LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Miller Elementary is restructuring in an effort to booststudents ISTEP scores.
The school faced being taken over by the state because of lowISTEP scores.
But Superintendent Ed Eiler announced the school is adding anextra hour for all students at the end of the day and an extra 30days for struggling students at the end of the year.
"I think we're all equally frustrated because we kept tryingto tell everybody there is a sense of urgency here. School is aboutto start," said Eiler.
With less than a week before the first day, a solution finallycame. Eiler said the school could have potentially been taken overby the state. But the plan to extend the school day and year isenough, for now.
"The state has said that all these steps and measures we aretaking they would view as satisfying the restructuringrequirement," he said.
"I've given 22 years of my life to this school, I love thisschool," said teacher Maggie Smith. "I know that there is not asingle person who works here who is not capable and caring andexcellent at their jobs."
The third grade teacher said she's excited about the change.
"Our kids really need the time in school because they don't getthe background," she said.
Eiler said with the added time spent in class, students willget about one third more instruction than they have in thepast.
"Common sense tells you it has to make a difference," saidEiler.
The school will get a yearly review to see if it's progressing.It has three years to prove the extended hours are helping studentsachieve the I-STEP.
Only one teacher is not teaching for the extended hours becausehe has a scheduling conflict.
The teachers staying will get a pay increase.Eiler said thatwill come out to about $600,000 for the year.
He said some of that money will come from federal stimulusfunds.
Donations are being accepted to help around 300 seniors receive a holiday gift.
Donations are needed for Food Finders Food Bank to aim at matching a grant that would match funds up to $20,000.
The economy has had its ups and downs in the past, but there is promising news for West Central Indiana in 2014. Experts are predicting economic growth next year.