Schools’ scores released

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Elementary scores jump but middle and high schools miss progress mark

By Molly Haines

As the Owen County School District’s Kentucky Core Content test scores came in Thursday, administrator’s across the district had something to be proud of.

As a district, Owen County Schools made adequate yearly progress established by the No Child Left Behind Act, the district met 100 percent of their goals.

Owen County Elementary School made the greatest gains in test scores and increased its score from an 84 to a 96.

“These scores are a prime example of what can happen when administrators, teachers, parents and students all begin working together,” Owen County Elementary School Principal Marlin Gregg said. “This is the highest jump in scores in school history and I’m extremely proud of my teachers and give all the credit to them.”

OCES students made their biggest gains in reading with 20 percent more students scoring proficient or distinguished in reading over last year’s scores and 22 points were gained in on-demand writing.

The elementary school’s scores were above the state average in every area with the exception of mathematics, which fell slightly below the state average, but saw a 10-point gain in scores over the previous year.

Owen County Schools Superintendent David Raleigh said he was proud of the dedication and hard work that brought the students’ scores up.

“Making these kinds of gains in one year speaks to the hard work and dedication shown by our teachers,” Raleigh said. “I am very proud of them for putting the students first and improving their quality of instruction.”

Gregg said he felt his students were able to make these gains by learning what is acceptable work.

“We’ve made classes a little more rigorous,” Gregg said. “We’ve created an environment for learning and we don’t accept work that’s not quality. If a kid turns something in and it’s not quality work, it is given back to that student and he or she starts over. Our teachers are much happier with the way things are going and it has even carried over into behavior.”

Gregg said he felt this achievement is a direct reflection on the community.

“I think it really speaks to the parents’ work ethic and the way they raise their kids,” Gregg said. “We are on the parents’ side and we want what’s best for their kids no matter what it takes.”

Despite the good news at the elementary school, the middle school and the high school failed to make adequate yearly progress in its scores.

According to a statement from the school district, Maurice Bowling Middle School saw a slight decrease in reading and math scores over last year.

“While their math scores were still at level where they were able to meet the federal standards for growth, their reading scores did not show the kinds of improvement necessary for compliance,” the statement said.

“The benchmarks for proficiency increase each year in the areas of reading and math and we simply didn’t make the kind of progress necessary to meet those benchmarks in the area of reading,” Raleigh said.

MBMS math and science scores are still above the state average in mathematics and science.

MBMS on-demand writing scores rose slightly from last year and a slight decline in their science and social studies scores.

Students at Owen County High School saw improvement in their reading scores, but failed to make their adequate yearly progress due to a decline in math scores.

Scores at the high school also fell in science, social studies and writing.

Despite declines, OCHS was still able to achieve scores that placed them above the state average in three out of the five subject areas.

“I have met with all our principals and am confident that we are on the same page as to what instructional pieces we will need to put into place to move all our students and schools toward proficiency. We are in the process of analyzing our current systems and practices for refinement and restructuring where necessary,” said Raleigh.