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West Bolivar school leaders discuss ratings Featured

Principals at the six schools in West Bolivar Consolidated School District presented action plans for improving school ratings at Thursday’s night board meeting.

Principals laid out their strategic plans for improving student achievement.

West Bolivar Elementary School Principal Nathan Tower said his school received a D rating, an improvement from its prior F status.

“We’re not where we want to be, but we are moving in the right direction,” said Towers.

Towers said his students increased by 61 points on the state board of education grading scale and the goal is to reach 340 on the grading scale, which is a C

“We have a good way to go but we’re going to work hard to make sure we get there,” added Towers.

“Most students have been identified by benchmark data, daily grades and state test assessment,” said Towers.

School staff members review data sheets, which determine whether students are performing on a basic, minimum or proficient level.

“We discuss those basic to minimum students. Teachers suggest ways to remediate those students who fail in those two categories and make sure they are proficient in mastering those types of skills,” said Towers.

He added third grade testing in math seems very promising, yet the biggest challenge is with fourth grade math.

Towers said students took benchmark assessments in early October and they show a 30 percent increase in proficiency in math scores for third grade students.

Third grade English Language Arts proficiency went up from 18 percent to 247 percent.

Towers said proficiency scores for fourth grade English Language Art has also increased from 16 percent to 28 percent, while the scores for proficiency in fourth grade math has decreased from 8 percent to 7 percent.

West Bolivar Middle School Principal Sharon Miller said the school's rating is an F.

Much like Towers, Miller said her school has monthly data meetings to assessment areas of strengths and weakness for students.

"We have focus lesson plan meetings every Tuesday of each week. We have a checklist that we go by to see if the teachers are following the protocols set for lesson plan."

Miller added that during the meeting they talk about students who score at the minimum level.

“We notice from our test result, we had a lot of students who were one to three points away (from passing), which could have (potentially allowed) us to go up to at least a D rating but they feel short. We are targeting those students.

“We have our interventionist to work with those kids in both individually and in small group settings,” added Miller.

Miller said their goal for this year is a 330, which is a C.

McEvans School Principal Ronnie Brown revealed his school received a D rating.

Brown said his school’s goal is to increase proficiency in English Language Arts to 15 percent and math by 20 percent.

He also said he would like to increase proficiency in fifth and eighth grade science to 50 percent, and to increase overall in math to 65 percent and increase the bottom 25 to 75 percent.

“That would get us to 345, that would be a C,” he said.

Brown said the school’s main goal is to increase passing rates for students for five percent this year, as well as increase the number of students who make proficient or advance on state test by five percent.

Shaw High School Principal Daphne Young said her school received a B rating and a mentorship program has been implemented to help at-risk students.

“Every faculty member has adopted two students who have trouble with state assessment or have anger issues. Our counselor and teacher has been pulling those kids and checking on their behavior and making sure they have a great day,” said Young.

Ray Brooks Principal Wanda Leslie Brown and West Bolivar High Principal Kenyaritic Brown said their schools both received a C rating.

“Based on the data we received in the spring, we know our strongest area is math,” said Wanda Leslie Brown.

She revealed there was an 80 passing rate for Algebra 1 on state assessments. There was also a 75 percent passing rate for U.S. History and 63 percent increase in English II.