Garfield plan aims to hike state ranking
The Arizona Republic
Feb. 10, 2004 12:00 AM
PHOENIX - Most of Garfield Elementary School's students live
near or below the poverty level and come from homes where parents don't speak
Today, school officials get to tell parents how they hope to surmount those
challenges and lift the 550-student school out of its "underperforming" label.
Garfield officials will unveil a 60-page School Improvement Plan, as required by
the state, at a meeting at 6 tonight in the school's media center, 811 N. 13th
"The majority of our students are English-language learners," Principal Teresa
Covarrubias said. "Forcing them to test in English is what resulted in our
About 150 schools, many of them packed with English-language learners and
low-income students, received the onerous ranking that's largely based on test
scores. The state requires schools to devise corrective action plans and to
explain them to the public. Schools ranked underperforming two years in a row
risk state takeover.
Garfield's plan calls for boosting students' flagging scores in writing, reading
and math by 5 percent annually. It aims to do so with 10 programs, including
early-intervention preschool, after-school tutoring, structured-English
immersion and a literature-based diagnostic reading program.
"Immigrant parents often think that they can't help their kids because they
don't speak the language. But that's not true," Covarrubias said.
"We show them how to get involved in their kids' schooling, so their children