News 12 at This Morning / Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Freedom Park Elementary has partnered with Pearson-America's Choice for the past four years to improve student learning. This week they are being recognized as being a national model school.
Freedom Park is the first school in the past five years to achieve that status and they are the only school in Georgia to earn the recognition.
"My favorite subject would have to be math," explained third grader Warner Johnson.
It's not always the easiest subject to teach third graders like Johnson, but the teachers at Freedom Park have an arsenal of tools to build up interest and drive up scores even for the most complicated lessons.
Meredith Cullen, a kindergarten teacher at Freedom Park explained, "When we did the closing, I realized a student had a misconception that gravity was magic and magic tricks."
Even though the student's work was correct, Cullen realized he didn't understand key concepts.
"I was able to pick up on that misconception, which would have been missed through just observation of his work," she said.
It's because of that focus on every student the school has earned the title of National Model School.
"We've been working for four years to infuse the classroom with new practices," said Alison Wagner, president of School Achievement Services.
The team with America's Choice, an educational group, has helped teachers depend on the data. Teachers collected student data, reviewed it and made changes to their lessons using the information.
"The teachers have learned how to use data. Both the work product and other observations like test scores. They learned how to bring together those elements," Wagner explained.
Through profile sheets and skill-based instruction, teachers were able to pinpoint strengths and weaknesses.
"We've seen great results here," Wagner said.
It's that type of environment that's helping students like Johnson stay interested in even more topics.