County school leaders suspected that Madison County Middle School’s eighth grade writing test scores would stack up favorably against the area and the state.
They recently received the statistics to validate that confidence.
The school’s mean scale score was a 215, two points better than RESA average and five points better than the state mark, according to statistics provided by the state.
“We want to continue to improve, but that in itself is a great improvement for us,” superintendent Mitch McGhee said.
Additionally, 12 percent of MCMS eighth graders exceeded standards on the writing test. Only seven percent of students in the RESA exceeded standards, while just six percent throughout the state did so.
“We doubled the percentage exceeding standards for the state, so we are very, very proud of that,” McGhee said.
Twenty five percent of MCMS eighth graders did not meet standards, equal to the state mark and two points higher than the RESA. Meanwhile, 63 percent of MCMS eighth graders met standards, compared to 69 percent at the state level and 70 percent in RESA.
In a separate matter, Madison County Middle School has 193 students with perfect attendance so far this year, up from 94 last year.
The school has also seen a decrease in those missing 15 or more days, dropping from 74 last year to 58 this year.
Last year, 748 students were eligible for MCMS’s annual “Attendance Extravaganza,” which awards students with strong attendance. This year, about 800 will be eligible.
“We’re doing some great things there with attendance at the middle school,” McGhee said.
Attendance is one of the adequate yearly progress (AYP) criteria assessed for middle schools.
In other matters, McGhee recently submitted an updated strategic plan — reflecting progress on each objective — to school board members.
He will also meet with the school system’s strategic planning team April 30.
“As you’ll see, we have accomplished a whole lot that we have in the strategic plan,” McGhee said. “We now need to bring that more to the forefront and make sure it guides our decisions if we’re having to make even further tough decisions in the future.”
McGhee noted that the system has been in “survival mode” recently with budget cuts.
“Really, I went against my own commitment,” he said. “We need to use the strategic plan when we’re making these decisions.”
But for the most part, McGhee said the system has done that.
“I’m amazed when you look at it so see how much we’ve gotten done this year,” McGhee said.
He reminded the BOE that phase I improvements aren’t due for completion until the end of next school year.
“We have really accomplished all kinds of things this year,” McGhee said.