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CCS sees positive trend in academic growth

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The Alabama State Department of Education has released more detailed information on how Chilton County Schools scored on specific indicators for the 2017-2018 state report card.

Improvement in the academic growth score was a highlight for school system administrators.

“We are proud that our academic growth over the past year was 94 percent,” Ashlie Harrison, CCS Director of Teaching and Learning, said. “This is a result of hard-working students who strive for excellence.”

This puts Chilton County Schools ahead of the state average of 66.38. It is also a larger percentage of growth than last year when the academic growth score for the school system had been 83.57.

This report card is the first to be given since the state test was changed to Scantron’s Performance Series, rather than the ACT ASPIRE test. The ACT ASPIRE was abandoned as the state testing measure because it did not align with the Alabama State Standards.

Chronic absenteeism, the percentage of students having 15 or more absences in a given school year, increased for CCS. Based on the 2017-2018 state report card, 20.76 percent of students missed 15 or more days. This is up from 18.47 percent the previous year. Harrison had anticipated an increase because of the number of students who missed class in early 2018 because of the flu.

The school system was a given 61.31 for academic achievement. According to the state report card, this indicator score is based on “percentage of proficient students in the areas of reading/English and math utilizing assessments in tested grades.”

The graduation rate for the 2017-2018 school year was 88 percent, which was only slightly lower than the state average of 89 percent. This number is “determined based on the percentage of high school students who graduated within four years of first entering the ninth grade,” according to the state report card.

The college and career readiness score was 65.67, which is the percentage of students in the four-year cohort deemed to be college and career ready.

Students were defined as college and career ready if they had received college/AP credit, benchmarked on Work Keys or the ACT, received career tech credentials or been accepted into the military.

The overall score for the school system was a 79 (C), which is three points higher than last year.

”We are pleased with the results as we’ve seen improvement over the last few years,” Chilton County Schools Superintendent Jason Griffin said. “We know that we have room for more improvement, but we as a system are working hard to make that happen.”

In a press release, CCS administrators stated that steps have been incorporated into the school system’s strategic plan for improvement.

This includes a plan to “ensure curriculum, instruction and assessments are aligned with a focus on instructional rigor, strategic teaching, student engagement and continuous academic achievement for college and career readiness” as well as a plan to incorporate more community involvement in the school system.

Report cards and indicator data for each local school can be found by visiting ap.alsde.edu/accountability/EducationReportCard/selectschool and selecting a specific school.