The Arizona State Board of Education released the 2023 A-F Letter Grade Report which is based on school performance. Safford K-8 School received a C, a two-grade increase from the F they got the previous year.

School staff was beyond excited about the achievement, taking time with KGUN 9 to reflect on how the school was able to significantly improve. Principal Katherine Kuhn has overseen the school for the last three years and focused on something to improve each year.

So, our first year was a lot of laying groundwork. Finding out what the community wanted, helping the community to be empowered to take back control over their school, she said.

During her second year as principal, she focused on finding where students were at academically after the pandemic.

And then this year is all about elevation, shared Kuhn. Within the past year, the school has added honors credit courses and a student court class.

Student court is an alternative to administrative repercussions. It gives power to their peers to look at what theyre doing and help that student understand that what they did was wrong, explained student court teacher Ben Goodridge.

The student court then delivers consequences to fellow pupils at the school based on the Tucson Unified School District Code of Conduct. Last week, a student took a laptop home when they werent supposed to. The students decided his punishment was to clean the laptop cart.

Goodridge said the class has impacted student behavior from its presence alone.

The behavior last year in the fourth quarter, when behavior usually gets worse, improved. People knew about the student court and didnt want to go to the student court, he said.

Student Jorge Cordova takes honors classes and is in student court. He said both experiences have helped his performance in several areas.

Having more responsibility, more tasks to do, and harder thinking, shows us that we need to be present to learn, said Cordova.

Principal Kuhn believes his experience reflects the hard work her students have put in to bring the letter grade from an F to a C.