By Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times
Carter City and Star elementaries, both of which have been recognized as Blue Ribbon schools of distinction, continued to hold high standards and score high marks – even with the pandemic impacting instruction delivery.
The schools were both classified as blue, or a high performing school, based on their 2021-2022 Kentucky Academic Standards (KAS) scores.
Star principal Charles Baker and Carter City principal Jo Ashworth both said the lingering impact of COVID had them concerned about how their schools would do. But, they said, their staff rose to the challenge and their students were able to succeed.
“We were worried about it, because we were off so much, but we did very well,” Baker said.
Students at Star scored above the state and the district scores in all areas tested, Baker told the board. He said that 94 percent of their third graders scored at proficient/distinguished levels in mathematics, 75 percent of their fourth graders scored at that level in reading, and 66 percent of their fifth graders were proficient/distinguished in combined writing.
Prichard Elementary principal Jason McGlone told the board that enrollment was up at Prichard, with an additional 60 students joining the school over the last year. While his school was also “on the right side of the bell curve” when it came to rankings, he said, they were using their test scores to help identify areas of improvement to focus on.
That was something all the principals, even those scoring at higher levels, said they were focusing on.
East Carter Middle School reported they had several students scored distinguished in all levels, with 11 sixth graders, two seventh graders, and two eighth graders earning that distinction. Principal Aaron Baldwin, whose school hosted the last meeting of the school board, reported that 40 percent of his students scored proficient/distinguished in reading, 40 percent in math, 26 percent in science, 36 percent in social studies, and 56 percent in combined writing.
Baldwin also highlighted some extracurricular achievements, highlighting all district band participants and KY International Youth Art Exhibition winners, in addition to athletics. He noted their seventh grade football team were conference runners-up and noted the first season of ECMS wrestling. He gave special thanks to the West Carter middle and high school wrestling programs for being “very supportive” during his school’s inaugural season.
East High School reported scores “at or above average” in all state testing areas, with a green rating. They are focusing on improving as well, specifically in the areas of science, social studies, and writing.
“We’re happy, but there is room for improvement,” principal Kelley Moore told the board.
In other action the board discussed the bus driver shortage (see Driver Shortage in this edition), approved site surveys for potential school sites, and approved other action by consent items.
The board also recognized Bill Billman for being honored as the 2022 Building Assessment Coordinator of the Year, and approved a motion to move the location of the next board meeting. Instead of meeting at West Carter Middle School, as originally planned, the board will meet at the Career and Technical Center, for an open house to highlight new materials and programs prior to the board meeting. The district will hear reports from the remaining schools at that meeting.
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