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Superintendent Comments on Covington Schools' Low Test Scores

One week after Kentucky's newly released state test results showed that Covington Independent Public Schools scored at the very bottom in the Commonwealth, Superintendent Lynda Jackson has commented via her weekly newsletter:

The turning autumn leaves and crisp temperatures are vivid reminders of the passage of time, and it's difficult to believe that the first quarter of the school year already is over.  The results of the new state assessment scores were released last week.  We continue to work diligently every day for our students, but we still have much work to do.   

Our new test results provide many questions intertwined in a mixed bag of information that we all will be using to drill down to the individual student to revise our improvement and acceleration plans.  On the plus side, we are playing a new ball game. 

Unfortunately, we fell short in most areas. When looking at rankings, only a few points separate many of our schools.  For example, under the old system Glenn O. Swing Elementary School was ranked in the 78th percentile. Under the first year of the new assessment, the school is in the 19th percentile. If Glenn O had just 14 more points, it  would be in the 70th percentile. Throughout the state, 377 elementary schools are separated by these 14 points (GOS ranked at 595 of 733 and scored 48.8. The last school in the 70th percentile is ranked 218 and scored 62.7). So every tenth of a point matters.

We are in our second year of implementing both the Math In Focus and Springboard curriculum.  Both programs are used across Northern Kentucky and throughout the state.  We must continue to teach these programs to fidelity. We must also ensure that the Common Core Standards are taught and the work that students produce meets standards.Our acceleration blocks must have a sense of urgency and when students move into our schools not meeting standards, we must immediately begin acceleration.  Every minute of every day must be used for teaching and learning.  Ongoing review of content must be part of the day when students are lining up and transitioning to different activities.  

John Quincy Adams is reported to have said, "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." We all must be leaders. The responsibility for solving our problems falls on the shoulders of everyone who works in the district.  

Other items from Jackson's newsletter:

  • KUDOS to the Holmes High School ROTC cadets for an outstanding job presenting the colors during Monday's October 29 Gateway event.  We are proud of the Holmes cadets for their ongoing work and involvement in the community.   
  • KUDOS to Ben Nevels, a teacher Holmes High School, for assisting the Alzheimer's Association women's flag football event. Ben dedicated many days and hours to helping the teams practice and get ready for the game on November 10. Truly, this is an act of service above and beyond all he does on a daily basis in the schools.
  • KUDOS to Elaine Bolte and the school nurses for organizing the flu vaccines for the district.
  • KUDOS to Sixth District Elementary School staff for their great Red Ribbon Week assembly and parade on Friday, October 26.
  • KUDOS to Abby Moore, a junior at Holmes High School, for being named to the All District Tournament Team in Volleyball.
  • KUDOS to Sergio Olvera Vancini, a freshman at Holmes High School, for being selected to the 2012 Northern Kentucky High School Boys Soccer Coaches Association All-Star Team.
  • KUDOS to Health Services staff for going the extra mile to help get sports physicals completed for the elementary and middle school students. A special thanks to Lois McCubbin and HealthPoint Nurse Practitioner, Brandy Andrew, for working together to complete 18 physicals in one day in time for the first game

Upcoming events in the district:

  • Superintendent Awards, Latonia Elementary School, Thursday, 7:15 a.m.
  • Covington Board of Education meeting, James E. Biggs Early Childhood Education  Center, Thursday, 5 p.m. 
  • Latonia Elementary School Veterans Day Observance, Friday, 10 a.m.
  • Mayors Challenge Early Grade Reading, Friday, 11:30 - 1:30 p.m., The Grand