GOSNELL, AR (KAIT) - The Arkansas Department of Education removed Gosnell Elementary School from its School Improvement list.
The standards based No Child Left Behind Act requires schools on the list to show "adequate yearly progress (AYP)" on Benchmark and End-of-Course exams in math and literacy. Gosnell Elementary was classified as a state directed school because students failed to show consistent progress in their scores. "We were in year seven of school improvement and it's very unusual to be removed from it when you get that far into school improvements," said principal Angie Middleton.
Middleton said it takes two years to make the list and two years to be removed. "We had to constantly assess the things that we were doing to improve. We would assess daily, monthly, yearly."
Education specialists trained teachers as the curriculum was modified. "We gave them what's called job embedded professional development where the specialists come in and they work in the classroom with them."
Middleton found out two weeks ago that Gosnell Elementary is now labeled an "achieving" school. More than 75% of the 725 students at the elementary school scored at proficient levels during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years.
Principal Middleton allowed the students to choose how they will celebrate. "They decided that they wanted to duct tape me to a tree."