Whitesburg KY

Jenkins school officials pledge improvement in test scores

The Jenkins Independent Board of Education Federal Programs Director Sherry Wright, who is in charge of state and federal testing, told the board last week that that the district is definitely not where it wants to be on test scores, but it is making progress.

Superintendent Mike Genton agreed, saying that in the current tests, where the top rating is five stars, the district’s performance is “not there.” “But I am confident we will see progress next year.” Genton added that he will give an update on MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) Testing in January. MAP assessments are computer adaptive achievement tests in math and reading, and the difficulty of the questions is based on how well students answer them on previous tests. MAP testing reveals growth between tests and is closely tied with progress on standardized tests.

Data for Jenkins Schools was separated into Elementary, Middle and High School. The Overall Score for Elementary was 48.3, a two-star rating. Elementary Proficiency was 55.1 percent and Growth was 46.3. The Middle School Overall Score was 59.3 with a three-star rating and 67 percent proficiency. Growth was 50.6. The High School Overall Score was 53.7 with a two-star rating. Growth was not scored, but Transition Readiness (the ability to move forward) was rated at 50.8 and Proficiency was rated at 47.7. Jenkins High School had a 90.6 graduation rate.

Proficiency is based on student performance on Reading and Math Tests. Growth is based on student academic scores from one year to the next in reading and mathematics. Tran- sition Readiness reveals how students demonstrate either academic or career readiness. Graduation rate is based on students who graduate in four or five years from high school. Complete results are at the school offices.

In other business, the board approved its annual financial report so it can be forwarded to the Kentucky Department of Education for its approval. The report is a yearly synopsis of a school district’s financial activities approval. In a related matter, Genton reported that the General Fund stands at $901,697.42. District Financial Officer Candala Gibson was absent due to jury duty and Genton said a complete financial report will be available when she returns.

Genton told the board that the recent building improvements are now complete and two payments of $22,801 and $15,817.70 to Trace Creek Construction, the contractor which performed the work, just about completely depletes the state funds that were allocated for the work. He praised Trace Creek for helping install a curb to prevent cars from running into the creek. He said the cost of building a curb would have been more than the funds that were left, so Trace Creek put curbing down and drove reinforcing bars into the ground to secure it.

Principal Stacy Collier told the board that high school staff is already doing interventions to improve math skills. She added that preparation for the American College Test is ongoing and 14 students took a practice test in December, and most of them were sophomores. A district ACT assessment is scheduled for January 19 and the National ACT will be given to juniors on March 5.

Collier also praised the Wise County, Va., Vocational School, where Jenkins students take vocational and technical courses. She said the staff at Wise is great to work with and treats the Jenkins students like their own. enkins students are included in class pictures and appear in the Wise County Vocational and Technical School Facebook page as well. The board approved allowing Jenkins students to attend the Wise County facility in July, after end of year results were reconciled between Kentucky and Virginia.

Collier added that there are 26 Jenkins students taking dual credit classes this year. The system participates with the University of Pikeville, Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College in Whitesburg, and Eastern Kentucky University in dual credit classes.

Caitlyn Collier of GEAR-UP also addressed the board. The purpose of GEAR-UP is to help make students career and college ready upon graduation. GEAR-UP offers funding for tests and ATC prep. She said this year, GEAR-UP will be able to fund one college and career guide and one academic specialist, as well as two academic tutors and college visits.

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