Area schools optimistic about student performance
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 1:00 AM
The pencils are down, the tests are taken up and summer break is almost here.
All students in grades three through 11 are finished with state tests, which will determine the performance level or letter grade of the area's schools and school districts.
Based on last year's scores, Neshoba County School District scored the grade of a C while Philadelphia Public School District received a D.
Both school districts have set goals and plans to improve these scores. Remediation, tutorial sessions and student data are just a few of the tactics that the school districts have been implementing to try to increase student performance, officials said.
Neshoba County School District uses a common assessment testing that is given by the school. This test is used to measure how each individual student and group of students progress through the school year.
Neshoba Central High School Principal John Bowen said this information is used to develop the level of intervention, which is used to determine the level of remediation a student receives. Teachers and staff put in hard work to improve state test scores and course rigor, officials said.
Bowen said that Neshoba Central High School tries to motivate students by recognizing them for their academic achievement. School officials are optimistic about this year's scores, and regardless of the results, they will try to do better next year, Bowen said.
Neshoba County School District Assistant Superintendent Trina Cheatham said goals and plans have been set for the 2013-2014 school year but how they will be implemented and met will be determined based on this school year's test score results.
Philadelphia Public School District's Quality of Distribution Index (QDI) for the 2011-2012 year was high enough to receive a grade of a C, but due to the lack of growth from the previous year, it received a letter grade of a D, Superintendent Terry Larabee said.
The city school district also gives a common assessment test at the end of each of the first three nine-week grading periods. Administrators utilize the data taken from the common assessment test to adjust teaching strategies, motivate students and remediate/enrich student needs.
Another strategy that the city school district is using is called Tornado Time, a daily set time of 30 minutes to remediate and enrich students.
Students are assigned to teachers who specialize in a student's specific need, which is gathered from the common assessment testing.
Dr. Larabee said he is also optimistic that the city schools will improve in QDI and academic growth based on the successes that students had on the common assessment, which was administrated by the school district and not the state Department of Education.