Stewart Street Elementary School in Quincy received FCAT 2 scores on May 23. They discovered their third-graders ranked second in the state in both reading and math. This is a marked improvement from last year’s scores.
Maya Rozier, a third-grade teacher, explained that the improved math scores were reached by making sure the students used and understood problem-solving strategies — and wrote out their work to demonstrate their progress and command of the concepts.
“What we’re doing is working,” said Rozier. “Our kids come from all walks of life. A lot of them come from the projects and things like that — but we don’t let that stop us. We don’t allow them to make excuses. And it just shows that our kids can be successful, and we can compete with some of the top kids in the state.”
Shakilla Gordon, another third-grade teacher, said she predicts the students will do even better in the future.
She acknowledged critical reading is a challenging skill set to teach. More than one of Stewart Street’s students received a perfect math score — but not a single student managed to achieve a perfect score on the FCAT 2’s reading section.
“Reading is the difficult one,” Gordon said. “The reading is more based on comprehension. The students have to really go back and reason with themselves and debate about their answers.”
Lisa Robinson, principal of Stewart Street Elementary, explained the school staff has received professional development training to help the students reach higher levels of performance in both subjects.
“We meet on a weekly basis, analyzing data, making sure we know our students’ strength and weaknesses,” said Robinson, explaining the results of these regular reviews help guide the school’s allocation of resource and direction of training for teachers, paraprofessionals — and even parents.
“We’re going to continue doing what we’re doing,” she said. We’re seeing steady growth over the years. We have stability. The teachers that we have here are invested in our school. They’ve been here for years so they’re able to know the population — the demographic — of students we have. And so we’re just building on what we’ve continued to do in the past.”