GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - From science to history and everything in between, elementary students are working hard to excel. Reading can be a tough subject. That’s why schools in Mississippi are taking extra time to be sure kids are ready to move on to the next level.
A report released by the Mississippi Department of Education details the results are from a program put in place in 2013, the Literacy-Based Promotion Act. Five years in the making, and nine schools in the state are no longer in alert status, meaning students there have benefited from the program.
One of those schools is Gautier Elementary School.
Three years ago, Jaden and Jalen were third graders at Martin Bluff Elementary School. Their Nana, Paulette Briscoe, received a home visit from Pascagoula-Gautier School District Superintendent Wayne Rodolfich.
“I have three grandchildren. Two of them were in third grade that year. One of them was doing absolutely fine, really a top student. The other one was struggling a little bit, kind of in an alert status," she recalled.
“For several years now we’ve been doing a lot of outreach for literacy. Third grade reading gauge is a big deal for our schools," Rodolfich said.
He personally visits the homes of students who are at risk for failing and drops off packets of information on how parents and guardians can help their students.
“I was so impressed because of all of my years ever, I’ve never quite seen that. Wayne Rodolfich really, he’s an awesome superintendent. When you talk about the statements where students come first, they truly do come first with him," Paulette said.
Each school in the district generates a list of students kindergarten through third grade who need extra help. That’s determined through testing.
“There’s over 500 home visits on that list. This year, I’ve already made 65 home visits just for literacy. I’m about to make another school this week," Rodolfich said.
Paulette added, “I just think it’s amazing that he took the time to do that.”
Now years later, Paulette is grateful the district took extra time for her grandkids.