CCS receives positive state report card

Published 4:44 pm Friday, October 18, 2019

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Chilton County Schools has scored an 81/B for the 2018-2019 school year on the Alabama State Department of Education report card.

This is up from the previous school year in which the school system scored a 79.

“This is the highest score we have had since the (lettering) system started,” Superintendent Jason Griffin said.

He said he was pleased with the score but wanted to continue to see the school system increase its score in the future

The state overall score was 84/B.

Overall scores are based on a weighted scores for six categories: academic achievement, academic growth, graduation rate, college and career readiness, chronic absenteeism and progress of English language proficiency.

Academic growth, which represents 25% of the final score, was again the highest scoring category for the school system. CCS received a score of 93.71 for this category, compared to the state score of 93.06.

“That is one of the things that we really like to focus on is growth because we want to see where the students are when they come in and how much progress they make throughout the year,” Director of Teaching and Learning Ashlie Harrison said.

The category is based on how students score at the end of the year compared with the beginning of the year or, for 10th and 11th grade students, their pre-ACT compared to the ACT.

The state report card for school systems and individual scores were released to the public on Oct. 18 after accidentally being made accessible earlier in the week.

For academic achievement, which is based on the state tests students take, the school system scored 60.58. This score is 20% of the final score.

The graduation rate accounts for 30% for the school system’s overall score. For the 2018-2019 school year, the school system’s graduation rate was 86.74. In college and career readiness, the school system scored a 61.83. Harrison said the state wants the graduation rate and the college and career readiness scores to be close.

“The distance between that has been a concern lately,” Harrison said.

Chronic absenteeism is the one category on the report card in which it is a good thing to have a low score. This year the definition for chronic absenteeism was changed from missing 15 days of school to 18 days. This year the school system had a 13.41 in this category, which represents 10 percent of the overall score. Harrison said this was down from last year, which was a positive thing.

Individual schools have made efforts to raise awareness of the importance of good school attendance, engage with students and follow up with students and parents when students were absent.

“Probably the biggest growth was in our EL (English learner) proficiency,” Harrison said.

Hiring another EL teacher last school year contributed to this. Another EL teacher was added this school year.

Harrison said “increasing the support that we can those students and professional development we are giving to our teachers to make them more aware of how they can help those students as well” will help students to continue to make progress.

Progress in English Language proficiency counts for 5% of the overall score.

Clanton Intermediate and Clanton Elementary School tied again this year for highest score of any individual school in the system with a score of 89. Both schools also had a 100 for academic growth and a score of 75.37 for academic achievement and 58.33 in progress for English language learners.

“Building foundational skills in grades Pre-K – 2 is critical for future academic achievement,” CES Principal Rebecca Threlkeld said. “CES teachers work diligently to meet the needs of all students with skill and dedication on a daily basis. I am proud to work with a faculty that truly cares about the children of our community.”

“As principal of Clanton Intermediate School, I am very proud of our report card score,” CIS Principal Louise Pitts said. “Our teachers, staff, and students worked hard in their efforts to insure each student reached their goal of academic success. In addition, our parents and community provided valuable support to our students and the employees of CIS to make this happen. The old proverb ‘It takes a Village to Raise a Child’ represents the collaborative team effort that has helped us increase our scores.  The scores are an indication that our students are obtaining the knowledge of the Alabama State Standards which prepares them for their future.”

Verbena High school had the most growth in a score of any school in the system with a score of 79, which is seven points higher than last year’s score of a 72.

“To increase our report card score by seven points is huge. I am extremely proud of the hard work our faculty and students have put forth,” VHS Principal Tammy Hand said.

Scores increased in the following categories: academic achievement, academic growth and graduation rate.

The school’s chronic absenteeism number also decreased.

“Our largest gains are in academic growth, which is based on state testing scores from Fall to Spring and chronic absenteeism,” Hand said. “Our growth increased by 22% and our chronic absenteeism decreased by 32%, which is great. That says a lot for my teachers, students and parents.”

Hand said she hopes to see these positive trends continue and was grateful to the faculty, staff and students who made this possible.

Scores for individual schools and indicators can be found at alsde.edu by clicking on “data center” in the top navigation bar and clicking on “report card.”