Fairmount Park Elementary School is among the learning institutions in Saint Petersburg, Florida. The elementary school was launched in October 1957 with a single-story building and about ten staff combined. However, with time, the institution has since grown to have approximately six hundred learners and about a hundred staff (“School Information”, 2022). Despite the good story of growth, Fairmount Park Elementary has its share of challenges that affect the learner’s education. Therefore, this paper addresses the demographics of the school and challenges faced, such as discipline and environmental aspects affecting students’ learning.
Fairmount Park Elementary School has an enrollment of about 600 students. In terms of gender, more males are enrolled with a percentage of 53, six more than females. Culturally, most students have a Black origin accounting for about 86% of the school’s population. White students are ranked second with a 7% population and closely followed by those of Hispanic background with 5%. Learners with two or more races account for 2%, with those the Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, and other races are each represented by less than one percent (National Centre for Education Statistics, 2022). Additionally, through evidence that links only 11% of them to non-low-income families, most learners come from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
Students at Fairmount Park Elementary School’s record test scores are below average. The students in the school are not learning when compared to the majority of similar schools in the district. The evidence is from the low scores they record in their grade levels. For instance, the test scores in mathematics are at 39%, which is 18% below the state average. On the other hand, English scores are at 19%, which is 36% less than the state average, while Science is at 13%, which is 37% lower than that of the state (“Explore Fairmount Park Elementary”, 2022). Moreover, the test score average decreases as the students advance in their grade levels.
The levels of equity in Fairmount Park Elementary School are also low, making it have a significant achievement gap. The equity challenge is evident from comparing students’ test scores and discipline levels based on their racial and ethnic backgrounds. Results indicate that in mathematics, Hispanic and Black students record higher scores than their White counterparts. However, there is an opposite trend in English scores. In terms of discipline, such as absenteeism, White students have high absenteeism rates than the other races. In contrast, test scores of low-income learners are as low as that of all students because they account for the majority (“Explore Fairmount Park Elementary”, 2022). Additionally, students with disabilities record test scores far below the state’s average in all subjects. Therefore, the statistics indicate that some students are underserved, broadening the achievement gaps.
Indiscipline issues are on the rise in Fair Mount Park Elementary School. A common problem is fighting among students. The challenge contributes to increasingly lowering test scores, and there are no appropriate steps taken to mitigate the challenge. Moreover, the high student-to-counselor ratio worsens the situation (“Explore Fairmount Park Elementary”, 2022). Therefore, learners are not exposed to enough guidance and counseling on settling disputes. Also, the school’s neighborhood does not create a conducive environment for students. The area is prone to violent crimes, translating to students making their learning difficult.
Fairmount Park Elementary School is among the worst-performing institutions in its location. The majority of students in the school are from minorities, while blacks account for almost 90% of the population. These Students at Fairmount Park Elementary School have low test scores than the state’s average. Moreover, Discipline issues like fighting and absenteeism, bad environment, and inequality are the leading causes of the poor education achievement of the learners. Interventions on the challenges of the school are necessary to help students improve their grade-level standards near to those from other schools.
Explore Fairmount Park Elementary School in ST PETERSBURG, FL. GreatSchools.org. (2022). https://www.greatschools.org/florida/st.-petersburg/2450-Fairmount-Park-Elementary-School/#Neighborhood.
National Centre for Education Statistics. (2022). School Directory Information. https://nces.ed.gov/ccd/schoolsearch/school_detail.asp?Search=1&Zip=33715&Miles=10&ID=120156001619
School Information / Location & General Information. Pcsb.org. (2022). https://www.pcsb.org/Page/4136.