LWCS Superintendent Jesse Jackson presented how he perceives education for the charter schools at the Monday Lake Wales Charter School board meeting at Janie Howard Wilson Elementary School. He began by praising the system, its teachers and administrators for their work in the effort “to remediate, support and help children who don’t have as much support (at home).
“We want to push emphasis to having top students,” Jackson said. “We need to stress our reading, writing and mathematics in the elementary schools so we can have those high achieving students. We will have success absolutely critical to our system. What will happen is we will not have students who are not achieving in math or other subjects because we started in elementary schools.”
Jackson emphasized that “we are going to establish ourselves academically and what we can do for high academic achievement. The (community) talk will be that these kids in Lake Wales are smart.”
Jackson cited his recall of accompanying a teacher to a home visit where between five and six students of various ages from second grade to high school will not and don’t go to school.
“How can you make something happen academically to get those kids to school?” Jackson asked. “Elementary students need help to get there and need support behind them.”
Of the families visited, he described two mothers who were high school dropouts, one with eight children and one with five. The mothers didn’t have jobs. With no supervision, the kids were on their own.
“Our job is to get them ready for life and that’s a tall order,” Jackson said. “I want our teachers to get these kids into school. I was proud this teacher took it upon herself to do this home visit and to try to help out and mediate.
“I want to believe we really will make a difference.”