Making the Grade: Local elementary school students begin new year with a boost

George Washington Carver raised its grade from an F to a C

Math teacher Tiffany Scott contacted News4JAX excited to share the news that George Washington Carver Elementary School had increased its school grade from an F to a C at the end of the last school year. She was so proud of her students for their hard work prepping for the FSA tests she wanted to share the good news with our viewers.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Math teacher Tiffany Scott contacted News4JAX excited to share the news that George Washington Carver Elementary School had increased its school grade from an F to a C at the end of the last school year. She was so proud of her students for their hard work prepping for the FSA tests she wanted to share the good news with our viewers.

Many of the students do not even know about the boost in score since the results of the state standardized tests were not revealed until after they had recessed for summer.

Math teacher Tiffany Scott said she turned her classroom into a football competition to help her fourth-grade students get excited about studying for the FSAs. (WJXT)

Charlene James, principal of George Washington Carver Elementary School, said she was ecstatic when she received the grade.

“I told everyone as soon as they came in the building, ‘Hey, we did it! We did it!’ I wanted to shout to the world.”

After three failing grades the previous years, James said teachers were overwhelmed with joy to know their hard work and their students’ determination paid off.

“Everyone had a role in making sure students were successful. It wasn’t just teachers. It was everyone in the building,” said James about the teamwork involved in improving the school’s grade.

James said she believes it’s important to support the whole child when educating elementary school students. She said the school opened a store so students could purchase things based on their achievements and based on their behavior.

“We did a whole lot of things to motivate students,” she explained.

Principal Charlene James said she believes it's important to support the whole child when educating elementary school students. (WJXT)

Scott said she turned her classroom into a football competition to help her fourth-grade students get excited about studying for the FSAs. As a first-year teacher, she said she connected with her students by working hard to bridge a gap between the community and the school.

“In order to get the students to trust me, to ask questions, to really understand that I was there to help them, I had to build those relationships,” Scott said.

She said one way she does that is by attending some of her students’ football and soccer games after school. She said they get so excited when they see her in the stands.

One of Scott’s students, Kendel Sainvil, said he remembers studying really hard for the FSA math test.

“Our teachers told us that we need to do ‘process of elimination’ when reading and to go back to the text to find our answers and told us not to give up,” said the 10-year-old.

Kendel Sainvil said he is going to continue to work hard in class not just for himself, but to help his classmates as well. (WJXT)

Scott said Sainvil picked up the math concepts so quickly during the school year that he was able to help his other classmates if they were struggling.

“I don’t mean to sound cheesy, but it’s literally like rainbows and sunshine in my room. I mean the students are happy to be here. I have so much support here from an amazing principal to a math coach,” Scott said.

As her former students start the new year in fifth grade, they already have set new goals for themselves. Sainvil said he is going to continue to work hard in class not just for himself, but to help his classmates as well if they need it.

“My parents always tell me not to brag about my knowledge cause you can use it to help others,” he said.

Scott will miss her former fourth-grade students and said her goal this year will be to create even more relationships with her students’ families. Her message to her class ahead of the 2022-2023 school year is, “it doesn’t matter where you come from or what you’re currently doing. It’s where you’re going.”

James said her goal this year is to keep improving.

“We were 24 points from that B (grade) and that is my goal this year,” she explained. She said she wants to build lifelong learners who are career and college ready.


About the Author:

Jennifer, who anchors The Morning Shows and is part of the I-TEAM, loves working in her hometown of Jacksonville.