ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Parents at one Pinellas County School feel extra encouraged Thursday. Melrose Elementary School kicked off the year off on a high note. After nearly a decade as one of the worst performing schools in the state, the school is ready for a stellar year.
The school increased their grade from an F to a C in the 2016-2017 year. Before that, the school got 6 consecutive F grades. Now, for 2017-2018 the school administration's goal is a B or higher.
The parents and students walked into the school in St. Pete with determination and excitement Thursday.
“Hey man, how you doing? Good to see you," Jack Fletcher said with a huge smile to a group of kids as they walked into the building. “It is so good to see you all again!”
Fletcher, who works as a volunteer tutor as part of the group Men of yesterday, today and the future, has helped students for the past 4 years.
He's noticed a big transformation, "and they’re interested in learning now. You know education is the new currency," he added.
Daishawn Wade, whose daughter Zy'Mya started her first day of kindergarten today, says she feels good about sending her daughter to Melrose Elementary. "It makes me feel good that it's not an F school like maybe the teachers are doing something better," Wade said.
Quineisha Tatum agrees. Their girls are only 5 years old, but these moms are invested in their future.
“It’s really important that she does well in school get a good education and a good job," Tatum added.
So how'd Melrose pull off the better scores?
“Care and love and discipline,” Flether said. "The children need and crave that discipline."
This year, the school will add more mentors, college visits and parent sessions to students on track. They're aiming for a B grade or higher!
“We are in it for the long haul,” Fletcher added with a huge smile.
Melrose will soon have a new look too. A complete $23 million rebuild is planned later this year.