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Cleveland: Saving Mooney, The Struggles

CLEVELAND -- It's not easy to turn around a struggling school. Especially a school that earned a reputation more than a decade ago but still sticks today.

Charles Mooney School in Cleveland had an F on the last state report card.

"It is stressful to think, we have so much ground to make up," says Principal Brynn Morgan.

The challenges are many like class sizes in the upper grades near 50 in some classes.

"Teachers don't have enough time to get to each kid because 48 in a room is like having two classrooms in one, " says Morgan.

The district has promised smaller class sizes with the passage of Issue 107, and they are hiring more teachers back.

Another challenge, the library, even at this point in the year, they still need more books for the 500 students here. Mooney also has one of the highest numbers of special needs students around 30 percent, and two visually impaired units.

There is even a full-time psychologist in this building, which many schools don't have.

Another hurdle to improving test scores is student attendance. Warning letters have been sent out to parents whose children have been in school only about 70 percent of the time.

The parents were supposed to come to the meeting but, out of 40 parents, only 4 showed up.

They will try to reach those parents again in February.

Mooney teachers and the principal know that for the kids to improve on state tests -- they have to be in class to learn.

The school is giving away raffle gifts each month for students' with good attendance. Right now, the attendance is around 92 percent but the state standard is 93 percent.

So, they continue to focus on getting those students to class. If you would like to donate to Charles Mooney School go to: