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Huntsville parents react to schools' state report cards

Four schools got an A, nine schools got a B, another nine got a C, 11 schools got D's, and four schools received a failing grade.

Posted: Dec 28, 2018 7:57 PM

Huntsville City Schools have once again received a 'C' on the latest Alabama school report card.

To break it all down, four schools got an A, nine schools got a B, another nine got a C, 11 schools got D's, and four schools received a failing grade.

The school district says 32 schools maintained or received a higher grade.

“They’ve never complained about going to school. They’ve never had a time where they just didn’t want to go. There’s always been some excitement going on and they have something to look forward to," Blake Simmons said.

Simmons has three sons—two who went to Hampton Cove Elementary School and one who’s still there.

“It’s great to see the kids all smiling when they’re getting off the bus and you can tell that they’ve had a good day," Simmons said.

So, Simmons says he wasn’t surprised at all to learn Hampton Cove Elementary was one of only four schools in the district to receive the letter 'A' grade from the state, and neither were his sons.

“The students get along with each other. It’s just a lot of fun. They have activities constantly, so no kids are just sitting at their desk bored," said Connor Simmons.

Several factors go into determining the school’s grade, like academic achievement, academic growth, and chronic absenteeism.

Simmons and his sons credit the teachers at Hampton Cove Elementary for creating good relationships with the students and their parents, saying they think it contributed to the school’s good grade.

“I had some really good teachers and they were super nice and wanted to interact with the students and I think that helped out a lot," Connor said.

“It’s just very close. It’s almost like everyone is working together as a family," his dad added.

Simmons also thinks technology has helped when it comes to achievement and growth.

“They’re starting in third grade with iPads and moving up to laptops very soon," he said.

Overall, the Simmons family says they’re glad they chose Hampton Cove Elementary.

"You’re learning a lot. I definitely learned a lot from Hampton Cove," Connor said.

The other three schools that received an 'A' were Huntsville High School, Monte Sano Elementary School, and New Century Technology High School.

While those schools got an 'A,' WAAY 31 had to break the news to some parents that their child's school wasn't so lucky.

Out of 37 schools in the Huntsville City school district, four of them received an “F” on their state report card.

WAAY 31 talked with parents about what can be done to fix these grades.

“There’s no way in the world this school should’ve gotten an ‘F.’ No way in the world. Never that low. I can understand A, C, C, but F? Come on now, you guys," saoid Kaneisha Dodson.

That was Dodson’s reaction when she learned Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School received an 'F’ grade from the state.

“An ‘F!’ No! It’s not acceptable," Dodson said.

Dodson is a mom-to-be and lives right next door to Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary, so that’s where she plans to send her child.

“If these grades are not fixed, my child will not be going to Martin Luther King Elementary when they are of age," she said.

Dodson says getting the grade up will have to be a team effort.

“It’s all about the teachers. You have to teach for the students to get it. And then it’s also on the students because they have to focus and listen," she said.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary isn’t the only school with a failing grade, though. It’s joined by Lakewood Elementary, Montview Elementary, and Ronald McNair.

Students' attendance can have an effect on the grade.

“The parents should be strict on that. There’s no way your child should be out of school unless it’s life-or-death or they’re really sick and you know it’s contagious," Dodson said.

And in the meantime, Dodson says she has a message for those at the elementary school.

"Do everything you can in your power to make the school at least get a B or a C. Come on, an F, I’m just not accepting that.”

Superintendent Christie Finley reminded parents neither the district nor a school is defined by an individual grade. She said there's so much that goes on in the classroom that isn't reflected in a state report card.

Finley told WAAY 31 Huntsville City Schools will release its own report card on January 10th.

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