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AC schools state assessment data released

"Starting Monday, October 24th through November 10th, Parent teacher conferences will take place at Adair schools; families are asked to be looking for announcements from your child's school regarding dates and times."

Assessment results for the 2021-2022 school year are released by the Kentucky Department of Education. These test scores are the first reporting of accountability and federal status, as required by the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) since 2019, due to interruption of the accountability reporting system with the COVID-19 pandemic.

All students in 3-8, plus 10-11 grades were administered the Kentucky Summative Assessment (KSA), previously called the Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress (K-PREP).

The spring of 2022 was the first full administration of these tests, which were developed by Kentucky teachers and aligned with the Kentucky Academic Standards.

According to Kentucky Commissioner of Education, Dr. Jason E. Glass, "As expected, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on our students and our schools as they continue to recover from the interrupted learning that occurred over the past two years. These assessment results will serve as the baseline from which we will move forward as we look to new and innovative learning opportunities for all of Kentucky's students."

Dr. Pamela Stephens, superintendent of Adair County Schools explains, "The data released is our initial look at the new color system rating for each of our schools. Individual student scores were also released and will be going home to families in the next week. It is important for all families to remember that these test results are a single measure of student achievement at one moment, and should be considered in the full context of student learning amidst a multitude of school and home disruptions. When combined with grades, classroom activities and projects, and school and district-level benchmark assessments, the state assessments allow us a better picture of each student's learning over the course of the school year and their path towards academic success."

This year's assessment and accountability report cannot be directly compared to previous years due to significant changes in the assessment and accountability systems. Per Kentucky's 2020 Senate Bill 158, significant changes were made to the statewide accountability system, including:

-Performance based on a combination of academic and school quality indicators and measures, known as "state indicators";

-Requirements that a school's indicators, overall performance, status and change be displayed on an online colored dashboard;

-Requirements that state indicators be evaluated on "status" and "change," and defines the terms: status represents a school's performance for the current year, while change represents the school's performance for the current year compared with the previous year. Change will not be reported until next year.

The state accountability index divides different ranges of scores into color-coded bands ranging from red (low) to blue (very high). Adair County Elementary, Middle, and High Schools all scored in the yellow, or medium, band of student achievement. The accountability index measures the following criteria:

-State academic indicators in reading and math (all students 3-8, 10, 11 grades)

-State academic indicators in science, social studies, and writing (tested once per grade band: elementary, middle, high)

-English Learner Progress (all English Learner students K-12)

-Quality of School Climate and Safety (via survey of all students 3-8, 10, 11 grades)

-Postsecondary Readiness (achieve one measure of college/career readiness upon high school graduation)

-Graduation Rate (High School)

Adair County Elementary, along with Adair County Primary Center, had a combined accountability index of 54.3; Adair County Middle School had an accountability index of 55.2; and Adair County High School had an accountability index of 60.7.

Adair County Middle and High School are both above the state average in scores, with Adair County High School being one of 144 high schools across the state with a "high" or "very high" graduation rate, out of a total of 397 high schools. Compared to 15 other regional* districts, Adair County Primary Center/Adair County Elementary ranks 10th; Adair County Middle ranks 8th, and Adair County High ranks 12th. Adair County High's graduation rate is 6th in the region.

Sarah Hatton, District Assessment Coordinator stated, "Looking at this data, we are proud of the gains we have seen in individual levels, but are aware of the room we still have for growth. Over the next few weeks, administrators, teachers, and staff will be meeting in professional learning communities to develop action plans for specific areas of improvement."

Each school principal also had additional feedback regarding their schools' performance:

Although Adair County Primary Center does not have students assessed in individual subject area exams, they are still included in state accountability as the feeder school for Adair County Elementary. Principal Debbie Bradshaw stated, "ACPC's community of learners and leaders has continued to grow even as they struggled with reintegrating into normalcy. Our students have overcome much and propelled themselves forward successfully as confirmed by their remarkable reading and math growth. Spring 2022 MAP (a district benchmark assessment) scores evidenced that 73% of ACPC students met their projected growth goal in math and 61% bounced back strongly to meet their reading growth goals. K-2 enrollment is at an all-time high and our preschool program has grown to add another class.

Even as we celebrate accomplishments, we analyze and adjust to build momentum in our growth. Our goal is for 100% of students to meet their goals and so we continue to target both non-academic and academic needs daily with a whatever it takes attitude because Adair County children deserve the best."

Sommer Brown, principal of Adair County Elementary School, is grateful for a return to normal instruction, and confident in continued improvement, as she explains, "Academic success and growth over the last four years has been extremely difficult to measure. In the 18-19 school year, ACES students produced the most impressive test scores in the school's history. The 19-20 school year will forever be marked by the appearance of COVID-19 and distance learning. When the test returned in the spring of the 20-21, it was a new test with a new format and scoring system. Without question, student learning was negatively impacted by the loss of in-person instruction.

The good news is that things are, in fact, returning to normal. The 20-21 test and the 21-22 test were comparable tests, allowing us to track our progress with validity. The even better news is that the 21-22 data shows improvements in every single area (% of proficient/distinguished scores increased by 10.5 points in reading, 13.4 points in math, 12.1 points in writing, and 3.6 points in science). While we can't say that the overall scores are representative of the kind of success we strive for, we can say that we are headed in the right direction! The gap between the scores of students with disabilities and the scores of those without disabilities remains a concern and an area of focus.

Regardless of how many changes we have gone through, one thing remains. We, at ACES, love our students. We can proudly say that COVID did not make an impact on the care we give our students. Of all the testing data we receive from the state, the school climate survey provides some of the most valuable information. Ninety-six percent of our students agreed with the statement, "My school is a caring place." Our plan is to continue making the care of our students our daily mission, and we are working diligently to ensure our students grow academically."

Principal Rodney Morgeson states a school-wide focus on positive relationships allows for their continued improvement: "Adair County Middle School is proud of the academic growth we've seen with the release of the state assessment scores. Our overall score shows growth in multiple content areas over previous years. When surveyed, 76.9% of our students feel there is an adult they can go to when they have something to say and need support. Building a positive rapport with our students is a major priority at ACMS. 74.2% of our students tell us teachers make them feel welcome in their class and 74.5% of the students feel comfortable asking a teacher for help on school work. This tells us our students feel loved, safe and cared for while in our building and is excellent news after the past few years.

We believe ACMS is a great place to learn, grow and become a leader. One focus area is the gap between students with disabilities and those without. Our goal is to always show growth for all students and to close this gap over time. We are developing a comprehensive strategic plan that will include research based instructional strategies to improve learning in all areas."

Chad Parnell, principal of Adair County High School states, "At ACHS, we were pleased to see our writing scores and graduation rate continue to be strengths for our students. Other test scores are mostly what we expected and are evident of the loss of learning opportunities through COVID restrictions. We know we have room to improve and look forward to ensuring that we are providing students with skills needed to be successful after graduation."

Additional information regarding state assessment results can be found online at Adair County's School Report Card. Individual student assessment reports will go home with all students 3-8, 10, 11 grades over the next few weeks. Parent teacher conferences will take place at schools Oct 24-Nov 10; please be looking for announcements from your child's school regarding dates and times.

*Regional districts for comparison include Adair County, Barren County, Campbellsville Independent, Casey County, Caverna Independent, Clinton County, Cumberland County, Glasgow Independent, Green County, Hart County, LaRue County, Metcalfe County, Pulaski County, Russell County, and Taylor County.

This story was posted on 2022-10-23 23:54:54
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