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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Point systems, new staff deployed to boost Pinellas elementaries



At this week's meeting of the Concerned Organizations for Quality Education for Black Students, a few St. Pete principals shared their latest tactics for improving lagging student performance.

Maximo now has an attendance counselor two days each week to track absentee students, which frees up the school's social worker to do more intensive work, Principal Randi Latzke said.

"We're talking kindergarten, prekindergarten, where it begins," Latzke said. Maximo is also hiring more teachers to reduce class sizes, and has assigned each student a "champion." These mentors include family members, staff and volunteers. Each month, the student meets with that mentor to review their school performance and set goals for improvement.

Over at Lakewood Elementary, Principal Cynthia Kidd has started a "parent club." The first meeting drew 19 Lakewood parents. "It gives them an outlet to talk about concerns they have," Kidd said. The first order of business, Kidd said, is getting a parent volunteer for each classroom.

Meanwhile, the Lakewood kids are on a new point system. Each day is broken into 10 blocks, with students earning a point for each block they behave well in. Every two weeks, on Friday, they receive a "check" to use as currency at the school store.

"We're teaching them the economy of saving... or spending. It's up to them," Kidd said.

[Last modified: Friday, October 4, 2013 2:25pm]


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