Local school gets national award educating boys of color - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Local elementary school gets national award for educating boys of color

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

A Charlotte Elementary school is getting national recognition for how it teaches a certain group of students.

Devonshire Elementary was once a low performing school, but now test scores are up and students are excelling, particularly it's Black and Latino male students.

The school's demographic is 100 percent minority and has worked hard over the past five years to really turn it's academic scores around.

Bradford McCound-Blount, is just one example of the school's high achieving boys of color.

"To see so many young kids in this classroom learn and just be overwhelmed with positive spirits, it's a good model for me, a good experience," he said.

A model that has gotten the school national recognition by the Coalition of School Educating Boys of Color(COSEBOC).

Principal Suzanne Gimenez says they've worked hard to see high achievement from their Black and Latino male students, particularly in Math and Literature.

"We have very high expectations for our students," she said.

An expectation that starts at the top as she says they applied for the award last year, but didn't get it.

"I told COSEBOC that we would be back this year," she vowed. "That we would win this year."

Consider the fact Devonshire was ranked among the lowest performing schools in CMS and the state in 2008 and you realize just how many changes they've made.

"To change the culture in the school that you can dispel the myth," she said.

The myths that children of color who live in poverty can't succeed or don't perform as well as white students.

Gimenez says they're dispelling those myths -- one child at a time.

"We talk about what you want to be when you grow up and where you want to go to college," she said. "So it becomes an expectation from the school that you will be able to achieve anything that you want to do."

The school also offers single gender classrooms at every grade level and uses its same award-winning curriculum for its young, female students of color.

COSEBOC now says it will use Devonshire's success as a template for other elementary schools across the country.

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