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Hawthorne community fighting to keep school open

Hawthorne community fighting to keep school open

Hawthorne Middle-High School has been rated a 'D' school for three straight years. Under new state laws, if the school doesn't raise its rating, it may become a charter school or go under state control.

A meeting at Hawthorne Monday night brought the community together, fighting to keep school traditions alive.

Alachua County Public Schools spokesperson, Jackie Johnson said they had a full house at the meeting, with community members speaking out.

"They really bought into the need to do whatever it takes to help boost the achievement at Hawthorne High School, raise the grade, so that we can keep the school, local and under local accountability," Johnson said.

The district has brought in a new principal, vice principal and numerous teachers, to help the school get to at least a 'C' rating.

However Johnson said the changes don't stop there. "We're going to have a full time attendance person at Hawthorne because one of the biggest issues they had was students missing a lot of school," she said.

Hawthorne mayor Matt Surrency said community members are also offering help by reaching out to help tutor students and support the local school. "I think a lot of people identify with the Hawthorne school because it could happen to any school. It's more of a family type bond we have here," Surrency said.

With the community's passion and commitment along with practice testing and better education, Surrency said he has no doubt this school can push through. "We're all in. Everyone is on board, backing each other up...we're going to do this together," he said.

The district is hoping to turn the school around, hoping to become an A-rated school by the end of the year.

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