The results of the 2015-2016 Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress (K-PREP) assessments offer “very good news” for the schools in the Allen County School District.
“We are very proud of the work of our students, our faculty, and our staff,” Allen County School Superintendent Randall Jackson said. “We are very pleased. All our schools are proficient or above and we have our first school of distinction.”
The data released Thursday by the Kentucky Department of Education show that the Allen County School District is classified as a Distinguished District. Each of the district’s four schools---the Allen County-Scottsville High School (ACSH), the James E. Bazzell Middle School (JEBMS), the Allen County Intermediate Center (ACIC), and the Allen County Primary Center (ACPC)---are at a “Proficient” or higher level. At three of the four schools, the school’s overall assessment score rose from the 2014-15 school year and each school and the District met their Participation Goal. Three of four schools met their Annual Measurable Objective (AMO) and reading scorers rose in all schools.
“This is the first year that the school district is a “Distinguished” district,” noted Chad Cooper, Instructional Coordinator for the Allen County School District. “All four schools are at the Proficient of higher level. The middle school is also a “School of Distinction, the first time we have had a school with that designation in the district.”
The Bazzell Middle School “School of Distinction” designation is based on the school surpassing the “School of Distinction” base score of 72.5. The middle school achieved a 74.1 score---an increase from a score of 69.1 in 2015. The school is listed as a “Distinguished” and “Progressing” school. In addition, the middle school met both its Participation Goal and AMO last year.
Rick Fisher, the Director of Instruction for Allen County Schools, attributes the middle school reaching the “School of Distinction” mark to a result of an ongoing effort by the school’s teachers to examine data and refine instruction.
“The school spent a lot of energy last year on data team processing,” Fisher explained. “Every two weeks the teachers meet and bring student evidence to the table with their grade level departments. The teachers look at how the kids are performing on content, figure out what the kids know and not know, and what kinds of adjustments are needed in instruction. We are really looking at our practice, what we ask kids to do, and how it affected them. If it was positive, we had good results. If our results were in not such a good way, the teachers asked what can be done differently to improve that situation. I think really digging in to that data would be one of the things that Mrs. Towery (JEBMS school principal Melissa Towery) would say helped.”
Improvements were seen at AC-SH. The high school’s overall score is 72.3, a 7.1 increase from their 65.2 mark in 2015. AC-SH is listed as a “Proficient” and “Progressing” school, a rise from their “Needs Improvement” designation in 2015. The K-PREP assessment scores indicate that AC-SH’s college and career readiness measure rose from 62.6 last year to 81.5. The school’s graduation rate increased from 85.1 to 89.3. Math and reading scores increased from 2015 and the high school met their Participation Goal and Annual Measurable Objective.
“We saw a big jump in college and career readiness at the high school,” Cooper pointed out. “I think that the Tech Center has done a really good job on making sure that students are in their career paths, taking the correct classes, and becoming qualify as college and career ready.”
The Allen County Primary Center also showed a 12.1 increase in overall score. ACPC had a score of 71.4, an increase from 59.3 in 2015. The Primary Center is listed as a “Proficient” and “Progressing” school, met their Participation Goal and AMO, and showed an increased in achievement and gap scores from the previous testing cycle.
The K-PREP results from ACIC reflected a decrease in overall score based on the school’s adjusted final score of 75.5—arrived at by recalculation in February by the state. This year, ACIC has an overall score of 70.9---a decrease from the 75.5 mark from February but an increase from the rate originally released last year at this time. The school is listed as a “Proficient” school with the results showing that the school also met their Participation Goal. At ACIC, achievement and Gap scores increased as did scorers in math and reading.
The K-PREP results show a few areas in which scores declined---areas that the District will look at in the coming weeks and examine closer. However, Cooper points out that, in the area of growth scores, outside factors make it very difficult to know the best ways to make improvements.
“Writing scores went down at the three schools that are tested in writing, the Intermediate Center, the middle school, and the high school,” Cooper pointed out. “Our growth scores went down this year. That’s an area we need to look at but that’s a score which is dependent on what everybody else in the state does. We are compared to everyone else. In achievement and gap, you can identify the kids that need improvement but with growth, you don’t really know where to target.”
Fisher points out that the district will push on to improve instruction at all levels.
“Our district has dedicated our energy, time, and money around some best practice pieces that are not things you do overnight,” Fisher said. “We continue to work on them with every classroom and every student we have. We know what the things are so it’s just a matter of hammering the nail and working with teachers on helping them with their practice. We are constantly looking at how we can make adjustments. We have to keep working on the keystone pieces based on the research we have in teaching and learning.”
For a complete look at the District’s K-PREP report card, visit the Kentucky Department of Education report card webpage at http://applications.education.ky.gov/SRC/ .