WAC gets A accountability grade
The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) awarded Wesson Attendance Center (WAC) an A accountability grade for the 2022-23 school year, joining West Lincoln, which was graded similarly, as the highest graded school in Lincoln and Copiah Counties.
Statewide student assessment data make up a large part of accountability grades. In 2022-23, the overall percentage of students scoring proficient and advanced reached an all-time high in mathematics, English Language Arts (ELA), science and U.S. History.
“This year’s school and district grades provide further evidence that Mississippi teachers, school leaders and staff have done an outstanding job helping students accelerate learning after the disruptions of the pandemic,” said Dr. Raymond Morgigno, interim state superintendent of education. “I am confident our schools will build upon these achievements so that all students are proficient and prepared for success after high school.”
Throughout the state, 87 percent of schools and 91 percent of districts earned a grade of C or higher.
The components of the state’s accountability system are based on state and federal law and State Board policy. They include:
Growth of the lowest performing 25% of students in ELA and Mathematics.
Science proficiency in grades 5 and 8.
English Learner progress toward becoming proficient in the English language.
Performance on the ACT and high school Algebra I, English II, Biology and U.S. History assessments.
Student participation and performance in advanced coursework such as Advanced Placement and dual credit/dual enrollment courses. Four-year graduation rate.
For their performances in these categories, MDE awards up to 700 points to elementary and middle Schools and up to 1,000 points to high schools and districts, with up to 380 points awarded for growth.
In the Copiah-Lincoln County area, Brookhaven School District (619 points), Copiah County School District (623 points) and Hazlehurst School District (605 points) received B accountability grades. Lincoln County School District earned an A with 684 points – the only district in Southwest Mississippi graded as highly.
B-graded schools in the area were Bogue Chitto, Brookhaven Elementary, Brookhaven High School, Crystal Springs High School, Enterprise, Hazlehurst Elementary, Hazlehurst Middle, Lipsey Middle, Loyd Star and Mamie Martin Elementary. Alexander Junior High School earned a C.
For it’s a grade, Wesson Attendance Center earned 776 points, showing student proficiency rates of 50.5 in reading, 69 in math, 77 in history and 70 in science; and an 89.7 graduation rate.
The grades statewide are an improvement over 2021-22, when approximately 81% of schools and 87% of districts were rated C or higher. In 2016, when the Mississippi State Board of Education set a goal that all schools and districts be rated C or higher, the percentage of schools and districts meeting this goal were both 62%.
Since 2020, school districts and the state have invested federal pandemic-relief funds in programs and services to overcome pandemic disruptions and accelerate student learning. The additional funds enabled districts to pay for extended learning days, tutorial services and intensive interventions, among other supports. State investments include the Mississippi Connects digital learning initiative, which provided all students with a computer device, and services including on-demand tutoring, high-quality digital curriculum subscriptions and digital learning coaches for teachers. Pandemic-relief funds for these services will end in September 2024, and school districts will be responsible for paying for any services they wish to continue.
Mississippi’s accountability grades help teachers, school leaders, parents and communities know how well their local schools and districts are serving their students.