Families that applied to transfer their children into the school were shocked to learn that anyone would want to leave. Catherine Bacot lives in Linthicum and drives her third-grade son to Park every day. She said she hasn't met a teacher there she didn't like.
"People see Brooklyn [Heights] and see a bad area ... but there are good people there," Bacot said.
Although Lenzi was upset when she learned of the federal government's designation for her school, she and the teachers say they won't let it slow them down. They say the school's MSPAP scores don't reflect its quality.
Pupils have fared better on the Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills, they point out. Reading and math scores on the national standardized test, now called TerraNova, have improved rapidly in the past few years, with pupils now scoring in the 40th percentile or better.
The school's high transiency rate -- more than twice the county average -- means that many pupils taking the state test haven't benefited from Park's programs. Of the school's 410 pupils, about 60 leave over the course of a year, and 60 new children enroll.
"Kids are doing great things here, but we don't know who will walk through the door," Lenzi said.