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Struggling middle school looking for help

The Escambia County School District is looking for ways to help one of its struggling schools.
 
The district held a meeting earlier tonight, asking for the public's input on what changes they want to see at Warrington Middle School.

Channel Three's Jenise Fernandez tells us what happened.

The focus of this meeting was to get parents, teachers, and community members to come together and come up with ways to improve the school.
Warrington Middle received an F for the first time last year, and that's something people want to make sure doesn't happen again.

A packed gym with more than 100 people listened to a panel discuss why Warrington Middle School needs the community's help.
The panel spoke briefly before turning the mic over to the audience.
Most speakers agreed that community support is needed.

Sandra Rush Principal
"It takes more than just a school...it takes a village."

Carly Naquin's daughter attends Warrington Middle.
Despite being a failing school, Naquin says her daughter's test scores are above average.

"These teachers are relentless and they're up against a lot of challenges... it does make it harder."

Warrington Middle School received a turnaround back in 2009, when the school district replaced the principal and many teachers.
The school was getting C and D grades, but fell to an F just last year.
The failing grade was frustrating for staff.

Revonda Elowe
"They're coming to us and they're not prepared.. but I'd put our students up against any other students in this county."

The purpose of this meeting was to have an open discussion. Although there are no concrete plans in place, some of the things staff, parents, and community members agreed on: that the school needs more mentors , volunteers, and parent booster clubs.

"These kids need to know someone believes them..and say we believe in you."

Jenise Fernandez
Superintendent Malcolm Thomas says if the school receives another F grade next year, he'll have to come up with a plan of action.
Reporting in Escambia County, Jenise Fernandez, Channel Three News.