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Project LIFT Teachers Go Back To School Early For Training

School doesn't start until August 27, but teachers at nine West Charlotte schools are going back to work today. They're getting an additional week-and-a-half of training focused on teaching students living in poverty. That's nearly all of the kids at these schools, which are part of a private partnership called Project LIFT. They'll also look at ways to get parents to participate in their child's education and go through a poverty simulation. "I think a lot of the information is not necessarily new, but it helps to refresh some of the things we have already learned," says Imogen Thomas-Williams, a fifth grade teacher at Allenbrook Elementary. "It brings to mind, if these are the things we haven't been using, then maybe we need to start putting them in place or even enhance them more to make them more relevant to the students we're getting." Project LIFT is a collaboration between CMS and some foundations to boost student achievement at West Charlotte high school and the schools that feed into it. West Charlotte High has long been one of the district's lowest-performing schools. After a few years of progress, the Charlotte Observer reports student proficiency at West Charlotte fell this year to 44-percent from 68-percent in 2011.