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Principals pitch plans to help improve students' performance

By Staff
STRATEGY Frank Perry, 10, a student at Parkview Elementary School, reads in the school library with Principal Kathy Robinson. Robinson and other elementary school principals presented a school improvement plan to the Meridian School Board on Tuesday in an attempt to raise test scores and accreditation levels. Parkview Elementary is rated a Level 2, or an under-performing, school by the state. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Georgia E. Frye / staff writer
Sept. 17, 2003
Meridian elementary school principals said Tuesday they are clear about what's needed to improve standardized test scores, student achievement and instruction at their schools.
John Lisenbe, principal of Crestwood Elementary School, said he believes "getting the kids involved in their own test scores is a good way to improve them. It gets them excited about succeeding."
Sandy Davidson, principal of West Hills Elementary School, said one of her main goals is to improve the parent-school relationship.
During a Meridian School Board work session on Tuesday, each elementary school principal presented a specific plan for school improvement. The plans came about two weeks after school accreditation levels were released for the district.
The presentations are part of an attempt to bring Meridian's low-performing schools up to the state average on the Mississippi Curriculum Test a standardized test that gauges reading, language and math in second- through eighth-grades.
As a part of that effort, the district has implemented several new policies including the issuing of a school-by-school report card that will be complete at the end of September.
This report card is in addition to a report card available on the Mississippi Department of Education's Web site: The additional report card will contain school improvement plans presented Tuesday.
The Mississippi Curriculum Test is the major factor in determining school accreditation levels. For the 2001-2002 school year, four Meridian elementary schools were rated Level 1, or low-performing.
For the 2002-2003 school year, none of Meridian's elementary schools were rated Level 1.
Principals said they attribute the rise in test scores to the dedication of teachers, students and parents. However, principals agree that more parental involvement is key to student achievement.
Besides Lisenbe's and Davidson's comments, other elementary school principals praised the addition of counselors and social workers to the district as a way of making contact with parents easier.
The additional counselors and social workers were made possible through a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education.