The state has released the test results for last year’s accountability system and has implemented a new star rating system on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. We are proud to share that the Lee County High School has been named a 4 star school on this new system. The stars are assessed at the high school level based on 4 categories: Proficiency (reading and math scores), Separate Academic Indicator (science and on-demand writing scores), Transition Readiness (college and career readiness), and Graduation Rate. Our high school scored very high in the transition category as we offer several dual credit courses and our Area Technology Center provides our students with many opportunities to learn hands on skills to help them be prepared for a technical college or be ready for the work force.
Both Lee County Elementary School and Lee County Middle School earned 2 stars on the scale, with the elementary school just missing a 3 star rating by one point and the middle school by three tenths of a point. Schools at the elementary and middle school level are scored on three categories: Proficiency (reading and math scores), Separate Academic Indicator (science, social studies, and on-demand writing scores), and Growth (how well the students performed one year compared to the previous year in reading and math.)
As superintendent, I recognize the ratings for our elementary and middle school are not where we want them to be. However, I don’t want our students, staff, or community to focus on the stars - I want them to reach for the stars. I want our student to know that they can do anything they want to in life and I want our staff and community to focus on how we can help students reach any goal they have. While we have to review the test scores, celebrate our strengths, and find solutions to our areas of weakness, test scores should not be our main focus or define us. Our goal is to focus on the individual needs of every student. Our staff is working to individualize the learning in each classroom. We are working to find the strengths of the individual student and build upon the strengths as well as determine the individual needs of each student so we can fill in the gaps and enable them to reach their full potential.
We have purchased a complete reading series for grades K-2 at our elementary school in an effort to close the gaps students have with reading. This will build a foundation of success as students should go into the 3rd grade being strong readers. We are implementing a consistent math program throughout the elementary school and building on those skills when they get to the middle school. We are making the shift from teacher directed learning to student centered, active learning, to engage our students and help them learn the way they learn best to become problem solvers and critical thinkers. We are making changes we believe will help every student succeed.
I am proud of the effort I have seen by our teachers as I have visited classrooms. They are all working hard to prepare our students and we are making the adjustments that we need to in order to see success in all schools. I look forward to the work ahead and fully believe that we can achieve our vision of creating a successful future, one student at a time.