Despite conditions that would work against a small rural school in an impoverish area of rural Kentucky, Fairway Elementary School has managed to excel in its accountability measures. This study used a mixed-methods approach with data collected through interviews and MAP student growth scores in reading and mathematics. Five themes emerged from the qualitative data regarding school success: (1) a well-organized intervention system, (2) a focus on and overall enjoyment of the discipline of mathematics, (3) involvement of parents in school functions, (4) transparency of needs and organization of resources, and (5) an overall school culture that is competitive, impactful, and student-centered. Quantitative data revealed large improvements in student growth in reading and mathematics after the adoption of standard-aligned curricular programs in both subjects. Fairway Elementary continues to succeed in their efforts to improve not only student achievement, but the culture of their school within an impoverished community.

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