NASD schools present plans to improve to C rating

Published 12:49 am Thursday, November 16, 2017


NATCHEZ — Schools of the Natchez-Adams School District presented their plans to raise the district’s accountability rating to a C, Wednesday night at a school board meeting.

Each school presented its goal score as well as a breakdown of scores in each of the tested subject areas.

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If the goals from each of the eight schools are met, the district’s overall grade should rise.

“They have really developed some great plans. Simple but efficient,” board member Thelma Newsome said. “I’m praying that when we come back next year their goals have been met. They’re showing us exactly what they’re doing on a day-to-day basis.”

Elementary schools are graded on a 500-point scale, whereas high school rankings are based off of a 1000-point system.

Morgantown Elementary School representative Shemekia Rankin said they hoped to raise the school’s overall score to 280, a D grade. Morgantown was a failing school this year.

Rankin said she would also like to increase student attendance to 95 percent or higher each day and lower disciplinary referrals by 22.34 percent to 650 or fewer.

Frazier Elementary School Principal Orisha Mims said she hopes to raise their score from a D to a C.

Mims said she would like to see a 5-percent decrease in disciplinary referrals, from 479 to 456.

West Elementary School Principal Jessica Rankin said they are hoping for a B, with a rise from last year’s 328 C-score to a 380 this year.

Rankin’s goals for increasing overall student scores includes a plan to increase parent involvement by 25 percent.

McLaurin Elementary School Principal Brittaney Cheatham said she wants a 33-point increase from 409 to 442, which would put the current B-rated school on track for an A score in the next accountability ranking.

Cheatham said she and her staff have a goal of performing 500 walk-throughs by Christmas, and in each walk-through providing staff with feedback on their classrooms.

Natchez Freshman Academy’s Principal Larry Hooper’s goal is a 661, a rise from 558 last year’s C grade. A score of 661 would give the Freshman Academy a B.

Hooper said he has instituted a new policy wherein teachers have to call at least five parents per week. This, he said, is in an effort to increase parental involvement.

Principal Tony Fields of Natchez High School said he is shooting for a rise from 559 to 612, which would keep the high school at a C on the newly implemented grading system in next year’s scores.

Fields said one of his focuses this year is on sponsorship and inviting new business partners with the school district. Fields said he wanted students to be able to visit businesses and colleges to gain skills for entering the workforce.

Natchez Early College Academy, Administrative Assistant Angela Reynolds said, is aiming for a score of 777, up from last year’s 660. The rise would put NECA in the A ranking.

NECA will hold several boot camps and workshops to help raise students’ ACT scores.

“I want to thank everyone for providing the information here tonight,” Superintendent Fred Butcher said. “It’s a matter of making sure we can follow that game plan and be a successful district in the coming year. It’s about the execution.”