(SPRINGFIELD, Ky.) – Washington County Schools students, faculty and staff are celebrating their improved scores in this year’s “Unbridled Learning: College and Career Readiness for All” accountability assessment. According to the 2015-2016 results which were released on September 29, 2016, the four-school district earned a proficient classification with an overall score of 69.7, two points above the state’s overall score of 67.7.
In both elementary schools in the district, Washington County Elementary and North Washington Elementary, accountability is based on achievement, gap, growth in reading and math determined by the results of the Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress (K-PREP) assessment along with program reviews. Washington County Middle School, and the 6th, 7th and 8th graders at North Washington achievement, gap, growth in reading and math accountability are based on 2015-2016 K-PREP and results and program review results. Finally, Washington County High School’s students participated in the K-PREP On-Demand Writing assessment, End-of-Course assessments, ACT, and College and Career Assessments. The results along with graduation rate and program reviews, determine the high school’s accountability rating, according to Lee Anne Ater, director of state and federal programs for the district. “Our scores are a reflection of the hard work and dedication to growing as learners by all of our students, families and our staff,” says Ater. “We have a lot to celebrate based on the 15-16 accountability data results as well as other measures of success within our schools.”
Washington County Elementary School received a classification of proficient with an overall score of 69.0, up from last year’s score of 67.1. “The WCES goal last year was to grow – wherever we were, we wanted to grow,” says Dr. Jennifer Miller, principal. “Staff, students, parents and other stakeholders knew that was our ultimate goal – grow! We are very excited that our commitment to growth has become part of our school culture. Our students are encouraged and supported by instruction in the classroom and throughout the school day to set goals and work to reach those goals. We have worked as a school to provide multiple opportunities for parents and families to learn how to be more active partners in their children’s education and want to continue to increase those partnerships as we move forward. We have support by stakeholders throughout the community to reach our students and enable them to learn. We are proud of the accomplishments of every student, family member and staff member which are reflected in our spring scores and we are committed to continue on our path of positive growth. ‘Where Commanding Excellence Starts is not just a saying, it is a description of what we believe and strive to achieve.”
North Washington Elementary School earned a distinguished and progressing ranking and was named a “School of Distinction”, with a score of 77.4. NWES’s 6th, 7th and 8th graders score of 65.1 missed the proficient rating of 65.8 by seven tenths of a point. “We are so excited to celebrate the accomplishments of our school, especially the successes at the elementary level this year,” says Amanda M. Mattingly, principal at NWES. “The students and staff have worked extremely hard and we are so proud for them to have reached the level of Distinguished and receive the recognition of being a ‘School of Distinction’. The teachers and staff have shown great focus in analyzing student data and developing actionable plans for continuous growth. They have shown a tremendous commitment to meeting the diverse academic and non-academic needs of all students, reducing the number of students scoring novice, and challenging all students to grow academically. They have invested themselves in strategies to increase student achievement, including intentional small group instruction, co-teaching, vertically aligned reading and thinking strategies, and our school-wide ‘Reading Campaign’. This success is most certainly a reflection of the hard work from everyone in our school and we are very excited!” Despite the decline in scores at the middle school level at NWES, Mattingly said she was proud of her middle school team of teachers for responding to the data. “We are working hard to develop a plan of action to better meet the needs of particular student groups, especially in the area of reading,” she said. “We have had four years of really awesome success, with our middle school scoring proficient or distinguished each year and being named a ‘School of Distinction’ two of those years. One year of decline does not diminish that. We’re going to keep doing what we know works, while also committing ourselves to the critical conversations needed for us to be able to pinpoint the specific areas to target with the students we have now.”
Washington County Middle School saw a jump of 10.8 points to 67.2, netting it a proficient and progressing classification. “Our students and staff have been encouraged by May’s achievement scores and will continue the collaborative work that began this past school year, which include the opportunity of double blocks of reading and math, unit assessments that have been created with increased rigor that is on the level with content standards, students self-monitoring their mastery level on each unit assessment, and a continued emphasis on our reading initiative,” says WCMS Principal Ty Howard.
Both of the district’s elementary and middle schools overall scores exceeded the state’s overall scores. Kentucky’s overall score for elementary schools is 67.4 and 62.0 for middle schools, respectively.
Washington County High School received a score of 70.8 slightly up from last year’s score, along with a proficient ranking. “I’m proud of the work that the students, teachers and staff put in on a daily basis here at WCHS,” said Principal Thad Elmore. “While the scores are a measure of our success of being proficient, we will still continue to look for areas of improvement to provide the students at WCHS the best opportunity in preparing them for life after high school. This growth mindset will assist the students in finding success no matter the path they choose.”
Washington County Schools Superintendent Dr. J. Robin Cochran said she was very proud of the district’s accomplishments. “We are very pleased to announce that the Washington County School District is a proficient district,” said Cochran. “While we missed distinguished by less than 1% point, we celebrate knowing that we met the goal of proficiency established by Kentucky Department of Education. We would like to recognize and thank all students, staff, parents and community members that have partnered with us to achieve this example of commanding excellence for all! We will continue to focus on producing life ready students that excel.”