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Devonshire Elementary honored for helping minorities excel

Devonshire Elementary, where more than 90 percent of black and Hispanic boys passed state math exams last year, won a $10,000 national award for helping boys of color excel.

Devonshire, in east Charlotte, was one of five schools nationwide honored by the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color. The coalition honors schools that are using creative techniques and getting results among a group of students who often lag behind girls and white students on test scores, graduation rates and other academic measures.

Among the measures cited at Devonshire are boys-only classes and use of technology to engage students. Suzanne Gimenez, who has been principal since 2008, said she’ll use the prize money to buy more iPads, with a goal of having each fourth- and fifth-grader have a tablet to use in class.

State test-score breakdowns show just over 90 percent of African-American males and more than 95 percent of Hispanic males at Devonshire scored at grade-level or higher in math last year. Reading results were much lower, as they are at many high-poverty schools, with a pass rate of 51 percent for African-American boys and 49 percent for Hispanic boys.

Gimenez said her school, with a slogan of “The School That Could,” has created its own reading program and is making progress.

Helms: 704-358-5033
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