Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

November 21, 2012

School board reviews scores at east side schools

By Leeann Akers - Managing Editor
Journal-Times

Nov. 21, 2012 — The Carter County Board of Education met in regular session Monday night with the main focus on test scores in the schools on the east side of the county.

East Carter High School and Middle School, as well as Heritage, Prichard, and Star elementaries, presented assessment reviews and improvement plans for the 2012-13 school year.

The Carter district as a whole is still labeled a district “in need of improvement” but came within 1.3 points of the cutoff for a “proficient” rating.

Carter County is still in the top 38 percent of all Kentucky school districts.

“We think we are making progress but we know what we need to work on,” said Judy Dotson, district assessment coordinator. “We are already working with schools to make sure we make those scores come up next year.”

East Carter High moved into the proficient category while East Middle fell less than a point from the cutoff.

Star Elementary was labeled a “School of Distinction” and Prichard also came in with a proficient assessment. Heritage Elementary received a 56.3, placing the school in need of improvement.

Regionally, Carter is third behind the Russell (64.2) and Ashland (59) school districts.

ECHS was presented a banner by the board in recognition of its achievement.

Although pleased with East's improvements, Principal Larry Kiser was focused on what the data didn't tell him about his school.

“Why are the females outperforming the males in practically every content area?” Kiser said. “We are very proud of our achievements but we are by no means satisfied with where we are. We still have work to do.”

Shannon Wilburn, principal of East Middle School, said many of her students said they didn't try during testing.

“We don’t know what the cause was, if they didn't want to try at the time or if that was just an excuse for their poor performance,” Wilburn said. “What we have to focus on now is how to get those students invested in their education.”

Heritage has evaluated its scores and Principal J.C. Perkins said goals for next year will be above the state average.

Prichard Principal Jason McGlone presented a video prepared by the school's gifted and talented program.

Star Principal Charles Baker announced that his school would be participating in the Blue Ribbon School selection process. Only five schools of the top 33 schools in the state are designated Blue Ribbon Schools.

“We have been one of the top three performing schools in the region for the last five years,” Baker said. “It will be a great honor to not only be a School of Distinction but to even have the chance to become a Blue Ribbon School.”

Leeann Akers can be reached at lakers@journaltimes.co or by phone at 474-5101.