City schools increase to ‘C’ rating, up from ‘D’

City schools increase to ‘C’ rating, up from ‘D’


City schools reported a successful rating for the 2021-2022 school year, an increase from previous years, the Mississippi State Board of Education announced last week.

The state’s “A” to “F” accountability grades center on the progress students make from one year to the next.

Dr. Shannon Whitehead, Superintendent of the Philadelphia Public School District, said she was proud to announce the district was “rated successful” with a “C” rating but is excited to get to work this year on ways to improve the school's accountability rating. Whitehead said that is up from a “D” rating received for the 2018-2019 school year.

The district did not receive a rating for the 2020-2021 school year.

“Our elementary school received a C rating while our high school received a D rating which represents a large increase,” Whitehead said. “In fact, we were six points away from a ‘C’ rating. That was major. It took a lot of hard work to get there and we are looking to increase that score next year.”

Whitehead took the superintendent job in July of this year.

Whitehead said the middle school score is included in the high school’s score.

Whitehead said she hopes to see the school district improve, specifically in math and English. She said elementary programs will see an increased focus on literacy.

She said school administrators are implementing an after-school program for elementary and middle school students that will include tutoring, help with homework and dinner for students involved students.

Whitehead said students now have either an iPad or Chrome Book available through the school district and want to integrate that technology into education at all levels.

Specifically, Whitehead said the district expected to have a program available to students as early as next week provided by the Mississippi State Department of Education called Paper. She said Paper offers students from third grade to twelfth 24-hour online tutorial resources on any subject that includes face-to-face instruction from tutors.

“It is an online tutorial service that will be available to students at home 24/7,” Whitehead said.

Whitehead said districts statewide are struggling following the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. She said the school district is dedicated to recuperating any setbacks students may have experienced and wants to continue working with teachers, students and parents to improve the district during her tenure.

“I would like to thank our stakeholders for helping us become a successful school district,” Whitehead said. “I look forward to their continued support as we continue to push for better accountability ratings next year.”

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