No public school district lost its accreditation this year and nine climbed off probation to resume fully accredited status.

Of the 144 districts that received an accreditation status, 10 were downgraded from accredited to probation status, and eight remained on probation.

Every fall, the Commission on School Accreditation meets to discuss and approve annual accreditation statuses for each public school district. School districts are either accredited, on probation, or withdrawn.

Mississippi Department of Education Chief Accountability Officer Paula Vanderford told the commission the state is working on different proposals to review the existing accreditation model. Currently, a district must be 100 percent compliant in all of the state accreditation policies and standards to receive “accredited” status.

During the meeting, commission members noted several districts were cited for a lack of properly certified and licensed teachers. Vanderford said the department of education recognized that teacher shortages are an issue statewide, and “right now our accreditation system, as you know, is all or none.”

“So you can have one deficiency on record or you can have 32 based on the standards,” she said. “So we know this is an area that we need to review.”

“We’re looking to move away from the all or none and add that threshold of compliance so that one student record in one school in a district with 10 schools does not result in a downgrade.”

If a district is found to be noncompliant, it has to develop a corrective action plan with a specific timeline to address deficiencies.

Districts coming off probation for 2017-18 school year: Benton County School District, Claiborne County School District, East Tallahatchie Consolidated School District, Okolona Separate School District, Scott County School District, Tunica School District, Wilkinson County School District, Winona Public School District and West Tallahatchie School District

Districts downgraded to probation for 2017-18 school year: Calhoun County School District, Coahoma County School District, Coahoma County Agricultural School, Durant Public School District, Humphreys County School District, Jefferson County School District, Leake County School District, McComb School District, Natchez-Adams School District and North Bolivar School District.

Districts which remain on probation for 2017-18: Hazlehurst School District, Kemper County School District, Leland School District, Wayne County School District, West Bolivar School District, Yazoo City School District and Yazoo County School District

The board did not discuss the Jackson Public School District’s accreditation; for now, it remains on probation.

The commission also discussed preliminary state accountability results. Although the official district and school letter grades are embargoed to the public until Thursday, when the State Board of Education meets, state education officials explained how the schools were graded and provided some details on scoring.

This year, 15 schools received an A, 43 received B and C, respectively, 36 received a D and 9 received an F.

Elementary and middle schools were graded on a 700 point scale measured by performance and proficiency in reading, math, and science for all students and low-performing students.

High schools are graded on a 1,000 point scale comprised of growth and proficiency in reading, math, science and U. S. History, as well as graduation rates, college and career readiness, and participation and performance in special courses such as advanced placement and international baccalaureate.

Walt Drane, executive director of student assessment and accountability at Mississippi Department of Education, revealed the 10 highest and lowest performing schools across the state to the commission.

Top 10 elementary and middle schools:

  • Davis Magnet School, Jackson Public School District
  • Bayou View Elementary School, Gulfport School District
  • Lewisburg Middle School, Desoto County School District
  • Enterprise Elementary School, Enterprise School District
  • North Woolmarket Elementary and Middle School, Harrison County School District
  • Desoto Central Middle School, Desoto County School District
  • French Camp Elementary School, Choctaw County School District
  • Center Hill Middle School, Desoto County School District
  • Petal Upper Elementary School, Petal School District
  • West Elementary School, Gulfport School District

Bottom 10 elementary and middle schools:

  • Earl Nash Elementary School, Noxubee County School District
  • Whitten Middle School, Jackson Public School District
  • Brinkley Middle School, Jackson Public School District
  • Humphreys Jr. High School, Humphreys County School District
  • Ruleville Middle School, Sunflower County Consolidated School District
  • Cook Elementary School, Columbus Municipal School District
  • Leflore County Elementary School, Leflore County School District
  • Morgantown Arts Academy, Natchez-Adams School District
  • Blackburn Middle School, Jackson Public School District
  • Rowan Middle School, Jackson Public School District

Top 10 high schools:

  • Lewisburg High School, Desoto County School District
  • Hernando High School, Desoto County School District
  • Poplarville Junior and Senior High School, Poplarville Separate School District
  • Kossuth High School, Alcorn School District
  • Enterprise High School, Enterprise School District
  • Ocean Springs High School, Ocean Springs School District
  • Oak Grove High School, Lamar County School District
  • Pass Christian High School, Pass Christian Public School District
  • Petal High School, Petal School District
  • Desoto Central High School, Desoto County School District

Bottom 10 high schools:

  • Okolona High School, Okolona Separate School District
  • Lanier High School, Jackson Public School District
  • Houlka Attendance Center, Chickasaw County School District
  • Prentiss Senior High School, Jefferson Davis County School District
  • Leflore County High School, Leflore County School District
  • Vicksburg High School, Vicksburg Warren School District
  • Forest Hill High School, Jackson Public School District
  • Coahoma County Junior and Senior High School
  • Wingfield High School, Jackson Public School District
  • Coldwater Attendance Center, Tate County School District

The State Board of Education will approve or deny district and school accountability scores at their meeting Thursday.

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Kayleigh Skinner joined the Mississippi Today team in January 2017 as an education and legislative reporter and advanced to a senior staff member in her four years with the company. Before joining Mississippi Today, Kayleigh worked at The Hechinger Report, Chalkbeat Tennessee, and The Commercial Appeal. She has appeared on MSNBC, NPR, and BBC Newsday Radio to discuss her reporting.

One reply on “Nine school districts come off probation”

  1. IF, and yes that’s a huge IF the districts were OBJECTIVELY keeping track of ACTUAL absences, not one of these districts would ever qualify. MANY students laugh out loud about how SMART they think they are for being able to graduate while missing half a semester’s worth of classes. Believe it, because it’s happening. Too bad the district supes are under pressure to keep their performance indicators up in order to keep their funding flowing. Not one teacher will speak up, because they know that the State Auditor doesn’t have the backbone to pursue it, and risk upsetting a multibillion dollar education budget. Oh, and of course there’s the known fact of the “alternative” proficiencies student’s are allowed to pursue if they don’t pass the required tests. All that is being taught is how to game the system, while the students themselves are being pimped for the state funding to keep flowing to the Educational Industrial Complex.

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