Company hired to boost student achievement at two Petersburg Elementary Schools

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) - More schools in Petersburg are getting help from a private company. This time, it's two elementary schools that are getting turnaround partners. It's all part of a state mandate to boost performance at the schools.

A New York based company called Edison Learning Alliance has been hired to help students at J.E.B. Stuart Elementary School and A.P. Hill Elementary make the grade.

Right now, A.P. Hill Elementary School is accredited with warning. J.E.B. Stuart Elementary has been denied accreditation for several years.

It's a combination that has caused the state to intervene -- requiring the school system to take action. The district has hired Edison Learning Alliance -- the company will serve as a lead turnaround partner to help raise academic performance at the two elementary schools.

"The partner works with us to increase student achievement -- to address interaction and provide staff development for our teachers," said Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Alvera Parrish.

Edison Learning Alliance says it will use a holistic 5 strand approach to boost learning -- which includes leadership, student and family support, and assessment for learning. The company says it currently works with 128 schools and more than 73,000 students.

"Their whole goal is to work themselves out of a job. So they'll come to a point where Petersburg can provide these services for our students without needing the assistance of a lead turnaround partner," said Parrish.

A similar program currently exists at the junior high school and Peabody Middle School in Petersburg --- meaning 4 of the 7 public schools in the city will be working with a hired outside company to help increase student performance.

"To be fully accredited -- that's what we're looking for," said Parrish.

Edison Learning Alliance will begin working with A.P. Hill and J.E.B Stuart this summer. A three year federal grant totaling up to $1.2 million will pay for the program.

The school district will host public informational meetings in the wards where the two elementary schools are located. The first meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 20th, at 6:30pm at J.E.B Stuart Elementary.

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