By Ashli Sims, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- The state releases the new list of schools in need of improvement. And, Tulsa Public Schools is celebrating. Six schools that were struggling are now off the list.
Academy Central has been branded in need of improvement, since 2004. After making the grade two years in a row, the school's now off the list. But, the school isn't just resting on its laurels.
Academy Central has an after-school tutoring program. All the extra help seems to have paid off. Test scores are soaring. And after four years of struggling, Academy Central is now off of the federal Needs Improvement List.
"Oh my gosh, this is awesome. And, just excited for the kids. Glad to celebrate with them," said Academy Central Principal Ebony Johnson.
The federal No Child Left Behind Act requires students to meet state benchmarks in testing and attendance. Those who fall short end up on the list of low performing schools.
TPS has 11 on the list this year; its smallest number ever.
Almost half of those schools, met state standards last year, but they've got to do that two years in a row to make it off the list.
And, it's not just TPS that has struggling schools. Three Union schools are on the list, including two new ones: Briarglen Elementary and the Eighth Grade Center.
Jenks middle school is poised to come off the list, if students continue to make the grade.
Ebony Johnson says not making the list also comes with its share of pressure.
"For us, there's some anxiety in that we want to continue the success. And, that's the biggest challenge is making sure that our day is maximized with great learning opportunities for the kids," said Academy Central Principal Ebony Johnson.
Johnson says her staff is really hammering home those reading and math skills, during and after school. Plus, they've got some pretty nice hardware to keep the students inspired.
"We make a really big deal out of the fact that they did well. And, the kids get to have that in their room and look at it and hope to keep it," said Academy Central Principal Ebony Johnson.
TPS is celebrating, but its high schools continue to fall short. Only three, Booker T. Washington, Edison, and Memorial are not on the list of low performing schools.
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