The parents, students, and staff of Milton’s Tucker Elementary School want everyone to know that their school is diverse, important to the community, and pushes every student to try his or her best every day.
It’s a message that came out loud and clear in a short documentary produced by local resident Frank Schroth, who runs the blog MyTownMatters.
Schroth and his partner, Michael Lynch, produced the film over the course of a year and sought to highlight the students’ progress on statewide tests.
Tucker is the the smallest school in the Milton district, with 370 students. However, it’s also the most diverse — both economically and culturally. That’s part of what makes it strong, Tucker staff and students said in the film.
“It’s a very unique school. The teachers and students all come from different cultures and nobody makes fun of you for that,” one fifth-grader said.
But its success lies in much more than its diversity.
According to the film, students are tested three times a year — at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end. Students who don’t earn 85 percent or higher on that assessment are retaught the material.
“Passing isn’t good enough; skimming material isn’t going to be good enough,” principal Marcia Uretsky said in the film.
At the first public showing of the film, parents, students, and residents — some from Milton, others from neighboring towns — filled the community room at the Milton Public Library on Wednesday evening.
Each seemed to find something interesting in the film and said other Milton schools should take note of Tucker’s emphasis on leadership, diversity, and community involvement.
“Tucker is a reflection of the world our children will grow up in,” parent Ann Finnegan said after the film.
Others enjoyed seeing the pride of students and teachers.
“I loved seeing the glow they all had when they spoke about what Tucker means to them,” parent Elizabeth Thomas said.
As for Schroth, he said he’s proud of the work he produced and has appreciated the feedback he’s received.
“The response has been so positive,” he said, but he added that creating a documentary was taxing and it will take a very compelling topic to make him tackle another project of this size.