What’s Right With Our Schools: Woodmore Elementary Level 5 Status
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF) – In Tennessee, schools can reach Level 5 status if there is significant evidence that their students have exceeded the state growth standard. It’s a barometer for overall growth and student achievement. Woodmore Elementary has done just that, and they have the banner to prove it.
Dionne Upton is the Principal at Woodmore Elementary.
She says, “Well, it has been a journey. We’ve had recruited some great teachers who have stuck with us, who believe in our mission and vision that we wanted for our kids, and we’ve met our goal. It has been a long time coming. It took us four years, but we are here.”
Principal Upton continues, “My first year here was the year after the bus accident. So, we knew that it was a very delicate situation coming into, but we still knew that we had to provide an education for our students, along with helping with the social and emotional needs of the kids coming in after that school year. That first year we just we really worked on the culture and climate. We wanted to get the conditions in the right places so teachers could teach and so that students could learn.”
Cherri Shrick is the 2-5 Math Coach at Woodmore.
She explains, “I think it is still raw. I think it will be raw forever, but we have come out of it, though. It is like the tragedy led us to this great triumph for now, that you know, like the bus accident is never going to go away, but there are so many other good things to think about when you think about Woodmore Elementary school now.
Principal Upton adds, “It took lots of perseverance, lots of commitment, additional time with the staff; working with parents alongside of us and just getting the right support and the professional development in place for our teachers and for our kids.”
Ms. Shrick concludes, “The first thing that I thought in my mind was people are going to think this is a fluke, and it is not a fluke. It is hard work, and it is our kids that can do anything anybody else’s kids can do. You have no idea. It feels amazing! It feels amazing to be able to say we did it! Against all odds, we did it! And our kids will continue to do it.”