Oxford School District scores second highest in state to earn A grade

Published 12:07 pm Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Oxford School District is one of 15 in the state to receive an A rating from the Mississippi Department of Education, according to the 2016-2017 Accountability Results that were released today.

OSD tied with Booneville School District for being the second highest scoring districts — both scoring 705 — behind first-place Petal School District with 734 points.

Last year, OSD scored 745 points and had the highest school district accreditation rating in the state. Schools receive points for performance and growth on statewide assessments and for their graduation rate. Mississippi’s school grading system is designed to inform parents and communities how well their schools and districts are educating students.

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Oxford Elementary, Della Davison Elementary, Oxford Middle School and Oxford High School received the A ratings. Oxford Intermediate School received a B rating.

The A-F grading system is a way to identify how well students are performing in school, especially on tests and assignments. For school or district grades, several factors are taken into consideration.

Such factors include how well students perform on state tests, whether students are showing improvement on those tests from year to year and whether students are graduating within four years. The system also factors in how well schools are helping their lowest-achieving students make progress toward proficiency.

Grades are assigned to schools based on points earned. Schools earn points in several categories, such as performance, growth and graduation rate.

For the district, students scored 53.8 on reading proficiency and 66 in math with an 87.2 graduation rate; however, OSD Superintendent Brian Harvey said 13 students graduated early last year and weren’t counted in state’s numbers.

“That puts us at a more than 90 percent graduation rate,” Harvey said this morning.

Bramlett Elementary, pre-K and kindergarten, scored 495 total points, with a 53.7 in reading and a 74.1 in math; Oxford Elementary, first and second grade, scored 475 points, with a 44.1 in reading and a 64.7 in math; Della Davidson Elementary, third and fourth grades, scored 485 points, with 48.9 in reading and 72.4 in math; Oxford Intermediate, fifth and six grades, scored 426 points, with 54.8 in reading and 62.6 in math; and Oxford Middle School, seventh and eighth grades, scored 426 points, with 54.8 in reading and 62.6 in math.

Oxford High School, ninth through 12th grades, scored 814 points, with 71.7 in reading and 67.8 in math and was the 14th highest scoring high school in the state.

“We are certainly excited about being an A district,” Harvey said. “That proves that the hard work of our teachers, administrators and students has paid off. We’re also excited to be tied for the top two ranking district. Everyone wants to be No. 1. Once you’ve been No. 1, you want to stay there, but we’re excited about where we are.”

Lafayette County schools also scored well, with a B rating, earning 659 points overall. However, Lafayette High School earned an A grade, with 795 total points, and a 53.1 in reading proficiency and a 62.6 in math proficiency. Lafayette’s overall graduation rate is 85.6 percent. All other schools in the district earned a B.

Lafayette County School District Superintendent Adam Pugh said he is proud that the overall scoring for the county is increasing.

“None of us at Lafayette are satisfied with a B rating,” he said. “We are working to achieve an overall rating of A. We are continually focusing on the individual needs of students. We are focusing on learning of individual students. We are looking at the data from each grade level and teacher to see where we need to improve.”

Lafayette Lower Elementary earned 386 points, with a 45.3 in reading proficiency and 31.3 in math; Lafayette Upper elementary scored 433 points, with a 43.2 in both reading and math proficiency; and Lafayette Middle School scored 412 points, with a 44.6 in reading proficiency and a 48.2 in math.