Board members applaud student achievement at middle and high school levels
The boardroom had standing room only Thursday night, full to the brim with students and their families gathered to celebrate their recent accomplishments.
• McCracken County Mustangs Middle School Softball, State Champions: The team — 22 girls from Heath, Lone Oak and Reidland — went undefeated at the State Championship, including a 15-1 win in their final game.
• MCHS Women’s Golf Team: Team Region Runner-Up
• MCHS Men’s Golf Team: Team Region Runner-Up
• MCHS student Luke Resser’s film, Plant Boy, was selected for screening at the 2018 All American High School Film Festival (screened in Times Square), as well as a recent STLP competition (screened in University of Kentucky’s Rupp Arena).
Board hears highlights from most recently released state accountability measures
District Assessment Coordinator Melanie Jarvis presented board members with the district’s most recent state assessment and accountability results, stressing that they’re a result of an accountability system in flux.
“This is a transition year, and KDE will tell you that over and over,” she said. “We’re in flux. We are trying to establish a system that is consistent and constant, but this particular year we are still in transition.”
“Overall I can tell you that the response to these scores, the good and the bad, the things that we need to grow, teachers, administrators in this district are working their tails off to do what they can to help kids be successful.”
In high school, she explained, the new accountability system measures the following indicators:
1. Proficiency — ACT Reading and Math subscores from the 11th Grade ACT administered in spring 2018 (current MCHS seniors)
2. Graduation Rate — Percent of students graduating on time (graduating class of 2018)
3. Transition Readiness — Includes (1) Academic Component and (2) Career Component
In Grades 3-8, it measures the following indicators:
1. Proficiency — Reading and Math
2. Separate Academic Indicator — Science, Social Studies, Writing
3. Growth — Reading and Math Proficiency, and English Attainment for ELL students
AT A GLANCE
McCracken County High
• 18th of 168 districts in Proficiency
• 71st of 168 districts in Transition Readiness
• 111th of 168 districts in Graduation Rate (92.9%)
MCPS Middle Schools
• 15th of 173 districts in Proficiency
• 12th of 173 districts in Separate Academic Indicators
• 14th of 173 districts in Growth
MCPS Elementary Schools
• 14th of 173 districts in Proficiency
• 28th of 173 districts in Separate Academic Indicators
• 16th of 173 districts in Growth
• McCracken County High — Graduating Class of ’18 had the highest percentage of all students meeting all four benchmarks on the ACT since MCHS opened (28% compared to only 22% statewide), and the highest average composite score (21.1) since 2016.
• Heath Middle — 75% of all students scored Proficient or Distinguished in Reading; 80% scored Proficient or Distinguished in Social Studies.
• Lone Oak Middle — 85% of 8th graders scored Proficient or Distinguished in Social Studies; 70% of students scored Proficient or Distinguished in Writing.
• Concord Elementary — 85% of 5th graders scored Proficient or Distinguished in Social Studies; 70% of all students scored Proficient or Distinguished in Writing.
• Heath Elementary — 80% of all students scored Proficient or Distinguished in Math, giving them a math proficiency index of 99, the 8th highest index of 743 elementary schools statewide.
LOMS DESIGN UPDATE
Lone Oak Middle School Principal Brent Buchanan got to tour his future school and take board members along with him Thursday night, thanks to a virtual reality visor provided by architects Sherman, Carter and Barnhart.
Buchanan’s view through the visor was projected onto two screens in the board room so that all present could follow along with the principal as the architects walked him through the two-story, split level building, which included a gym that can seat an audience of about 1,000, an auditorium that can seat about 600, multi-use labs, a makerspace overlooking a large library and media center, and lots of natural light.
The new LOMS project is on track for a spring 2021 completion, with plans that summer to move Lone Oak Intermediate into the former middle school, and the school board to move into the former intermediate school to give Reidland Intermediate and Middle room to expand. Construction will begin once the new district bus garage is complete.
Board accepts Preschool Partnership & State Farm grants, together totaling $325,000
Board members officially accepted a two-year, $300,000 grant Thursday night on behalf of McCracken Preschool. The Preschool Partnership grant, offered by the Kentucky Department of Education, is designed to incentivize public/private partnerships between public school districts and childcare centers to collectively improve full day, high-quality programs for at-risk children.
This is McCracken’s third year receiving the Preschool Partnership grant; it will allow McCracken Preschool to continue its successful partnership with Easter Seals to offer quality professional development opportunities and classroom materials to district pre-k teachers, as well as the district’s feeder daycares in the area.
All eight of the area childcare centers that took part regularly in last year’s professional development activities improved their STAR rating scores. District Grant Writer Genevieve Postlethwait said that thanks to a change in the grant rules this year, McCracken Preschool will be able to double the number of childcare centers it can include in the partnership. Last year only secular childcare centers were eligible to participate. This year, church-based centers are eligible to participate, so long as instruction isn’t religious in nature.
The end goal of the partnership is to build relationships among local early childcare workers and educators, and creating a common language among them and creating more consistency for kids.
Board members also officially accepted a $25,000 State Farm Neighborhood Assist grant on behalf of Hendron Lone Oak Elementary. HLOE was one of only 40 schools and nonprofits nationwide to receive the grant this year. The State Farm selection committee narrowed the first 2,000 applications submitted down to 200 finalists, including HLOE, and public voting from Aug. 15 through the 24th determined which 40 projects were chosen. HLOE, as well as local nonprofit Moses Baskets finished in the Top 10, thanks to community support.
HLOE will use the grant to fund security camera upgrades, as well as research-based materials to support the school counselor in offering trauma-informed care and addressing students’ social, emotional and mental health needs.