Prescott continues to achieve despite grant denial - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Prescott continues to achieve despite grant denial


The Iowa Department of Education has selected three schools to receive more than $2.7 million in school improvement grants. The federal funding supports efforts to turn-around low-achieving schools. Two schools in Des Moines and Irving Elementary, in Waterloo are among the recipients. But ten other schools qualified and applied, including Prescott Elementary in Dubuque. Despite getting turned down, school officials continue to move forward in achievement.

It's a Friday afternoon at Prescott Elementary and it's time for the an all school assembly. Principal Chris McCarron is taking time to recognize students achievements.

"We came into this school specifically with the design to increase student achievement," McCarron said.

Just five years old, Prescott in Dubuque's only charter school, which allows for open enrollment.

"We are expected to meet the same type of criteria in Iowa that all of the other schools meet, in terms of standardized test, but we have flexibility in instruction," McCarron said.

The instruction includes expeditionary learning and hands on activities as well as standard testing. Unfortunately the school remains on the list of persistently low achieving schools.

"Prescott is making growth. Not as fast as the government would like us," Associate Superintendent Lynne Devaney said.

It's that status that allowed them to apply for a school improvement grant in early march.

"Just the thought process that you have to do makes you think about date differently. I know as associate superintendent I know a lot about my schools, now I know a lot about Prescott and that's helpful," Devaney said.

This week officials learned Dubuque was denied the grant money.

"We're determining the needs of kids and the instruction of kids based on a grant application process and funding is being operated on a grant," McCarron said.

Still Prescott staff will remains optimistic, as they continue to honor achievements, no matter how small.

"I can wear the scarlet letter, I can say yes I have this but I can wear it proudly because the staff has done an incredible job to do what they need to do for kids everyday," McCarron said.

Administrators tell us the lengthy application process proved to be a productive one. They say the information compiled will allows them to make improvements at Prescott, despite no new funding.


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