Julia Randall Makes Sure ‘No Child Is Left Behind'

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The biggest change at Julia Randall Elementary School is related to the passage of the No Child Left Behind law, Principal Ardyth Potter said.

The NCLB law was signed by President Bush Jan. 8, 2002 and contains four basic education-reform principles: stronger accountability for results; increased flexibility and local control; expanded options for parents; and an emphasis on teaching methods that have been proven to work.

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Children at Julia Randall Elementary School now have a new playground and improved equipment thanks to the efforts of the school's Parents and Teachers Organization and its members like Mary McMullen, with son, Nathan (left) and Gretchen Chatfield, with daughter Christina. An active and involved PTO is making a big difference at the school.

"It's a good thing. We're looking at the data to make decisions on curriculum and children at risk. We want to make sure all are learning," she said.

Potter said the school did well on its national and state tests last year, "We can do better. It's exciting and it's a big challenge."

The facilities at Julia Randall have seen big changes too. Potter said there have been a lot of upgrades with new heating and cooling units and a new playground.

"The Parents and Teachers Organization really helped with that (playground)," she said.

In addition to helping get a new playground built, the PTO has made it possible for the school to get new library books, Accelerated Reading tests and equipment for the new playground.

Another upgrade for the facility has been new roofs and getting the duct work cleaned.

"It's getting better and we're looking forward to it getting finished," Potter said.

The school also has seen some staff additions, including a English language learner teacher and a community liaison.

Julia Randall Elementary has 480 students enrolled and Potter said that is pretty much the capacity of the buildings. There are 27 teachers in the school.

As for the future, Potter said they are looking at a much upgraded facility, including further improvements to the playground.

"Our focus will be on making sure every child is learning to their potential. There will be curriculum changes to improve what we already do and continuing what we're already doing that's really good," Potter said.

Another change to be implemented soon is an expanded after-school program with increased offerings and more participation. There will be more opportunities for students to take part in the accelerated and tutorial reading, math and writing programs. Potter said there will also be more arts, music and physical activities offered.

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