Harlan County Schools make the grade

Published 9:22 am Tuesday, November 28, 2023

The Kentucky Summative Assessment results have been released for the 2022-2023 school year by the Kentucky Department of Education, with the Harlan County School District showing better than average scores overall.

According to a news release, all of Harlan County School District’s overall scores ranked in the green level, just under the top-level blue rating. In the state’s ranking system, there are five colors associated with the scores ranging from lowest to highest: red, orange, yellow, green, and blue.

The Kentucky Department of Education website at https://education.ky.gov explains the Kentucky Summative Assessments (KSA) are yearly assessments given to students in grades 3 through 8, 10 and 11. These assessments provide content area assessments including reading and mathematics, science, social studies, writing, and editing and mechanics.

The Harlan County School District’s overall scores were: Elementary – 74.6, Middle School – 70.9, and High School – 77.6.

“I have never been more proud of the work done by our students, our teachers, and all our support staff than I was when we first received our preliminary assessment results a few weeks ago,” said Superintendent Brent Roark. “This year’s school report card shows some of the best assessment results our overall district has ever produced. On behalf of myself and the entire district staff, we sincerely thank each of you for the time, effort, and dedication that went into each school’s assessment performance efforts. The district scores reflect your commitment to providing the best possible education for all our students.”

Assistant superintendent and assessment director Bristol Belcher was also happy with this year’s results, crediting an uptick in scores to the pandemic winding down resulting in the return to more time in the classroom.

“We were consistently in school last year,” Belcher pointed out. “There is no supplement for students being in front of a teacher. We made leaps and bounds from last year with consistent instruction by having kids in school. Our scores are consistent through the elementary and middle grades and onto the high school.”

Roark mentioned the district’s students and staff have worked diligently to overcome limitations created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Over the course of the last two years, it became clear that many of our students had suffered substantial learning loss due to school closures and through the offering of alternative education options brought on by the COVID pandemic,” Roark said. “It was clear that our students needed in-person instruction from the caring and committed teachers found throughout our district. We struggled to recover at a fast enough pace last year. However, the efforts aimed at academic improvement put forth by each of our principals and their administrative staff, coupled with the willingness to make changes shown by our teachers, are fully validated by this year’s assessment results.”

Roark credited the district’s teachers with helping students overcome classroom losses incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Thank you, teachers, for caring so deeply for our students and equipping them to be able to perform as they did on the KSA assessment,” Roark said.

Scores for individual schools throughout the district were as follows:

• Rosspoint Elementary and Cawood Elementary both received the highest ranking of blue at both the elementary and middle school levels. Cawood Elementary scored 113.7, while Cawood Middle School scored 106.6. Rosspoint Elementary received a score of 83.3 and a 78.8 for the middle grades.

• Black Mountain Elementary received a blue rating for elementary with a score of 83 and a yellow for middle school at 58.1.

• Cumberland Elementary achieved a green rating with scores of 71.7 for elementary and 66.0 for middle school.

• Evarts Elementary and Middle School were both in the yellow range with scores of 66.6 for elementary and 63.6.

• Green Hills Elementary scored a green rating in elementary with 81.6 and a blue in middle school at 97.1.

• Harlan County High School scored 77.6, which is a green level ranking.

• James A. Cawood Elementary ranked green at both levels with an elementary score of 82.6 at the elementary level and a 75.0 score for the middle grades.

• Wallins Elementary ranked orange in elementary with a score of 44.3 and a yellow ranking for the middle grades with a score of 55.4.

For more information, go to www.kyschoolreportcard.com.