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Monday, May 27
The Indiana Daily Student


Parents and teachers meet to discuss future of Fairview

Parents, teachers and administrators from Fairview Elementary School are trying to improve the embattled school’s performance.

Fairview received an F grade from the Indiana Department of Education for 2013. Fairview also received an F in 2012, which led the IDOE to designate Fairview a “priority school.”

Despite these shortcomings, only a handful of parents attended the first focus group meeting.

The purpose of the meeting was to meet with parents to gather input that will be used to inform Fairview Elementary School’s turnaround plan, according to a power point presented at the meeting.

“Fairview certainly has a task before itself,” said Beverly Smith, director of School and Community Services at the Monroe County Community School Corporation.  

“I want to hear the parent input,” Smith said. “I really do.”

During the focus group, Smith posed questions to parents, such as, “When planning for improvement, what does a successful Fairview student look like to you?” or, “What role should parents play in the school improvement efforts?”

Throughout the night, the parents and teachers in attendance discussed the schools’ strengths and weaknesses.

Fairview parent Mary Balle said she thinks the teachers at Fairview meet students in the middle, help them find their strengths and help them in their weak areas.  

Balle said she hopes her children learn critical thinking skills and engage in learning that will stay with them beyond their time at Fairview.

“I want a teacher that thinks outside the box,” Balle said.

Balle said she thinks the artful learning program at Fairview helps kids express their  emotions and help their mind and body to connect.  

“I see art as incredibly powerful for all their different levels,” Balle said. “It gives them hope, I think.”

Parent Jill Perkins said she wants teachers for her daughter who are good role models and can help teach her good social skills.

“I see that happening here,” she said.

Parent Melissa Harris addressed the fact that the standardized test scores of students at Fairview are lower than at other MCCSC schools. She said she thinks for some students, the problem exists at home, rather than at school.

“Some of them don’t have a good life at home,” she said.

Harris said she would also like to see more after-school activities actually take place on the Fairview campus, which might make it easier for students to participate in them.

Harris said she would also like to see more parent-teacher conferences during the year.

Many parents said they would like more communication between the school and parents, as well as more efforts to draw in parents that may not be as involved in their children’s education.

There will be two more Fairview focus groups next week. One is from 10 to 11 a.m. Tuesday in the Fairview cafeteria and the other is from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday at Crestmont Center.

Though the meetings are focused on parents, other members of the community are allowed to attend.

“School improvement is a school, community effort,” Smith said.

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