MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - Moss Point teachers say they are ready to lift their district out of a "D" rating.
"Everybody talks about how we're failing, and you hear that so much and sometimes you're just like, 'OK, we're failing,' So you need that rejuvenation. We can do this. We're going to move these kids," said kindergarten teacher Jennifer Hamilton.
That determination to help her students succeed was why Hamilton and 100 other Moss Point teachers attended the district's first "All In Teachers Institute".
"They don't have to come to work until Aug. 1, they chose to be here," said Moss Point Schools Superintendent Dr. Shannon Vincent.
Vincent says the intense training session was crucial after the district received a "D" on the latest state report card.
"The "D" absolutely concerns me, because our children are no different than the children in Pascagoula, Gautier, Gulfport, Biloxi," said Vincent.
Vincent says the district used the data to study strengths and weaknesses to craft the courses for the institute. The teachers learned how to build relationships with their students, better classroom management skills and how to keep children interested.
"I find every bit of information useful, and I'm very thankful for the district for providing such training to this magnitude," said Moss Point High teacher Olleda Street.
They believe the training can help raise morale and student performance.
"When you build teacher capacity, then they're able to become better teachers. They in turn are able to instruct students in a better way, which the end result is higher test scores," said Vincent.
The district also hired four new principals this year. On Tuesday, principals and other administrators will also undergo training.
"This is actually the best training I've ever had in the Moss Point School District. I've learned so many new strategies to use in my classroom and I just feel so refreshed and ready to meet the kids," said Hamilton.