Oscar Patterson Elementary Prepares for Upcoming Year

Bay county school officials have less than a week to prepare for the upcoming school year.

The staff at Oscar Patterson Elementary is working extra hard, after the school became the first in Bay County history to receive an F-grade.

Administrators are now trying to convince unhappy parents to leave their children enrolled at Patterson.

State law says Patterson's failing letter grade allows students to transfer to a higher-performing schools.

And that's exactly what some parents are doing.

Oscar Patterson Elementary School Principal Patti Fowler says, "I believe right after the grade came out and was made public, we had a few transfers. The Superintendent's response is that he will work with parents who are dissatisfied. But what we're hoping for is that parents won't be dissatisfied."

Patterson is now implementing several new reading and behavior management programs.

Principal Fowler says, "We'll be using some new materials, some SRA materials for our at-risk children and just ramping up our hands-on engagement."

Teachers are hoping the new Common Core program will also help boost student engagement in class activities, from kindergarten up.

The program emphasizes oral language development, helping students become better readers.

Kindergarten Teacher Danielle Alexander says, "Before Common Core, there was not a push to having students collaborate, having students lead the learning in the classroom. It was much more teacher led."

The school will also be introducing a Positive Behavior Support, or PBS, program called "Rocket Bucks".

Fowler explains, "They might get a rocket buck for attendance, they might a rocket buck for helping a peer with a math problem."

A system Principal Fowler believes will truly help shape this year's school year.

Alexanders says, "It's really a whole new way of teaching and learning and it's very exciting."

So far 16 Patterson students have requested transfers to other schools.

But district officials say only 2 cited the school grade as the reason.


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