Principal: Struggling local middle school “on cusp of success”

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) Parents and educators at G.W. Carver Middle School said they are on the right course towards reaching state academic standards.

“When I walked up, Mr. McAdoo was greeting the students at the door,” mother Mary Bonner-Fisher said.

Principal Alonzo McAdoo has spent the past four years making G.W. Carver a welcoming place for student to learn.

Bonner-Fisher, a single mother of five, is known to make a sacrifice for the betterment of her kids.

That’s why she prefers working the night-shift.

“It's important for me to be home when they got out of school, to be there and help with homework and to be at their sports and activity."

New to Waco, Bonner-Fisher thought about sending her daughter to the Midway School district due to Carver’s low performance and lack of academic opportunities.

Carver is one of five WISD schools, along with Alta Vista Elementary, Brook Avenue Elementary, J.H. Hines Elementary, and Indian Spring Middle schools, facing closure if state accountability requirements aren’t met this year.

Last year the school earned mixed ratings based on STAAR test results.

School ratings were based on four indices:

Meeting expectations: Carver scored 46 points; 60 is the requirement.
Progress: Carver scored 34; 30 is the requirement.
Closing the Gap: Carver scored 22; 26 is the requirement.
College Readiness: Carver scored 15; 13 is the requirement.

McAdoo said the school is on the cusp of success.

“I know the state deal is big, closures and there's talk of that,” McAdoo said.

“But as far as this campus goes we focus on one day at a time.”

It’s a focus Bonner-Fisher saw first-hand and ultimately believed in.

“I'd drive by and the parking lot would still have cars at 6:30 in the evening,” the mother said.

“The parking lot still had a lot of cars, that was teachers still working.”

McAdoo said reading is the biggest challenge for students.

Achieve 3000, a new program aims to improve scores across the board by individualizing lesson plans.

“You and I may have a lesson,” McAdoo said.

“You may be at a higher level, I might be at a lower level. Same article, totally different and we all work skills to help us out. The kids love it.”

Bonner-Fisher said learning shouldn’t stop after the final bell rings.

“It should be a priority as parents that we continue to educate our children about life, limits, which would be character," Bonner-Fisher said.

District Spokesperson Kyle DeBeer said 40 students from the Carver attendance zone attend high-achieving classes at another school that aren’t offered at Carver.

Bonner-Fisher said if more children enrolled at their neighborhood campus, schools like G.W. Carver would probably meet state standards.

“If the gap is small now, four points, it would have lowered that gap,” Bonner-Fisher said.

She believes if the students elevate their neighborhood schools, it will benefit the community in the long run.

G.W. Carver is also trying to improve literacy rates through mentoring and tutoring programs.