RIPLEY -- The South Tippah School District “was fortunate enough to see several state testing bright spots in a year filled with adapting, adjusting, quarantining and simply put, focusing on the future,” Superintendent Tony Elliott said this week.
State test results were released late last month. A few of those bright spots included the Blue Mountain U.S. History scores ranking 6th in the state in proficiency. Blue Mountain also saw Mrs. Bea Mitchell’s 5th grade ELA test scores rank 6th in the state in proficiency as well, the superintendent said. “What a great accomplishment this is, not only for Blue Mountain School, but for all of South Tippah. Mr. Grisham (U.S. History teacher) and Mrs. Mitchell (5th and 6th ELA teacher) have proven that they are constantly some of the best teachers in the state of Mississippi. We are very blessed that they work in South Tippah, teaching Tippah County’s future leaders.”
Pine Grove and Ripley High School saw an increase in the graduation rates from the previous year as well, the superintendent said. South Tippah also saw impressive test results in the area of Career and Technical Education. The Tippah Career and Technology Center’s welding class ranked 3rd in the state while the Law and Public Safety scores were 7th in the state. The TCTC serves all five county high schools.
“I would personally like to thank every administrator, teacher, parent, student, and school support staff for their hard work in a very trying Covid year. Not only were we able to keep our school doors open during the 2020-2021 school year, we were having school and students were learning,” Elliott said.
State testing was suspended for the 2019-2020 school year, but returned this year with several changes. Third graders had to take the third grade reading/language arts portion of the test, but didn’t have to pass it to be promoted to fourth grade. Additionally, all who took courses with required end-of-year assessments didn’t have to make a passing score to graduate, according to published reports. The various Covid-19 disruptions impacted student performance in every state in the country, according to State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carey Wright.
“This year establishes a new baseline for student assessments. The assessment results “will identify where accelerated learning opportunities for students are most needed,” Dr. Wright said.