OKC Public School Work Hard To Make Improvements

Monday, August 15th 2011, 7:58 pm
By: News 9

Jennifer Pierce, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- An Oklahoma City public school is making big strides to get off a bad list. Webster Middle School is used to hearing bad news, but the principal got a glimmer of hope last week.

The School has been on the state's needs improvement list for six years. However, it went to the continuous calendar schedule last year before everyone else in the district. The principal says that's part of the reason for the schools turnaround.

"Last Thursday we received word that they did some recalculations that we have gotten off the list, "says Brad Herzer, Principal of Webster Middle School.

Herzer says it's been a mixture of hard work and a seven letter word.

"We've demanded the students respect school staff, and at the same time I've demanded staff treat students with respect so we've had a big culture shift," Herzer says.

But teachers and students have one more year to prove themselves to be marked completely off the state's needs improvement list.

Last year they brought English and Math scores up 200 points.

"Anything around 200 is an incredible improvement," Herzer says.

To keep that momentum going, teachers meet on a weekly basis to talk about where they can make improvements, and which students need extra tutoring.

This teacher says all changes are making a difference and can't wait to get off the list for good.

"That's all I know, getting off that list," says Carla Ford, a teacher at the school. "And for us to actually do it gives us that extra motivation to even set the bar even for ourselves."

Attendance is also a big factor in getting and staying off the needs improvement list. The principal has hired two truancy officers to make sure kids are in class.