Sunday, February 25, 2018
Education

For 13th consecutive years, Brooksville Elementary gets Five Star Award

BROOKSVILLE — Brooksville Elementary School has earned yet another Five Star Award.

"This is our 13th year," said principal Mary LeDoux. The school's first winning year was 2000-2001 and it has been a consecutive winner since.

The Five Star designation is awarded by the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Community Involvement Council to recognize schools that have achieved the highest level of parent and community involvement.

Title 1 parent educator Amy Anderson documents community involvement at Brooksville Elementary. She checks off criteria in five categories: business partnerships, family involvement, volunteers, student community service and effectiveness of the School Advisory Council.

Anderson fills a binder with community involvement, including business relationships, such as the one with Coney Island Drive Inn, which provides fundraising opportunities and helps with the school's family center.

"They're just always there," she said.

The school also has a partnership with Publix, which holds a Family Math Night. "We had 177 people at the last one, including staff," Anderson said, adding that Publix donates to the school's winter festival and provides Mother's Day cakes.

Brooksville has an active PTA and grade level family nights.

The school has five times won the Golden School Award for volunteers, meaning that it has had twice the number of volunteer hours as it has enrolled students. The volunteers receive training and have a coordinator.

The students hold an annual fundraiser that supports a global initiative and the school. They collect food during the holidays and the school has a K-Kids service club.

The School Advisory Council has an 80 percent attendance rate, receives training to help it work together as a group to make decisions and interprets data for school improvement.

The Five Star Award is "a big point of pride," Anderson said. "Being a great school doesn't just happen. We're the best school in the county."

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