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About Our School

The History of the School

Fitzpatrick ElementaryFitzpatrick Elementary School was built in 1989 on land donated by the Fitzpatrick family in honor of Martha Burke Fitzpatrick and was established to serve students in kindergarten through the sixth grade. The area was in great need of a neighborhood school because many homes and apartments had been built in recent years. The closest schools were already at full enrollment and students were bussed across town for several years prior to the opening of Fitzpatrick.

The school opened in August of 1989 with 945 students. Rezoning caused enrollment to drop the next year to 809 students. Over the past eighteen years, enrollment has varied from as high as 1030 students in 1997-98 to our present enrollment of 627 students due to the opening of McKee Elementary. Ninety-nine percent of the students are black and .0016 percent of the school population is white. The poverty level of the school is indicated by the fact that 516 students are on free lunch and 56 students are on reduced lunch. These numbers qualify Fitzpatrick to be a Title I school.

Teachers in Montgomery County serve a total of 187 days, with students attending classes for 180 days. The school day at Fitzpatrick begins at 8:10 a.m.and ends at 3:00 p.m. The teachers have a thirty-minute, duty-free planning period each day, while students attend a physical education, music or computer education class. All grades have a thirty-minute period in the library each week. The guidance counselor serves each class on a regular basis each week.

The building consists of thirty-three regular classrooms, two special education classrooms, one computer lab, a media center, a cafetorium, one teachers' lounge, six hall restrooms, fourteen restrooms within the primary classrooms, an eight-room office suite with three restrooms, one reading office with a restroom, one nurse's office, two custodial rooms, and several storage areas throughout the school. One classroom houses the Title I Reading and Math Lab, and there is a Parent Resource Center staffed by the Title I Lead Teacher. The facility also includes seven portable classrooms to accommodate enrollment. Only three of these are presently occupied.

Fitzpatrick is working to meet the needs of our changing society. Drugs, violence, crime and the threat of AIDS are impacting our community. To address these needs, Fitzpatrick endeavors to present a wide range of extra-curricular activities for students. The Law Awareness Club has been active at Fitzpatrick since the opening of the school. It provides knowledge and leadership for the student body in the area of the law, its content, and its purpose. It further educates students in drug use prevention. Other programs which provide positive reinforcement for students include the Accelerated Reader Program, a Math and Reading Take-Home Program funded by AmSouth Bank, Student Council, Dance Team, Gymnastics Team, Choir, the Nutrition Advisory Council, Cheerleading, Pep Squad, and Soccer Team.

School attendance and tardiness continue to be an area of concern at Fitzpatrick. Efforts are on-going to improve these areas of concern and have been addressed each year in the School Wide Improvement Plan. Last year's attendance was 98.07 percent. Transiency of students is not a serious problem; there were 104 withdrawals in 2005-2006. Special needs population consists of 83 at risk, 1 developmentally delayed, 1 autistic, 18 gifted, 2 health impaired, 1 mentally retarded, and 18 learning-disabled students. Eight students are served by a speech teacher.

Fitzpatrick is working continually to enlist support of the business community. Presently, 11 businesses are committed to the Partners in Education program.

The school wide Title I Program at Fitzpatrick initiated in 1995 emphasizes total reading and total mathematics for grades kindergarten through sixth. Title I funds are used to upgrade the entire instructional program for all students. A Title I teacher tutor assists regular classroom teachers in providing reinforcement and enrichment. Parental involvement in Title I, a federally-funded program, is greatly emphasized. A parent liaison is available to make parents aware of the many components of the school wide program. Parents are strongly encouraged to participate and become involved through workshops, presentations, meetings, newsletters, monthly calendars, and a Parent Resource Center.

Fitzpatrick has chosen to stress technology in kindergarten through sixth grades, special education classes, and the Title I Reading and Math Lab by purchasing computers for all classrooms, the library, offices and the Computer Lab. The school is wired for Internet access with a Fractional Tl line. Each classroom, the library, and computer lab all have Internet access. In addition, every classroom, lab, office, and the library have a printer. Fitzpatrick continues to purchase and update computers as funds are made available. Older, out-dated Macintosh, Gateway, and Dell computers that cannot be wired for the Internet are used in classrooms for enrichment and reinforcement of skills.

One of the main goals of the Fitzpatrick faculty is to improve student performance, thus improving test scores. Many practice test materials have been purchased for each grade level and for each subject area tested on the SAT 10. Much emphasis has been put on assessing the areas of improvement needed for each student. As a result of much work by students and teachers, Fitzpatrick has scored a rating of CLEAR for the past 5 years. Kindergarten students are assessed using the Alabama Learning Inventory. Students in grades one through six are assessed three times a year using the STAR testing and DIBELS. Results of these tests enable teachers to evaluate student needs and progress of students throughout the school year.

Writing improvement continues to be a goal at all grade levels at Fitzpatrick. The Fifth Grade Writing Assessment scores do show that there is improvement in the past few years. The scores do show improvement: Level III (Grade Level Writing) went from 22% in 2001 steadily rising to 56.04 % in 2006, while Level I (Limited Success) decreased from 18% in 2001 to 0% in 2006. The Step Up to Writing Program is being used in the fifth grade.

In the five-year accreditation study, surveys of parents, students, and teachers indicated the following: students were satisfied with the quality of the instructional program, the support for student learning, school climate and student activities; students wanted to be more involved in making decisions about matters that directly affect them; teachers surveyed wanted to see more parents take an active role in their children's education and in school functions; and parents and teachers felt that the school's facilities were adequate to support the instructional program. Overall, parent surveys showed that most parents are satisfied with school, parent, and community relations; quality of the instructional program; support for student learning; and school climate. Surveys done this year show an over-all satisfaction on the part of students with the instructional program, teachers, counselors, administrators, school climate, and school activities. On the teacher opinion inventory, teachers agreed or strongly agreed with the majority of the statements. More parental involvement in their children's education continues to be a priority with teachers. Parents surveyed agreed with the majority of the statements on the survey and were satisfied with the instructional program of the school.

The Fitzpatrick Elementary School theme is: "Fitzpatrick, Where Children Come First." The school motto is: "Believing, Achieving, and Succeeding." The major focus of the instructional program is to improve reading and math. Finally, the school belief is "Learning is not an Option; It is a Requirement." Fitzpatrick faculty, staff, parents, students and the surrounding community truly believe and practice these statements on a daily basis. It is through these common beliefs and practices that our school's goals are being met, and the needs of our students will continue to be addressed.

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