Gulfport School Nominated For National Honor - - The News for South Mississippi

Gulfport School Nominated For National Honor

GULFPORT (WLOX) -- Simone Fairley teaches life-saving skills in her Career Discovery class. As a team leader at Bayou View Middle School, she is also in charge of developing a plan to save students who are falling behind.

"We find the specific skills which they are lacking in and then we identify those skills and we focus activities on those skills," said Fairley. "We work one-on-one with the students, trying to get them ready for the test."

Bayou View's test scores are now among the highest in Mississippi. For instance, the Gulfport school ranks ninth in the state on the Student Performance Index. Its Algebra scores are seventh in the state. And the sixth grade MCT scores are the highest ever.

That's why the state Department of Education nominated the school for the coveted "National Blue Ribbon Program". The award honors schools that are either academically superior or that show dramatic gains in student achievement.

"I was floored. Very excited," said Dr. J.J. Morgan, Principal of Bayou View Middle School. "It says it's not only one of the best schools in the state, but it's one of the best schools in the country. It recognizes schools that are performing above what it's supposed to be performing, as far as social economic status is concerned."

The principal also credits young teachers, like Josh Elkins, who inject fresh ideas and enthusiasm into the classroom.

"The people that work here, they all care about the kids, and they all want to see everyone do well," said Elkins. "It's a good atmosphere."

It's that pride, dedication, and team-work that make Bayou View Middle School one of the best in the class.

Bayou View must now undergo an extensive application process. The school must submit data like test scores, dropout rates, and the number of economically-disadvantaged students. The school will find out in September, if it is a Blue Ribbon Award winner.

By: Trang Pham-Bui

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