The Carroll County School District is seeing growth in its students. They’re not where they want to be, but they’re realistic about the growth.
During the Carroll County School Board of Trustees meeting, Testing Coordinator Judy Tompkins presented the board members with how the district fared on state tests last spring. In 2017, the district scored a D and the score was unchanged this year.
When Marshall Elementary School Principal Fletcher Harges and J.Z. George High School Principal Coretta Green were asked about this year’s goals, Harges said he wanted to maintain a C but would like to reach a B.
Green stated, “We just want a C,” she said. “It seems low, but we want to be realistic.”
This year, Marshall Elementary scored a C overall with over 300 points, and J.Z. George High School scored a D with over 500 points.
On the third grade reading-gate assessment, of the 78 students tested, 71 passed the first time, one passed it on the retake, five were excused, and one transferred to a different district. Superintendent Billy Joe Ferguson said the state is now raising the third grade score from Level 3 to a Level 4 and that teachers are working harder to ensure their students are able to reach that new level.
Green and Harges said they are using iReady and a new screener at the high school to gage where students are and what they need to improve on.
“Last year, we used a snapshot to see, but I think we’re going to do it more comprehensive to really see where students are,” Green said.
She said it’s hard to have practice tests for high school students because there isn’t anything out there to use in preparation for state assessments on that level.
She said she believes she’s found one that works and it’s helping.
“People say all we do is teach the test, but it’s the truth. We do teach the test because we want to make sure that our students do their best and are prepared,’” Ferguson said.
And there are two students in the district that can prove teaching the test does have its positive points. Before Tompkins’ presentation, the district honored Caleb Rawles and Adraine Calcote for making a perfect score on the writing portion of their English II test.
“I just want to thank Mrs. (Benita) Fluker, I wish she was still here. I wish she was here because she taught us the test. She broke it down for us,” Rawles said. “Not only that, she taught us how to gage time and how much time to take on a question which is helpful on any test that we take and our ACT which the questions are one-minute a questions.”
Tompkins said students scoring in the reading and math with lower growth are improving, but math was an issue throughout the district.
“We have to do something about our math scores,” Tompkins said.
Harges and Green said they are targeting students who are scoring in the Level 1 and Level 2 percentile and are working to move them up to Level 3 and higher.
Green said growth was seen in reading, science, English, history and biology, but math scores were low and had to work harder to improve.
“Math is low, it’s low,” she said.
Ferguson said the state is also factoring in absenteeism into the accountability grade, and the district had a problem with that also.
“Not only are our students missing, our teachers are missing as well,” he said.
Ferguson said if a student misses 10 days of instructional time and a teacher misses 10 days of teaching time, it’s hard for the student to get back those days. And the district had to work on keeping them in class.
Also, the board:
Approved Jan. 7 as a make-up day for the storm damage that came through North Carrollton. Ferguson said he contacted Beat 4 Supervisor Claude Fluker, and Fluker told him that there was damage and it may not be a good idea to run the buses.
Heard for Holly Nester and Sherry Foster, concerned parents at Marshall Elementary, who are pushing for elementary recreational sports.