWB proving mental health and social services in the schools
- Support staff for each teacher in the classroom