Shelby Elementary celebrates math success

Published 7:10 pm Monday, August 4, 2008

Third and fourth graders at Shelby Elementary School really crunched the numbers last year to place with the highest math proficiency in the school district.

“I am just ecstatic,” said Shelby Elementary Principal Karen Mitchell of her school’s success. “Our teachers and students have worked so hard and I am just thrilled for them. I have been keeping this a secret from my teachers for two weeks, which has been really hard to do. I am just so proud of our students, our teachers and our parents.”

Shelby’s fifth grade students also placed with the second highest score in math proficiency. Only Oak Mountain Intermediate School fifth graders scored higher. Mitchell credits the success on two things –– a math pilot program and teachers commitment.

“The second thing we did was that our teachers met in their professional learning communities and really pored over our data and assessment tools to identify what our students really needed,” Mitchell said. “We have implemented very purpose driven instruction.”

The pilot program emphasized a combination of hands-on methods, paper to pencil math computation, daily reviews and common math assessments for fourth- and fifth-graders.

Shelby Elementary is a Title I school, with 57 percent of students on free or reduced lunch status.

Shelby County Superintendent Randy Fuller, Board Member Peg Hill and several central office staff members celebrated with school staff on Monday.