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      Timrod students, teachers return to school

      This school year expectations are high at Timrod Elementary School.

      Timrod Elementary is a part of Florence School District One and is one of the few schools in the Pee Dee that met federally mandated goals.

      The marquee outside Timrod wraps up the school's academic achievement this year. It reads "We Met AYP."

      After four years of trying, the school met its adequate yearly progress mandated by the Federal No Child Left Behind Act.

      "For us to meet AYP for the first time in four years, there's no words to explain how excited I was, how excited the staff was that we were able to accomplish this, " said Carol Schweitz, Timrod's principal.

      She says the AYP goals were much tougher this year.

      "The criteria was raised almost 20 percent so we were very excited that we were able to meet the criteria and the standards of the No Child Left Behind," said Schweitz.

      She says the teachers focused on more hands-on activities for the students.

      Schweitz said, "Activities that would connect to their real life... activities where they could apply the information and it meant more to them."

      Timrod has integrated technology into the classrooms, like smart board tables for kindergarten students. It's an interactive center that makes learning fun.

      "If we can get them motivated to do things through technology then we can go far with what they're learning," said Lakisha Williams, teacher.

      Teachers also encourage students to read a book every night to improve their reading skills.

      The school hopes to meet AYP again next year.