|Students in Nikki Gilbert’s second-grade class at Fruithurst Elementary School participate in a lesson about states and their capital cities. Photo: Trent Penny/The Anniston Star|
FRUITHURST — Brightly colored die-cut school buses have reached their finish line.
They inched across a black bulletin board in the lobby at Fruithurst Elementary. It’s a sign that parents have responded to the school’s request for perfect attendance.
Third-grade teacher Leigh Braxton said that’s a common trait in the tiny, rural town in eastern Cleburne County.
“If you tell these parents what you want, they’ll do exactly that,” she said. “It’s an amazing little community.”
Staffers at the school credit the close-knit town’s ties to the school for its perennially high test scores.
Higher, in fact, than more affluent schools, despite having about three-fourths of its students eligible for free or reduced lunches, an indicator of poverty.