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McLaughlin Needs Volunteers for Community Assessment Team

First Meeting Tuesday, Nov. 5


Last updated 11/2/2019 at 2:34pm

Polk County Schools

McLaughlin Middle School staff members kick off new year

McLaughlin Middle & Fine Arts Academy is looking for volunteers to serve on a Community Assessment Team to help the school access local resources to improve student achievement. The public is invited to attend the first team meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5 at McLaughlin, located at 800 S. 4th St. in Lake Wales.

The Florida Department of Education requires its designated "turnaround schools" to form the teams.

Community Assessment Teams are comprised of parents, educators, local government and business representatives, and community activists. The teams review performance data in schools with a grade of D, as well as those that are on any type of state turnaround plan designed to improve performance.

"I am hoping to meet community leaders that I can partner with and provide more support and influence to this community school," said Acting McLaughlin Principal Debra Wright-Hudson

Community Assessment Teams conduct meetings to explore and discuss viable ways to support schools and meet the needs of students.

Teams for Spook Hill Elementary in Lake Wales and Ben Hill Griffin Jr. Elementary in Frostproof also will meet Nov. 5 at McLaughin.

McLaughlin is one of three Polk County Public Schools currently on a state-supervised turnaround plan to raise its school grade; the school received a grade of D in both 2018 and 2019. The McLaughlin plan includes a number of strategies, including ensuring the school is fully staffed, providing training and ongoing support and an extra planning period to teachers, and more closely monitoring students' progress

From the school's administrative structure to team-building activities for staff members, from strategies designed to cultivate students' school pride to an outpouring of support from the community, it's clear that positive change is taking place at McLaughlin.

"It's a new era," said Principal Sharon Chipman. "We're building a team, a culture, and the students' belief that they can be the best."


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