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Test to decide if Hawthorne Middle High School will remain open, staff prepares for worst

One test decides if Hawthorne Middle/ HS will stay open, school officials plan possibility

Hawthorne Middle/High school has been a "D" school for three straight years, but if it doesn't raise it's grade to a "C" or better, the school will have to close its doors.

"They've already warned us we'll have to do this with proper planning. we'll have to zone the kids to another school," Hawthorne Mayor Matt Surrency said.

One test, administered from the state of Florida, will decide Hawthorne's fate.

Alachua County Public Schools spokeswoman Jackie Johnson said once the test results come back, the state is in charge of taking those test scores and plugging them into a formula to come up with the school grade.

Surency said last year the school missed getting a "C" by 4 points, and he's optimistic about this year

"Even though you have the optimism it still comes down to a simple test, or not so simple... depending on how you look at it but one day can determine whether we make the grade or not," Surrency said.

He said the community has been supportive through this whole process, hiring tutors and coming up with ways for students to succeed.

"We feel very confident we've seen a lot of improvements in things like attendance.. that's been a problem the last few years and of course you can't educate the kids if they're not there," Johnson said.

The grade won't be released until July- but the school district needs to plan ahead of time just in case Hawthorne doesn't raise it's grade.

"This is also to plan what happens if we don't make the grade but if we do make the grade what are we going to do, what additional resources are we going to bring out to Hawthorne," Surrency said.

Testing will start March 1st. The meeting is set for March 15th in Hawthorne's media center and is tentatively set for 2pm.

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