County school district sees progress

Guest Column

I am pleased to announce that the Marshall County District has continued to grow over the last three years. Although we have maintained a C accountability rating for the 2018-19 year, the district has increased 22 points and is now only 33 points away from its goal of attaining a B overall rating. No school has an F rating for the first time in five years.

Our elementary schools held their courses. Byhalia Elementary School, while a C, is only 3 points from a B. Milony Jenkins attributes this to a continuous increase in proficiency in English Language Arts (ELA), math and science, as well as growth in math and ELA.

Angelique Archie also saw the same growth and proficiency at Galena School under Shoanee Garrison. Galena gained 150 points moving them two levels to a C.

Bobby Sims at H.W. Byers Elementary (K-6) had an increase in science proficiency and EL points, maintaining their C.

Tana Miller saw an increase in math proficiency at Mary Reid School (K-6), which holds the only B in the district.

When the initial results came out, Byhalia Middle School was a B, but the MDE reconfigured their English Learner (EL) points, dropping it 1 point below to a C. Elizabeth Towle saw an increase in math growth.

In high schools, the district more than doubled last year’s acceleration points. I commend our counselors and administrators for enrolling more students in dual enrollment courses with Northwest Community College. That means more of our students will have college credit hours when they graduate from high school and parents will have fewer courses to pay for should the student attend college. The district’s high schools also increased in College and Career Readiness (CCR) based on ACT scores.

In the final results for high schools, Byhalia High School was a D. James Kimbrough saw some growth in math proficiency, which has been a targeted area this year. Byhalia High also has the highest graduation rates in the district based on the 2017-18 graduating class. (Graduation rates in the accountability model are always a year behind.)

Although H.W. Byers (7-12) was a D, Felicia Sharp saw an increase in U.S. history, CCR, and Acceleration points.

Likewise, Billy Gray saw a gain of 65 points overall, bringing Potts Camp School (7-12) to a C.

Across the district, reading, math, and history proficiency have increased. Our district maintained the science proficiency despite the fact that the science assessment changed. The MDE also added the English Learner component this year of which we received 44.9 of the 50 available points. Byhalia Elementary, Byhalia Middle, and H.W. Byers Elementary did an excellent job contributing to such a high EL component. That just shows that our district addressed all students in reaching their goals in growth and becoming proficient.

I attribute our increase in points to our hard-working district leaders, administrators, teachers, students, staff, parents, and community stakeholders. I’d like to thank each of them for their continuous support of our schools as we work even harder to prepare our students to be productive in college, careers and our communities.

Dr. Lela Hale is superintendent of education for the Marshall County School District.

Holly Springs South Reporter

P.O. Box 278
Holly Springs, MS 38635
PH: (662) 252-4261
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