Natchez-Adams School District presents plans for improvement

Published 12:49 am Wednesday, March 21, 2018


NATCHEZ — If Natchez-Adams School District improvement plans continue with their current level of success, administrators say the district could receive a C grade in 2018.

School administrators presented academic improvement plans early in the 2017-2018 school year, and on Tuesday the same administrators returned to the school board to share how the plans have been enacted.

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School administrators and board organtownembers considered three primary areas in the academic improvement plans: average daily attendance, discipline and test scores.

District-wide attendance has fluctuated but has largely been higher between September and February in the 2017-2018 school year as opposed to the 2016-2017 school year.

The months of September, October and February saw an increase in average daily attendance — at 95.38 percent, 93.83 percent and 91.63 percent, respectively — though the attendance rates dipped in November, December and January.

Superintendent Fred Butcher said the primary causes of the winter attendance dip are bad weather and flu season.

Overall discipline numbers are down for the district, with 3,719 disciplinary actions taken in October to February in the 2016-2017 school year and only 2,808 in the same months of 2017-2018.

Disciplinary actions include in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, alternative placement and expulsion.

The school district has reduced the number of students suspended and placed in alternative education facilities, but the number of expulsions rose from one in 2016-2017 to 11 in 2017-2018.

Out-of-school suspensions dropped by approximately 900 cases, in-school suspensions dropped by approximately 20 cases and alternative placements dropped by 68 incidents.

The number of students scoring proficient in the district’s iReady testing program, too, has increased overall.

Schools tested students at the beginning and middle of the year to gauge the increase or decrease in scores throughout the school year.

Every school except Susie B. West Elementary has raised proficient-score percentages between the beginning-of-year and middle-of-year testing.

Most schools rose between one and two points, except for the Morgantown Middle School, the scores of which rose by four percentage points.

Butcher said if every school stays on track, the district could receive a C rating in the 2017-2018 report.

“I’m very proud of all of our leaders who came here today,” Butcher said. “I want to commend our administrators. This takes a lot of hard work.”

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect that Morgantown is a middle school.