Schools in the Paris School District got a C grade when the Arkansas Department of Education released report cards for every school in the state last week.
County Line Elementary School got an A grade while County Line High School got a B grade. Schools in the Scranton School District got B grades. Magazine High School got a B grade while the elementary school in the district earned a C. Booneville High School and Booneville Junior High School each got a C while Booneville Elementary School got a D.
The reports, which reflect information from the 2016-17 school year, highlight student academic achievement and growth, graduation rate, school quality and student success for public schools in the state, according to a Department of Education news release.
Paris School Superintendent Wayne Fawcett said the grades earned were the first using ACT Aspire, the state-mandated assessment program and there was no need to panic about the scores.
“We’ve had three different assessment programs in the last three years,” he said. “No parents should be concerned. We expect to improve in the future and we want to. A grade of C is not acceptable, it’s just where we started under the new assessment program.”
Fawcett also said each school in the district scored in the upper range for each grade with the exception of Paris Elementary School. Paris High School for a score of 70.25. The range for a C grade was 65.98 to 73.46. Paris Middle School scored a 71.27 and the C range for middle schools was 65.93 to 72.57. Paris Elementary School for a score of 64.38 and the elementary school range for a C grade was 62.78 to 69. 57.
Most schools in the state grade a C, according to ADE.
“In the state, 374 schools got a grade of C,” Fawcett said. “That’s about 37 percent to 39 percent of the schools. We should become more experienced with this assessment program going forward and this shows us things we need to work on.”
Fawcett also said some recent awards won by Paris High School and Paris Middle School show the schools are headed in the right direction.
“Paris Elementary School recently won a RISE (Reading Initiative for School Excellence) Award,” Fawcett said. “It was one of only two to get the award located in our educational services cooperative area. Paris High School has won an advance placement award, one of only eight schools in the state to win that award.”
A news release announcing the grades even sounded a note of caution about how they should be viewed.
“While comprehensive, the performance reports are just one tool parents, schools and communities can use to determine student and school success. The tool should be used to encourage ongoing communication between all stakeholders as they work together to improve education for all students,” a news release states.