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Oxford, Lafayette School Districts receive A ratings from Mississippi Department of Education

Both Oxford and Lafayette County School Districts have received A rankings from the Mississippi Department of Education.

The rankings, released on Thursday, are based on accountability results from the 2017-2018 school year.

For Oxford, it marks the sixth-straight year for the district to receive an A. OSD also improved their overall point total from 705 to 718, placing the district as the fourth-highest scoring district in the state behind Enterprise School District, Petal School District and Ocean Springs School District.

The Lafayette County School District earned 687 points, the twelfth-highest district in the state. The A rating is the first awarded to LSCD since the Mississippi Department of Education began awarding letter grades in 2012.

“All of our teachers have worked extremely hard. This has been our goal and we have worked over the past several years to achieve this goal,” LCSD Superintendent Adam Pugh said. “What we want to do now is maintain this and we want to keep working harder to get our scores better and better. We know that if we think we’ve ever made it to the top then there’s only one way to go, so we want to keep pushing and get better and better.”

Each year, schools are given points for their overall performance and growth on statewide tests, as well as a district’s graduation rate. High schools are graded on a 1000-point scale, while elementary and middle schools are graded up to 700 points.

A ratings for high schools begin at 754 points, 442 for middle and elementary schools and 668 points for school districts.

The grades and points awarded to each school and district are determined by several categories, including improvement on state tests from year to year, if students are graduating within four years and how well schools are doing in helping their lowest-achieving students make progress towards proficiency in reading, math, history and science.

Each school is awarded a point total and a letter grade, which are then averaged to determine the overall point total and letter grade for the school district.

In the Oxford School District, Oxford High School (763), Bramlett Elementary (637), Della Davidson (603) and Oxford Elementary (559) all received A ratings. Oxford Middle School (441) and Oxford Intermediate (435) each received a B.

For LCSD, Lafayette High School (771), Lafayette Upper Elementary (489) and Lafayette Elementary School (465) all were given an A, Lafayette Middle School (440) earned a B.

“The grading scale works by holding all schools to the same expectations and clearly communicating the results to parents and the community. Once again, our students, teachers, staff, and administrators earned an “A” rating through their hard work and dedication to excellence and are to be commended. Excellence requires us to act; therefore, we cannot grow complacent. Our district continues to work to close the achievement gap by helping low-achieving students make progress toward proficiency,” OSD Superintendent Brian Harvey said in a statement released by the district.

In the Oxford School District, 68.5 percent of students are proficient in reading, 61.9 percent are proficient in math, 73 percent are proficient in history and 80.3 percent in science according to the MDE’s standards.

In the LCSD, 48.7 percent are proficient in reading, 60.1 percent are proficient in math, 58.7 percent are proficient in history and 80.4 percent are proficient in science.

In graduation rates, Lafayette saw a 1.1 percent decrease from 2017 with 84.4 percent of students earning a degree. Oxford, however, saw a 2.4 percent increase in graduates, with 89.6 percent of students receiving their high school diploma in four years.