Bad grades set 3 TPS schools on new paths

TOLEDO -- News 11 has learned that three Toledo Public Schools elementary schools will be undergoing major changes as a result of the low test scores their students have been receiving.

TPS Superintendent John Foley made the announcement on Wednesday. Teachers found out on Tuesday that they would be leaving.

Pickett Elementary, Fulton Elementary and Chase Elementary have all been under academic watch or academic emergency, which precipitated the changes.

Pickett Elementary on Blum Rd. is letting its employees go so that it can hire a whole new staff for the upcoming school year. Former employees are free to apply for jobs elsewhere in the TPS system and at Pickett.

Chase is getting a new building and implementing a new science and technology program. Changes are also taking place at Fulton Elementary in hopes of improving student performance.

Chase, Fulton and Pickett Elementaries have struggled to meet federal 'No Child Left Behind' standards.

Now they will see some major revamping. News 11's Tanieya Lewis reported live from Pickett Elementary where the staff is being overhauled.

Theser are tough tactics the superintendent says he has to take. Pickett has spent eight years in school improvement status. While he says he's not blaming teachers, they are starting to worry about what the future has in store.

The school year is ended, but changes are just beginning for Pickett Elementary teachers. TPS Kindergarten Teacher Tiffenni Maveal tells News 11, "Not knowing where we're going, not knowing that we'll be accepted because within the realm of whomever, we have been marked an unperforming school. To go to a different school, I'm sure those people aren't going to want us."

With support from the school board, Superintendent John Foley announced plans to re-energize three of his lowest performing schools before the state can step in. In a speech Wednesday, Foley said, "We're taking action now, so we can open up the school year with a new beginning."

The district will overhaul the staff at Pickett. All of the teachers and administrators will be displaced to other schools within the district.

They then hope to bring to Pickett other TPS teachers who meet higher qualifications. Foley explains, "They would be the strong backbone of providing resources to work at raising the children as students of Pickett School."

The district will also revamp the curriculum for Chase Elementary.

Fulton elementary will undergo intense professional development. Foley explains, "We're discussing new initiatives there around discipline and around using data to focus instruction. We hope that additional support will help those students at Fulton School."

Despite worries, the school board is standing behind the changes. TPS School Board Member Bob Vasquez tells us, "We've asked as this board, for Mr. Foley to take action as he sees necessary, and he has done that. I want to make sure that he knows that we're here to support him."

Posted by LS