The Students at Oscar Patterson Elementary School aren't allowing a failing school grade last year ruin their spirits this year. New leadership, an extra hour of school, and a special video are motivating them to have a good year.
It was the only school in Bay County to earn an "F" last school year. However, students are determined to bring that grade up and are sharing their motivation with the community through a music video.
Students with the help of teachers wrote the lyrics and danced to Black Eyes Peas' "I Gotta Feeling."
"I got a feeling. That this year is going to be a good year," sang students Montez, Rasheen, Ja'Oana, and Nyanza.
"This idea came to one of my staff members that we create the video. She just found the song and it speaks volumes for what we are doing this year," said new Principal Patti Fowler. "It is going to be a new year, and that's the message we wanted to send to the children and the message for them to send out to the rest of the community."
The "F" grade put Oscar Patterson in the 100 lowest performing schools in the state, which requires a school to add an extra hour of instruction to the school day.
Fowler said at first the hour was exhausting, but students and teachers are really using it to their advantage.
"At this point, it's just another hour and we're continuing to use that energy and momentum to the very end of the day. I know it's going to make a difference in the end."
Fowler says the school is also using a positive behavior support program, where students are rewarded for great behavior and achievements. The program focuses on the positives, not negatives, and gives students something to look forward to. Students receive "Rocket Bucks" for showing respect, responsibility, and safety and can attend a special event once a month.
Evangelist Franklin Graham prayed on a sidewalk outside the Pentagon Thursday after his invitation to a prayer service inside was withdrawn because of comments that insulted people of other religions. More>>