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Letter: Silver Grove Superintendent Says Positive Growth Will Come

The following is a letter from Silver Grove Independent Schools Superintendent Dennis Maines:

Stakeholders of Silver Grove Independent School District:

On September 28, 2017, the Kentucky Department of Education publicly made available the achievement data for our district. Kentucky is in the process of phasing out its old accountability system, and replacing it with a new accountability system created under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and KY Senate Bill 1 (2017).

The new system is expected to be in place by the 18-19 school year with accountability first reported in the 19-20 school year. Therefore, in the interim, reporting of data will look different. However, various data points will remain reportable and used to help schools focus on their individual areas of improvement.

SEE PREVIOUSLY: NKY School Districts React to Newly Released State Test Scores

Over the course of the past year, our students and staff have been working diligently to make a positive impact on our achievement results. I am pleased to report that nearly all areas are demonstrating growth. Our elementary reading has decreased its novice performance by 3 percent and also increased its level of proficiency by 6.3 percent. Our middle school reading decreased novice by 19.7 percent and increased it proficient and distinguished percentage by 25.2 percent.

Our elementary math decreased its novice by 14.6 percent and the middle school math decreased novice by 9 percent. Elementary writing decreased novice by 44.6 percent and increased its proficiency level by 21.4 percent. Schools in Kentucky are also awarded points in achievement, gap, and growth. Our elementary increased its achievement points from 23 to 31.5, gap from 16.4 to 41.5, and growth from 29.1 to 36. Our middle school increased its achievement points from 43.4 to 50.2, gap from 21.1 to 63.7, and growth from 41.5 to 53. Due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), many areas of high school accountability are not reportable due to group sizes.

SEE ALSO: NKY's Highs and Lows in State Test Scores

The above information represents a majority of our accountability and the purpose of this letter is to inform all that our students are moving in a positive direction in many areas. All areas of accountability and student achievement will continue to be our focus. In fact, knowing last year that we needed to grow our students, we proactively started this school year with several new initiatives to strengthen our academic expectations in the classrooms and increase our response to intervention. All of our students are currently receiving intervention and enrichment for reading by using Lexia and Reading Plus. Both are research-based programs to increase reading abilities. Through these programs we are already seeing dramatic growth within our students. Next week, we are also starting a similar program to address our needs in math. Furthermore, we have restructured our intervention methods to address our gaps.

Positive results will come from these initiatives.

The administration and staff are committed to help every student learn and grow. As well, the Board of Education is going to continue providing its support, guidance, and leadership as we approach the new accountability system.

In addition to the support the board has provided to the school, they are also keeping their promise to keep school taxes going down by approving a 7.2 cent tax decrease to our citizens for the 17-18 school year.

We are proud of our students and the growth they have achieved. As we move forward in the improvement process, we ask for your support. If you have a child or relative as a student, please encourage them to do their best. Work with them at home when possible and instill upon them high expectations for their personal growth. We are moving students and making a difference. Help us keep our school, city, and community moving in the right direction.

Stay connected on our progress by following us on Facebook at Silver Grove School and Twitter @TheSGRoundHouse

-Dennis Maines is superintendent of Silver Grove Schools

Photo: Dennis Maines in his office (RCN file)