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Principal plans to make good on promise, stay night on school roof after Accelerated Reader goal surpassed
Posted 05 - 02 - 2013

The students at Thomas J. Rusk Academy of Fine Arts have sent principal Malinda Lindsey up the walls  — and onto the roof.

Lindsey and TJR curriculum specialist Mandy Allen plan to spend the night on the school’s roof after student surpassed her challenge to earn 7,500 Accelerated Reader points.

This is the second year Lindsey agreed to spend a night under the stars  — this time from 2:30 p.m. on May 7 to 7:45 a.m. on May 8.

Accelerated Reader software helps sets point values for books — those for older students carry a higher point value than those for younger students.

After a student reads a level-appropriate book, he may take a test to see how well he comprehended it.  Teachers work with students to set goals, and the student works at his own pace to meet the AR points goal.

TJR students collectively earned 7,750 AR points since August.  They attempted 16,267 tests and have a passing rate of nearly 70 percent.  Of the 650 elementary students enrolled at TJR, 643 attempted AR tests equaling more than 25 tests per student.

According to TJR librarian Angie Allen, the Accelerated Reader program is not mandatory, but Lindsey’s challenge provided added incentive.

Lindsey said she  made the  proposal to instill excitement for reading.

“The importance of reading in achieving success in school and life is foundational,” Lindsey said.  “Without reading, many areas of life are hindered.”

But that’s not all that students are taking home from this experience.

“When having and setting high expectations, students can achieve anything they set their mind to,” Lindsey said.

While on the roof for nearly 18 hours, Lindsey plans to read, listen to music, plan for next year and keeping a watchful eye out for familiar predators.  The last time she spent the night on the roof, Lindsey said teachers launched water balloons and toilet paper in an attempt to disturb her slumber.

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