Faculty and students discuss improvements at Zanetti School - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Faculty and students discuss improvements at Zanetti School

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

Three level four schools in Springfield have lifted out of that status - one of which has made the jump from level four to a level one.

"When we arrived here there were only five kids in the third grade that were proficient on the MCAS and right now we are looking at 90 percent of the kids that are making the gains every year," said the Principal of the Alfred G. Zanetti Montessori School Tara Christian Clark.

Clark was brought in to the school in 2010. At that time they were a level four school but yesterday after years of hard work she got the news that they have improved to level one status.

"I think what has changed is that when you motivate students to come to school, kids will respond to you and they are all about doing the work," said Clark.

A lot has changed over the past few years to allow for this success. Clark says 50 to 60 percent of the staff is new, technology has been upgraded and a stricter structure implemented. The results can be seen just talking to students.

"I went from a needs improvement in ELA in fifth grade to an advanced in eighth grade," said eighth-grade student Sheily Marbrito.

"A few years ago I wasn't very good at math and reading but then I improved," said fifth-grader Liam Murphy.

Elementary school teacher Edna Munoz has been at the school since 1999. She says all of the hard work is finally paying off.

"My heart started beating so fast and I got teary because it is a lot of work and I believed we could do it," said Munoz.

And, though Clark says there's still a long road ahead she thinks there's an important story to tell from the success that has been made so far.

"I think that the best thing that comes out of this school is that it really shows that education is the equalizer, no matter what level you come from. If you have quality teachers in front of you and people that care about you, you can achieve," said Clark.

A strategic plan to continue to keep the school as a level one is being put together.

In addition to the improvements at the Zanetti School, two other Springfield schools have pulled out of level four status: the Homer Street School and the German Gerena School have both improved to level three schools.

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