Letters to the Editor

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TACOMA: Roosevelt is working for improvement

Letter by Darrell Johnston, Tacoma on Dec. 20, 2011 at 3:30 pm | 6 Comments »
December 21, 2011 10:41 am

Re: “8 Pierce County schools make state list of low-performing schools” (TNT, 12-20).

Roosevelt Elementary School may be in its debut on the list of low-achieving schools in Tacoma, but the issues impacting student achievement at Roosevelt have been looked at in great depth by school staff and district administrators.

The administration has supported Roosevelt with additional staffing and instructional initiatives that put the right tools in the hands of the right teachers to address the needs of Roosevelt’s students.

Results? In December, the district administered a math assessment aligned with state standards to all students in grades 1-5, and 79.6 percent of Roosevelt students scored proficient. That number includes special education students and English language learners.

I expect this new trend toward higher achievement will help remove Roosevelt from the state’s list in the future.

While Roosevelt may be listed as a low-achieving school, our teachers are some of the most effective in the district in improving student achievement from the beginning to the end of the school year. Our presence on the low-achieving schools list may bring with it some negative attention, but recognizing the needs of our students has brought them additional support.

We look forward to a swift departure from the list of low-achieving schools and extend our appreciation to the many parents, volunteers and staff from school to state level who have contributed towards instructional improvement at Roosevelt.

(Johnston is the principal at Roosevelt Elementary School.)

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