Schools get consolidation reprieve





Special to the Chickasaw Journal


OKOLONA –Okolona Superintendent Dexter Green said recently he was well satisfied with the district’s results on the Mississippi Department of Education’s third grade reading test score report.

The Mississippi Department of Education has released scores from an initial, first and final retest from district's across the state, including Okolona.

“I’m pleased with the results, but we’ll keep working to improve them. We went from 62 percent who passed on our initial try to 81 percent on the second attempt. With good cause exemptions, we had 91 percent of third graders eligible for promotion to fourth grade," Green said.


The state-required reading test measures reading proficiency of third-grade students. Those who do not pass are retained.

This is the first year of the reading gate, established by a 2013 law requiring students who score at the bottom achievement level on the test to be held in third grade for a second year. Students took the new exam during April, and the State Board of Education approved its cut score on in mid May.


State figures indicated that 92.34 percent of students statewide passed the test, while 7.66 percent failed.


"We had approximately 20 percent of our third graders on Individualized Educational Plans last school year,” said Green. “That is a relatively high number of students requiring intensive reading interventions. I am very proud of the teachers, students, and administrators at Okolona Elementary."


Those who received good-cause exemptions were still tested to measure their literacy ability. Those students included special education students who have Individualized Educational Plans.


School administrators, teachers, and parents are working together to ensure that third grade students are better prepared for the Third Grade Reading Gate this school year.


“We are encouraging our parents to spend more time reading to and listening to their child read at home. It is our goal as a school district to exceed the state passing average on the Third Grade Reading Summative Assessment," the superintendent concluded.




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