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Principal "Pays the Price"
for Students' Reading Achievements


Getting students motivated can take on many forms. For the principal of Forest Glen Middle School in Coral Springs, getting kids exciting about reading took losing some hair.

That's because Principal James McDermott made a deal with his students - if they logged a million minutes of reading as a way to prepare for the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT), he would allow his mustache of 20 years to be shaved off. The students met the challenge, and so went the hair! In addition, the school's assistant principals will have their hair dyed by the students.

Forest Glen has earned an "A" school grade for the last two years. "The motivation of this competition caused the students to read longer passages, in order to log in more minutes," said McDermott. "Therefore, it made their FCAT reading a lot easier."

Last year, even though Forest Glen was an "A" school, it did not make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in reading. Since there is a large Limited English Proficiency (LEP) population, the school established a reading lab that focuses on using prediction skills software. The school is also using Wilson Reading, a direct instruction tool, so that students who need the help can get an extra hour of reading per day.

For more information about Forest Glen Middle, visit