The third year of the statewide accountability model, "Unbridled Learning/ College and Career Readiness for All" released 2013-2014 accountability information on Friday, October 3. Hickman County Schools has increased its overall score and is now a Proficient School District and continues to show progress across all grade levels. "It's a good time to buy stock in the Hickman County School District," said Casey Henderson, Superintendent of Hickman County Schools.
Hickman County High School continues to be a "School of Distinction." Schools of Distinction are recognized as having scores from the 90th to 99th percentile in the state. High Schools across Kentucky are evaluated based on 20 percent splits of Achievement, Gap, Growth, College and Career Readiness and Graduation Rates. The focus at HCHS is to prepare students to be successful beyond high school.
The Falcon Academy is a dual credit program which allows students to earn college hours while still in high school. The Falcon Academy has set a tone of high academic standards and has expanded students' opportunities. Students are encouraged and supported as they participate in other College and Career Readiness programs.
The College and Career Readiness Scores at Hickman County High School increased from 26.4 (140th in the state) in 2009-2010 to 70.0 (3rd in the state) in 2010-2011 to 91.8 (3rd in the state) in 2011-2012. In 2012-2013, HCHS scored 98.7 which represented the highest College and Career Readiness Score in the state of Kentucky.
The most recent College and Career Readiness score for Hickman County High School is 100.0. (This includes bonus points that the school received for having many students both college and career ready.) The new score is a credit to the teachers, the principal, the support staff, central office and anyone else who played a role in student success.
Mr. Kevin Estes, principal of Hickman County High School, said, "I am very excited where Hickman County High School is at overall according to our school report card. We are doing many things well plus there are areas we need to improve. My goal is to celebrate the successes and continue to make progress to make Hickman County High School the best high school in the state of Kentucy! These students and teachers have worked very hard to get us to this point and we will need this continued effort with focus and purposeful teaching and learning. It is a great day to be a Falcon!!!"
Teachers focus on meeting the needs of each and every student in the high school. Hickman County High School was also above the state average in the gap component and achievement component in reading, math, science, writing and language mechanics. The gap student group consists of minority students, students with disabilities, students on free/reduced lunches, and those with limited English proficiencies.
Hickman County Middle School is making great gains. The school is in the Needs Improvement/Progressing Category with an overall score of 64.6 (60th percentile). Middle school scores are comprised of Achievement, Gap, Growth which account for 28 percent each along with College and Career Readiness which is 18 percent. Faculty members are working to find ways to ensure that all students are making progress toward academic goals.
At Hickman County Middle School, success was apparent in the area of College and Career Readiness. Students scored above the state average overall. The College and Career Readiness component in middle school is based on student scores on the EXPLORE (ACT) test results. Students were above the state average in the areas of English, Reading and Math on the EXPLORE test. On the KPREP test which contributes to the achievement component, Hickman County Middle School was above the state average in Science and Social Studies.
"I am super happy with the middle school teachers improving the test scores from the 21st percentile in the state of KY to the 60th overall. That tells me volumes with the time and effort the students and teachers have put in to make sure our kids are being successful. Just like the high school we will celebrate the successes but we know that there is much needed improvement at the middle school level. In the first nine weeks I have seen the teachers and students put forth intentional and purposeful teaching and learning. With these efforts and setting goals for this year, I truly believe you will see greater gains in the middle school scores. The middle school was only .3 from being a Proficient school and I do believe we will make strides to reach that important level and then set our sights on being a Distinguished school," stated Mr. Estes.
Hickman County Elementary School also demonstrated improvement. The school is classified in the Needs Improvement/Progressing Category with an overall score of 67.0 (59th percentile). For elementary schools, achievement and gap each comprise 30 percent and growth is 40 percent of the total score. Instructional programs target the needs of individual students to monitor and to enhance their educational experience. In the area of growth (combined reading and math scores), Hickman County Elementary exceeds the state average, which demonstrates the attention teachers are giving to each and every child. Also, in the area of achievement, Hickman County Elementary scored above the state average in Science, Writing and Language Mechanics. 4th grade science scores were especially impressive with 80% of the fourth graders scoring either proficient or distinguished. The focus at HCES is to increase student engagement in educational activities. Teachers are focused on aligning instruction to the Common Core Standards.
Mr. Richard Todd, Hickman County Elementary Principal, said, "The improvement shown by Hickman County Elementary is further proof that we have a great faculty and staff at HCES. Combine that with our wonderful students and outstanding community support, and it's a recipe for success. We will continue to show improvement this year as our students, teachers and staff continue to work hard at making Hickman County Elementary the best school in Kentucky."
Programs Reviews for Arts and Humanities, Practical Living and Career Studies, Writing and the Primary Program are now included in Kentucky's Accountability Model. The Program Review scores are 23% of each district and each school's overall score. The faculty and staff worked diligently to document and implement the requirements for the Program Review. Hickman County High School, Hickman County Middle School and Hickman County Elementary School had an overall Program Review Score of Proficient.
"I am so impressed with how each school is working together to keep pushing all students forward. Our schools are never satisfied with good enough; it has become a culture of 'whatever it takes' to meet each and every child's needs," stated Jan B. Johnson, Director of District-wide Programs.