Shepherdsville Elementary School (Source: James Thomas, WAVE 3 News)
Jan Stone (Source: James Thomas, WAVE 3 News)
SHEPHERDSVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Transitioning from child to teenager makes for some tough growing pains. But the 2015-2016 K-PREP results show that middle schools have seen some of the larger gains in Bullitt County's overall scores.
"It goes to focus and to leadership," said Jan Stone, Data Assessment & Research Director for the Bullitt County Public Schools.
Bullitt Lick, Hebron and Zoneton Middle Schools all were on the needs improvement list last year. This year, Bullitt Lick's overall score jumped 16.5 points, to 67.8. Zoneton rose 16 points to 68.4 and Hebron Middle is up 9.9 points, to 68.9.
"All three are progressing, Bullitt Lick and Zoneton are "high-progress," Stone said. "We also increased our percentage of Proficient or Distinguished students in four of the five content areas."
Overall, the Bullitt County district ranks Proficient for the fourth straight year. Composite scores for the ACT (American College Test) - an exam frequently used to determine college admissions - also rose to 19.9 (on a 36 point scale).
That ranks Bullitt County 41st among Kentucky school districts, up from 69th last year and 97th in 2008; good enough for the top quartile.
All three high schools rank Proficient. Bullitt East kept its Distinguished ranking from last year.
Freedom Elementary's score of 82.7 (up 12 points from last year) ranks it as a School of Distinction; among the top five percent of the Commonwealth's K-6 schools. Cedar Grove (73.3) and Mt. Washington (75.1) also rank as Distinguished Elementary Schools.
But K-PREP classified six of the thirteen elementary schools as 'Needs Improvement.' Shepherdsville Elementary (50.7) dropped 8.1 points. Only about one-third of its students ranked Proficient or Distinguished in Mathematics and Language Mechanics. Fewer than one-fifth (19.5 percent) reached that level in reading.
"We're developing specific Novice Elimination Plans," said Adrienne Usher, Elementary Schools Director. "We're working with the Bellarmine Academy to focus more on reading. Better readers make better writers. Better writers make better students in all subject areas.
Administrators also will be working to improve high school graduation rates, which slipped almost a full point, to 87.9 percent. Bernheim Middle School (60.7) fell short of holding its Proficient ranking for the fourth consecutive year, losing 3.5 points to rate 'Needs Improvement.'
"We're raising the bar for all our schools," Stone said. "We're getting there, and were learning more about what we need to do to get there."