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District Tops State Average in Reading, Math Proficiency

Hopkins County Schools’ students topped the state average in proficiency in the key areas of reading and math at every level, under state assessment results released by the Kentucky Department of Education on Sept. 26.

Graduation rates are additional cause for celebration.

Kentucky is transitioning to a new accountability model.

Indicators that will be used in the system include Proficiency (reading and math); Separate Academic Indicator (science, social studies and writing); Growth; Transition Readiness; Graduation Rate; Achievement Gap Closure; and Opportunity and Access. Beginning next fall, each school is expected to be assigned an Overall Rating of one to five stars, based on performance in each of these areas. There is not an overall school score or rating this year.

“We were excited to get our test scores back because we knew the high quality of teaching and learning going on in Hopkins County Schools’ classrooms,” said Andy Belcher, director of assessment. “The measures we use to assess student achievement and growth throughout the school year had indicated most students were doing a good job meeting their goals and learning targets. Of course, there are always opportunities for growth and improvement. After a closer look at our data, we have identified those areas within our district. Plans are already in place to help support teachers in their classrooms and provide students with the necessary interventions to be more successful.”

The state identified 51 schools for Comprehensive Support and Improvement, meaning they are in the bottom 5 percent of schools at their level, or at a graduation rate below 80 percent. None of our schools received that designation.

Five district schools are among 418 in the state that are identified for Targeted Support and Improvement because the school had one or more groups performing below the CSI targets. Earlington Elementary School, Grapevine Elementary School, Hopkins County Central High School, and Madisonville North Hopkins High Schools are identified as TSI for students with disabilities, while Browning Springs Middle School is TSI for students with disabilities and African-Americans.

The district is moving quickly to address this issue, and each of these schools has been provided an additional instructional assistant to help close these gaps.

This year, the state designated schools that were not identified as CSI or TSI as “Other.” Nine of our schools received that designation, which is the highest possible.

Prior to the state of the transition to the new accountability model, Hopkins County Schools was named a Distinguished District for three consecutive years. The state is not using any labels for districts this year.

“Great teaching and learning continue in Hopkins County Schools,” said Superintendent Deanna Ashby. “We have seen in the past how the state comes in and changes the game. In my 27 years in education, I’ve seen that happen more times than people would think. As always, we will focus on meeting the needs of every student while improving student achievement.”