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W.O. Parmer named to top four in Alabama Reading Initiative

The Kindergarten, first and second grade teachers at W.O. Parmer Elementary School have a lot to be proud of. As a whole, they raised the schools reading scores 26 percent to put them as one of the top schools in the state that participate in Gov. Bob Riley’s Alabama Reading Initiative.

Principal Carol Teague had set a challenge for the teachers in each of their respective grades to score at least 80 percent for that grade level and when the scores came back, they had done it.

&uot;We are part of the Alabama Reading First Initiative and we take Dibels Assessments at the beginning of the year, middle of the year and at the end of the year,&uot; said Teague. &uot;So it is a state goal that 80 percent of our students would benchmark. We are 79 plus percent as a whole school. Every student is individually tested and if they make their benchmark, that is the percentage of students who are able to do.&uot;

The first grade posted an 88 percent in nonsense word fluency, and the second grade, following a recalculation had posted the 80 percent in oral reading fluency. The Kindergarten teachers posted 72 percent in initial sound fluency. As a reward for their efforts, the teachers were treated by Teague to cake and drinks during Monday’s staff meeting.

&uot;We are in the top four of the state,&uot; said Teague. &uot;I am very, very proud of our teachers, they work hard every single day to put academics first. Our two reading coaches work hard every day, making them stay focused. We’ve had intensive development this year to help us. So we are very excited about our accomplishments.&uot;

They also were treated to public recognition when Gerry Adair, Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent of Schools, presented them with certificates marking their accomplishments. Those only went out to a specific group of teachers and then Teague presented her own certificates to all the teachers.

Four lucky teachers also got additional certificates, of the gift variety, through a drawing. Leslee Pritchett, a first grade teacher won a $100 gift certificate, the largest amount of the group. Beth Burnette, Paige Barr and Quana Scott all won $25 gift certificates.

But, Adair raised the bar for the teachers so as not to become complacent in their success. She challenged them to improve their percentages by 11 percent, putting them into the 90 percent range and moving them into the top spot for elementary schools in the state of Alabama.

&uot;It’s amazing, we wrote the grant three years ago,&uot; said Adair. &uot;The Alabama Reading First Initiative, it goes right along with the No Child Left Behind. Now these teachers have worked hard and we’ve put a lot of money in this grant. We put $200,000 a year into this program and it’s paid off. Every penny has been worth it. Our next step is to be first in the state and we can do it. Because we’ve made the score we needed to make and if our state monitoring report is good, then we can apply for three more years and get $600,000.&uot;

The Alabama Reading Initiative is funded by a grant that’s worth $200,000.