Somerset Academy South Homestead Elementary made magic.
That’s how teacher Melissa Alvarez describes the charter school’s leap from a state-issued D grade last year, to an A for 2010-2011. It was the largest grade improvement and highest overall grade of any elementary school in Homestead.
Rather than magic, teachers, parents and students give more likely explanations for the off-the-charts improvement: all the Saturdays, early mornings and late afternoons worked by every staff member (from the principal to the PE teacher); a shift in school culture to better respect and understand students; and a newfound focus on data and educational technologies.
Every child is teachable, said Assistant Principal Layda Morales. It’s just making them believe in themselves.