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Peary Elementary moving toward excellence with “golden rules”

Peary Elementary school is on the move. Tucked away inside a neighborhood on the city’s east side, the school has seen a dramatic increase in academics, attendance, and behavior. The staff and leadership of the school believe the main reason is the family atmosphere they strive to maintain in the building. “We’re the polar bear family,” explains Principal Tessa Cross. “We’re a family, it’s not ‘you’re the students, I’m the principal,’ we’re a family, I’m your momma bear and that’s seriously what we talk about. I’m momma bear.”
Under the leadership of Principal Cross, Peary has experienced double digit gains in reading and math from the prior year, suspensions are way down, and the school boasts an amazing 95 percent attendance rate. “The 95 percent is really an awesome number for us,” says Cross. “a lot of it has to do with the staff.”
The teachers agree that the family atmosphere is working at the school. First grade teacher Andrea Lutz says, “All the teachers work together, we all get along, it’s like a family.” Librarian Heather England agrees. England explains, “It’s like a small school, so it’s a real tight-knit place, where learning is the priority.”
And what do the students have to say? Student Kaydence Pickereo says, “You learn something new every day.” Others, like Manuela Houessou are enjoying leadership opportunities. “I’m in student council, and I’m secretary.”
Peary is proving itself to a place where your child will prosper. Cross sums up the atmosphere at Peary by saying, “Just letting the kids know we care, that’s basically what we do here. If parents want somebody that is going to love and take care of their child during the school day, then they need to send them here.”