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Duval Elementary Rises to the Standards in One Year

Charles Duval Elementary School Orff Ensemble performs for Commissioner Horne during his recent School Recognition Tour visit.

Principal Leanetta McNealy was determined her school would succeed and with her determination and fire Charles W. Duval Elementary in Gainesville surpassed even her imagination. The teachers, staff, business partnerships, parents and students were sincere in their efforts to meet success, and it happened! The school improved its grade from an F to an A during the 2002-2003 academic year and recently received recognition money in the amount $30,856. It is only one of two Title I schools to make Adequate Yearly Progress.

Duval Elementary's effective strategies included after school tutoring, an integrated arts program and teacher preparation of FCAT reading questions. After school tutoring instructional time for third, fourth and fifth graders was increased. There were only 10 students per class with two-hour classes that met twice a week.

The integrated arts program promoted motivation and engagement. The teachers incorporated academic skill instruction into their curriculum and classroom teachers implemented arts-based techniques to engage more of their students in learning.

Teacher preparation challenged teachers to new ways of thinking. They learned to identify appropriate materials from sources such as Highlights for Children and they developed FCAT-style questions from the materials. The teachers shared resources by filing materials and questions in notebooks. They also conducted ongoing assessments of each student's responses.

Duval Elementary plans to monitor student success by giving school-wide test simulations, conducting eight-week reading assessments and providing a daily analysis of student performance data.

The school's success would not have been possible without the help and dedication of the administration, staff, teachers, aides, business partnerships, parents and most of all the dedication and determination of the students.

For more information on Charles W. Duval Elementary, visit the following: