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Year in review: Moton Elementary under watch by state

By Megan Reeves, Times Staff Writer
Published: December 27, 2017 Updated: December 27, 2017 at 12:51 PM
Moton Elementary School principal Joe Frana

Long plagued by high teacher turnover, a rotating administration and student behavior problems, Moton Elementary School entered 2017 unstable and troubled.

Still, Principal Joe Frana, hired in Oct. 2016 as the school’s third principal in a year, started the year with a promise.

"I know at one time Moton was a great school, and we’re going to be a great school again," he told the Hernando County School Board in January. He had a plan regarding student behavior and communication that had the Title 1 school on track to improve. Title 1 schools have a high number of low-income students.

In the summer, however, the Florida Department of Education released school grades, giving Moton a D for the second year in a row. It earned the lowest score in Hernando County and had fallen again on the list of the state’s lowest-performing schools.

State education leaders stepped in to help in October, facilitating classroom tours and meetings with school and district staff.

Less than a week later, a handful of low-performing teachers at the school were transferred out. Those positions were filled by new staffers in early November.

The school remains under close watch by district officials, who make regular classroom visits. A second state visit is expected Jan. 26.

Megan Reeves, Times Staff Writer

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