Crossville High rebounds from "Failing School" designation

Crossville High rebounds from "Failing School" designation

PHOTO: A year ago, Crossville High School was designated a, "failing school" by the Alabama Department of Education. This year, they've rebounded off the list. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor

CROSSVILLE, Ala. At Thursday night's meeting of the DeKalb County Board of Education, Superintendent Dr. Jason Barnett recognized Crossville High School on being removed from the list of, "failing schools" in Alabama.

The Alabama Department of Education releases the list each January. Seventy-five schools were on the list in 2018, and it contains the lowest peforming six percent of schools in the state.

No schools in DeKalb County or the immediate Northeast Alabama area (Cherokee, Jackson, Marshall, and Etowah Counties) were on the list. Anniston High School and three schools in Huntsville were on the list (Jemison High, Lee High, and Ronald McNair 7-8).

Fourteen schools in Birmingham were on the list; not including those in the suburbs, such as the two in Midfield City, two in Fairfield City, and the additional two in the Jefferson County system. Eleven more on the list are in Montgomery County, two in Tuscaloosa County, nine in Mobile County, and many more scattered across the state.

"Last year, about this time, (Crossville High School) was named a, 'failing school' when the Alabama State Department of Education released their list of failing schools," said Superintendent Dr. Jason Barnett. "And I got the word the day.... maybe two days before the list was released, letting me know that one of the schools in our district was classified as a failing school. Of course, that hits you like a lead weight."

"Immediately, I let the board know, and I talked to Mr. Uptain, who was the then-principal. I went down there, and I toured every classroom. What I saw was some good stuff. I saw some people who took offense to that title, and knew that they were not a failing school. While there was more they could do, and they aren't a perfect school, they certainly weren't a failing school," said Barnett.

"Over the last year, it's been a real fun time to work with them, and they've worked together and encouraged each other. The students took offense to it. Because they realized it was the school they went to everyday," said Barnett.

"As of yesterday, they released the list 2018 failing schools, and they are not on that list. I sent Mr. Peppers and his faculty a letter last night, commending them on the hard work and the commitment that they made to their school, their students, and their community. It takes a lot of people working together to do that," said Dr. Barnett.

Board Vice Chairman Randy Peppers, who represents Crossville, said, "Looking back about a year ago, when Crossville High School was put on that failing list, one of the first things Dr. Barnett told me was, 'I'm going to do everything I can. You have my word. We'll put together a plan,' and I'm going to say I appreciate that. He came through with that plan. I believe he put a lot of time in to that."

"I think he put together a great team and a great plan, and got this turned around really quickly. Sometimes it takes much more than a year to get one turned around. To see the team he put together, and especially the teachers at Crossville High School, the administration, and the students worked really hard to get that turned around. And I appreciate that," concluded Peppers.