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Fairview Elementary Officials Reverse Classroom Changes

The Fairview Elementary principal admits she acted too quickly in her decision to reassign students to different classes based on their academic abilities.

Fairview PTO

Photo: Jimmy Jenkins

Fairview Elementary principal Tammy Miller (standing) meets with about 60 parents and teachers Monday evening at a PTO meeting to discuss the school's recent changes.

In a reversal of a recently implemented classroom realignment based on ability, Fairview Elementary Principal Tammy Miller announced Monday evening that students at the Bloomington school would return to their original classrooms effective immediately.

More than 60 parents, faculty and Monroe County School Corporation representatives packed into the media center at Fairview Elementary to address concerns over the sudden change that caught students and parents off-guard last Friday.

Students were sent home for the weekend with a note, explaining the school was reassigning students to different teachers based on academic ability.

At a previously-scheduled PTO meeting Monday, Miller, who was recently appointed as interim Principal at Fairview, admitted the change was hastily done and not properly communicated.

“I was so determined to help the kids, and worried because I’m only here a short time that I moved too quickly and I forgot to bring the parents with me,” Miller said, adding that school officials plan to be more transparent in the direction they’re taking the school.

MCCSC Superintendent Judy Demuth also reassured parents that the school’s “artful learning” model is not in jeopardy.  

“We are committed to artful learning, to maintaining it and enhancing it,” DeMuth said.  

Many of the parents, some of whom were protesting outside the MCCSC administration building that morning, were pleased with the announcement.

“I am tentatively satisfied,” Jessica Pittman, co-president of Fairview’s PTO, said. “I feel very relieved to know that the administration was willing to listen to our concerns this morning and the fact that they acted so quickly and recanted on their initial decision making is somewhat comforting.”

But most everyone was in agreement that the school’s high number of students not performing at grade level still needs to be addressed.

Fairview Elementary has received ‘F’ letter grades from the state for the past two years and less than half of its students passed the state’s standardized test last year.

Parents suggested the school create a task force of parents, teachers and administrators to brainstorm how to turn the school around.

  • Jenny

    Thank you for this coverage, Mr. Healey! I was present at the meeting last night and have one difference of perception that I want to share. While all present recognized that supporting students’ literacy is important and should be a priority, I did not hear any parents express a desire to “turn the school around.” I heard a number of parents say that they had researched Artful Learning when it was first proposed, and that the evidence is that supports students’ academic growth, but that it must be given time (and deserves true commitment from administrators). Fairview has a free and reduced lunch rate of 89%. Perhaps what our district needs to turn around is the high concentration of poverty in one school.

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