Green Valley school making changes after 'C' rating from state - Tucson News Now

Green Valley school making changes after 'C' rating from state

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A school in Green Valley is concerned after receiving their report card from the state. 

School officials at Continental School are working to find a solution to help their students do better on their AIMS tests. The school is surprised to see its letter grade drop from a "B" to a "C." The superintendent recently sent out a letter to parents to provide more information on their low rating. The letter grade reflects the school's AIMS testing results for the 2013-2014 school year. Scores dropped in science, reading, and math in all grades.

There was improvement in writing. One of the biggest problems seems to be math. Math scores have been a concern for continental over the last few years.

The recent testing results show math scores dropped from second to eighth grade.

School officials say the changes they are seeing in their student population could be having an effect. They are a small district of about 589 students from pre-k to eighth grade. The district lost 112 students, while gaining 130 new students .Continental is also seeing a growing number of special education students and of students who are learning English as a second language.

School officials say they aren't making any excuses and a new math program is already underway. It's a program from the Vail School District, where it's seen positive results. Dr. Virginia Juettner, Continental School Superintendent says, " The idea of the program is that every teacher teaches it for 15 to 20 minutes a day. They go through units of study. They don't move on until 80-85% of the class has mastered what they have been working on."

Mrs. Wendy Fanning has been math teacher at Continental for more than 20 years. She has seen the school go from excelling to a"C" letter grade . Mrs. Fanning says the new requirements for the state have been difficult for many students. "Tests are frustrating for kids. We do have kids that get very nervous, we do have kids that will cry, kids that will get physically sick. It is a lot of pressure for these kids and the accountability needs to be there, so that's fine. We're dealing with it the best way we can, " says Mrs. Fanning.

The Continental school board has expressed it's concern, with board members saying the "C" rating is unacceptable. The school board wants hear from all staff, especially teachers. Teachers will have a chance to give their input on September 8th, right before the board's meeting on that date. A complete report on student achievement will be given to parents at open house events on September 10th and 11th.

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