Unofficial school grades are released

By JAMES PHILLIPS,

 

Forest Municipal School District rates  D

Scott County Schools receives a C

The Mississippi Department of Education announced the release of statewide school accountability grades and preliminary test scores in September. Since the time of the original release there has been growing confusion created by the MDE as to when these scores and grades may become finalized, or if they may change before being finalized. Both local school districts have received their respective grades and test scores but are caught in limbo as to what there final numbers may be or if those scores and grades may change.

Neither of the local area school districts fared as well as they would have liked, but they are also never complacent and always working to improve the educational experience and effectiveness for the children.

Scott County School District received an overall accountability grade of C and is taking an informed and cautious wait and see approach while awaiting MDE final grades. Scott County School District Superintendent Dr. Tony McGee said that no matter what the final outcome is there is much work to be done. “We are certainly ready to get our formally approved grades from MDE,” he said. “We are going to wait for the final results before we take any immediate action because with the uncertainty at the moment we would be trying to aim at a moving target without a sight.”

As the preliminary grades stand currently the SCSD received a district wide grade of C and the individual schools making up the SCSD are listed below.

• Lake High School – B

• Morton High School – C

• Sebastopol Attendance Center – C

• Scott Central Attendance Center – C

• Lake Middle School– D

• Betty Mae Jack Middle School – D

• Lake Elementary School – B

• Morton Elementary School – B

“We are taking the preliminary grades into account but we are aware that the MDE has formed a task force to research the preliminary scores and grades,” said Dr. McGee. “As far as Scott County School District taking action we are going to wait and asses the final results when MDE has completed the review process and provided us with the final results.” 

The Forest Municipal School District holds a very similar thought process on this years accountability grades and test scores. Forest Municipal School District Superintendent Joseph White said we just do not know what MDE is going to do at this point. Both school districts are under the impression that MDE could adjust the grading scale again which could lead to very different outcomes.

“The most important word at this moment is preliminary,” said White. “As of this moment all we have are preliminary scores and preliminary grades. Even though the FMSD is waiting for MSE to make their final determination it has taken the preliminary scores and grades into consideration. “The state grading scale currently being in place at MDE is a one size fits all system that is not an equitable scale for all school districts in the state,” White said. “Every school district is different for many reasons, but each district has its own demographic make-up and frankly one size does not fit all.”

The Forest Municipal School District received a district wide grade of D and the individual schools making up the FMSD are listed below.

• Forest High School – C

• Hawkins Middle School – D

• Forest Elementary School – C

As the school district is awaiting information from MDE they have been constantly responding to the data they have already received. “We use the data we are provided to identify weaknesses, take corrective action and monitor our results,” White said. “Each school year is completely different and has different challenges and that is why the process being reviewed by MDE is so important.”