Celebrating scholastic improvement with a surprise parade for students

Published: Oct. 19, 2023 at 12:26 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - One elementary school in Northeast Arkansas surprised its students with a parade to celebrate their academic success.

Community members gathered at the Jonesboro Leadership Magnet School on Thursday, Oct. 19, to celebrate the growth in students’ grades. The school’s report card letter grade went from an F last year to a D.

Principal Amanda Sanders said they grew in all three categories of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)School Index Score.

“We were also recognized by the Department of [Education] as a ‘School on the Move,’” she said. “So we have reason to celebrate today, and we’re so excited to have the community join us.”

Assistant Principal Kimberly Newcomb said they needed a 5-point increase in their score to jump a letter grade.

“We surpassed that expectation, achieving a 6.32 increase,” she said.

Newcomb said it’s taken the school several years to accomplish this goal.

“We are astronomically proud,” she said. “This is not just our job; this is our mission, and we love these kids.”

Several community members attended the parade, including Jonesboro Mayor Harold Copenhaver, the Jonesboro Fire Department, and the Jonesboro High School Band.

Sanders said they invited those who have “poured their hearts into the school for years” to drive around the school holding signs, shaking pom poms, and cheering for students as they sat and watched from the sidewalk with smiling faces.