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Graves County School District, most individual schools, distinguish themselves on 2014 Unbridled Learning

Six Graves County elementary schools earned the status of Distinguished, the highest designation available, indicating success beyond the Kentucky Department of Education's goals for the 2014 Unbridled Learning Assessment. Another elementary school and Graves County High School both earned the status of Proficient, KDE's goal for schools.

Preliminary data indicated the Graves County School District as a whole had earned the status of Distinguished; however, state officials subsequently found systemic errors affecting a number of districts, changing Graves County's overall status to Proficient at this time. KDE officials believe correction of those errors will restore Graves County's initial rating of Distinguished.

Graves County Central Elementary School ranks in the 99th percentile, indicating Central scored higher than 99 percent of all 720 Kentucky elementary schools. Since growth is always possible and always sought, no school can earn above the 99th percentile, further emphasizing Central's elite status. Central also is designated as a School of Distinction, for having reached or exceeded the 95th percentile and having met all state-set goals. Additionally, Central is classified as a High Progress School, which means it has met all its annual measurable objectives and ranks among the top 10 percent statewide of all elementary schools for academic improvement from the 2013 assessment to the 2014 assessment.

Other Distinguished Graves County elementary schools and their percentile rankings include Symsonia (96th), Sedalia (94th), Lowes (93rd), Fancy Farm (93rd), and Farmington (92nd).

Symsonia earned the Distinguished status for the second consecutive year under Kentucky's Unbridled Learning Education Initiative, which the commonwealth implemented in the fall of 2011.

In addition to their Distinguished status, Fancy Farm, Farmington, Lowes, and Sedalia scored in the 90th to 94th percentile and met their annual measurable objectives, earning the status of High Performing Schools. Six Graves County elementary schools rank at the 90th percentile or higher. "It is remarkable to have just one Distinguished school in a district, but to have this many in Graves County reflects an overall excellence that should make everyone associated with our school district proud," said Superintendent Kim Harrison. "It's a great day to be an Eagle!"

The former Cuba Elementary School ranks as Proficient, at the 86th percentile. Graves County High School ranks as Proficient, at the 77th percentile. Seven Graves County schools rank at the 80th percentile or higher.

"This is a reflection of the Graves County Schools' focus on being student-centered and it is a district-wide effort, not only in academics, but also in attendance, behavior, and graduation rate," Harrison said. "We focus our resources appropriately on what affects students for positive development. Because we work together as a team, we continue that student-centered focus through our principals, teachers, and staff. Regular student assessment throughout the school year pinpoints specific students' needs and we adjust our instruction to those needs."

Graves County Middle School "Needs Improvement," missing the status of Proficient by one-tenth of a point. Wingo's "Needs Improvement," ranking in the 53rd percentile.

"We're using our data to adjust our instruction and do what's best for each student every day," said elementary instructional supervisor Amanda Henson. "I think part of our success is that we are so intentional about it. We realize the value of measuring each student's progress and work hard to adjust our teaching to their learning needs. We have weekly meetings to discuss data. It's very collaborative between the central office, principals, and teachers."

"Naturally, there has been an adjustment period from the CATS (Commonwealth Accountability Testing Systems) era to Unbridled Learning," said Assistant Superintendent Carla Whitis who serves both as secondary instructional supervisor and district assessment coordinator. "We've worked hard to adjust to the new standards and these results show that adjustment has been successful. The ultimate goal is to prepare our students to grow into being adults who are capable, competent, contributors to their communities, who are college and/or career ready when they graduate."

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