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3 Huntsville City Schools make state failing schools list

Two of the schools were on the list in 2018.

Posted: Jan. 22, 2019 11:06 PM

A trio of Huntsville City Schools are on the 2019 failing schools list. As required by law, The State Department of Education released the list. Huntsville's failing schools are Jemison High School, McNair Middle School, and Lakewood Elementary. This is the second year in a row Jemison and McNair have made the list.

One parent WAAY 31 talked with said her daughter went to McNair and now goes to Jemison. A problem she sees is with the quality of the teachers. Lacreica Gatewood's daughter is a freshman. She would like to see teachers be able to better adapt their style to students, "They need to get teachers in here to teach these kids. They need to have teachers in here that are understanding," said Gatewood.

In a self assessment document of strengths and weaknesses for Jemison, created this school year, their Principal highlights faculty and staff retention as an issue. For students, proficiency in math is also on an area that needs work.

Huntsville City Schools told WAAY 31 the failing schools list is not a good measure of a school's success, because it only looks at student performance on one standardized test and not a more comprehensive view. Across the district they are focusing on improving reading and math skills for students.

The failing schools are in Huntsville Board of Education member Michelle Watkins district. She told WAAY 31 the Principals are doing a good job, but positive change doesn't come overnight. She said all parents and administrators need to come together for students.

That is something Gatewood agrees with, "We are on the same team as y'all. Let's all come together and work together to build these kids," said Gatewood.

The Principal of Jemison is seeing fewer disciplinary issues at the school, which Watkins, and Gatewood, said is a step to having more productive classrooms.

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