Prairie Grove Schools Get 2017 Re­port Card

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By Lynn Kut­ter

PRAIRIE GROVE — Allen Williams, su­per­in­ten­dent of Prairie Grove School District, briefly dis­cussed let­ter grades the district re­ceived on its lat­est re­port card at last week’s School Board meet­ing but said he wanted to talk about the find­ings in more depth at a later meet­ing.

“I’ve been in rooms with ed­u­ca­tors and very few folks can tell me how this is all fig­ured,” Williams told Board mem­bers at their April 16 meet­ing. “We’re be­gin­ning to learn how it works and how it is scored. I’m kinda learn­ing this on the fly my­self.”

The Arkansas Depart­ment of Education posted let­ter grades for the state’s more than 1,000 schools on its web­site ear­lier this month. Grades range from A to F on the 2017 School Per­for­mance Re­ports.

Prairie Grove Ele­men­tary School re­ceived a C grade and the mid­dle school and high school both re­ceived B’s.

Williams said all grades are based in part on scores from the ACT As­pire tests but dif­fer­ent per­cent­ages are used in cal­cu­lat­ing a grade for ele­men­tary schools ver­sus mid­dle and high schools.

For ele­men­tary schools, 85 per­cent of the grade comes from test scores or im­prove­ment on test scores and 15 per­cent comes from school qual­ity/stu­dent suc­cess, which takes into ac­count such things as stu­dent at­ten­dance, read­ing at grade level, science achieve­ment.

For up­per grades, 35 per­cent is based on achieve­ment on tests, 35 per­cent on im­prove­ment, 15 per­cent on grad­u­a­tion rate and 15 per­cent on school qual­ity/stu­dent suc­cess, which in­cludes ACT com­pos­ite scores and par­tic­i­pa­tion in Ad­vanced Place­ment classes.

He noted the grades are based on the 2017 ACT As­pire tests and schools are just now re­ceiv­ing their re­port cards, about the same time stu­dents are tak­ing the 2018 ACT As­pire tests. The tim­ing did not pro­vide ad­min­is­tra­tors and teach­ers a chance to look at the re­ports to make changes for the next go around of tests, Williams said.

The in­di­vid­ual re­ports show that 3 per­cent of the stu­dents at Prairie Grove Ele­men­tary School are English learn­ers and 46 per­cent are low in­come. The race/eth­nic­ity of the school is 88.8 per­cent white, 4.8 per­cent His­panic/Latino, 3.3 per­cent Amer­i­can In­dian, 2 per­cent Black/African Amer­i­can, 1.1 per­cent Asian.

The mid­dle school’s in­di­vid­ual re­port shows 2.4 per­cent of the stu­dents are English learn­ers and 46 per­cent are low in­come. Race/eth­nic­ity ra­tios are 89 per­cent white, 5 per­cent His­panic, al­most 2 per­cent Black or African Amer­i­can.

At the high school, 3 per­cent are English learn­ers, 38 per­cent low in­come, 91 per­cent white, 5 per­cent His­panic and 1 per­cent Black or African Amer­i­can.

The mid­dle school and high school both had high B’s, Williams said. As far as the ele­men­tary school, he said he be­lieves af­ter school staff are able to an­a­lyze the re­port cards and see what needs to be done, “We’ll be just fine.”

Williams said he sup­ports the process be­cause it al­lows schools to look at them­selves and to see ar­eas that have weak­nesses.

“We’ve got some work to do,” Williams said, “but I think our schools stack up pretty well.”

The Depart­ment of Education based let­ter grades on the new “ESSA School In­dex Scores,” which are nu­mer­i­cal scores cal­cu­lated us­ing for­mu­las de­vel­oped by state education lead­ers and ap­proved by the U.S. Depart­ment of Education. The re­port cards are in re­sponse to the fed­eral Every Stu­dent Suc­ceeds Act of 2015.

The scores take into ac­count stu­dent per­for­mance and im­prove­ment on ACT As­pire ex­ams, stu­dent at­ten­dance, science achieve­ment, read­ing at grade level, grade-point av­er­age, com­mu­nity ser­vice and col­lege en­trance exam re­sults.

LYNN KUT­TER EN­TER­PRISE-LEADER

Han­nah McDon­ald, a math teacher at Prairie Grove Mid­dle School, re­ceived the 2018 Out­stand­ing Arkansas Math­e­mat­ics Teach­ing Award from the Ok­la­homa-Arkansas sec­tion of the Math­e­mat­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion of Amer­ica. She was rec­og­nized by the School Board last...

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