(04/17/19) Just like students, school districts get graded on their achievements, growth and qualifications. The Norphlet School District had two schools that saw improvements in the past two years, including the Norphlet Elementary.
“We noticed what students needed to have in order to support them and provide early intervention and that way they can improve their academic and their achievement for our school year,” Bernadette O’guinn said.
O’Guinn is second-year principal at the elementary school. In her first year as the leader, the school saw an improved performance rating.
The Arkansas Department of Education is required to release annual performance reports for every school in the state.
In the 2016-2017 school year, the school was given a “D” for overall performance. In the 2017-2018 report that was recently released, the school improved to a “C”.
They attribute the improvement to being more data-driven.
“We wanted to make sure that the data was driving our instruction and that we were looking at the data every week in grade level meetings to support our students,” O’Guinn said.
Teachers document how their students are performing so that they are meeting students specfic needs. All grade levels at the elementary school are currently focusing heavily on literacy. O’Guinn believes tackling reading first will impact other subject areas.
“We knew that it would really help in improving our student’s achievement,” O’Guinn said.
While she believes focusing on data improves scores. She also believes building relationships improves performance.
“If you put in the time with them and get to know who they are as a student as a person then lead into what their academic needs ares students will work for you,” O’Guinn said.
Parents can see how their child’s school ranks in testing results, graduation rates, absenteeism and discipline. They can also compare their school to other schools in the state.
You can view a school, district or the state report card here.