What a week! As our administrative team was preparing for the return of our teachers on Wednesday, August 3, we received some exciting news from Little Rock. Each year the Arkansas Department of Education releases the annual school improvement reports and classifies each school according to their most recent test scores. This year's report arrived a week early! I am proud to report that all of our schools showed improvement in areas, but there is great cause for celebration at some schools.
While our student achievement data have always indicated high performance as a combined group, we have been challenged by the achievement levels of students in special sub-populations (i.e, minority groups, special education students, low socioeconomic students, etc.)....but that is changing in Arkadelphia! High expectations for all students is the key improving the achievement level of every child in our school district.
We are especially proud to report that Goza Middle School has been removed from the school improvement list in Arkansas! This is a tremendous victory for the Goza team (6 years in the making) and I commend their students, faculty and leadership for this EXTRAORDINARY accomplishment. This announcement proves that data-driven decision making, collaboration, high expectations for all students and clear and focused instruction makes a difference. Congratulations, Goza!
Our elementary schools also saw increases across the district with Perritt, Central and Peake meeting their targets in one or more areas. I especially want to congratulate the Central students, faculty and leadership for meeting standards in math and literacy this year...moving them one step further to eliminating any school improvement label for our two primary schools. Way to go, Team Central!
We will continue to focus on our math and literacy instruction across the district with an emphasis on our End of Course Algebra, Geometry and 11th grade Literacy Exam at AHS. While we are not where we want to be in all areas with all students - our scores are competitive with districts across the state and we rank as one of the highest achieving districts in south Arkansas.
As we begin this year, I want to personally thank and congratulate our instructional team, students and community for your continued dedication to our schools and students. I am proud and honored to be your leader.