GREENE COUNTY, Miss. (WKRG) — The Greene County School District maintained a B ranking on its state report card, based on achievement in the 2021-2022 school year.

Mississippi’s schools and districts are graded on an A-F scale. The grades are part of the state’s accountability system. The state education department said it helps communities know how well their local schools are serving their students.

The school grading system considers several areas, including how well students perform on state tests, whether students are showing improvement on those tests from year to year and whether students are graduating within four years.

The system also factors in how well schools are helping English learners and their lowest-achieving students make progress toward proficiency.

Out of a 1,000-point grading scale, the district earned 638 points. 599 is the minimum to earn a B grade. 668 is the minimum required to earn an A grade.

Grades were not issued by the state during the previous two school years due to disruptions in learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. State tests were still given in 2021, but not in 2020.

Sand Hill Elementary earned a higher mark than the last grade in 2019. All other schools stayed the same or earned a lower letter grade.

  School  2018-2019 School Year2021-2022 School Year
Leakesville ElementaryAB
Leakesville Jr. HighCC
McLain ElementaryBC
Sand Hill ElementaryCB
Greene Co. HighBB
Greene County School DistrictBB

State test results make up a large part of accountability grades. In 2021-22, the overall percentage of students scoring proficient and advanced mostly returned to pre-pandemic rates statewide. Yet, the percentage of students scoring in the bottom two achievement levels also increased.

The state test results have five levels, minimal, basic, passing, proficient and advanced. 

The percentage of Greene County students scoring proficient or advanced reached an all-time high of 54.5% in English language arts, 66.4% in math and 86.5% in U.S. History.

Statewide, scores reached an all-time high of 42.2% in English language arts and 55.9% in science, making Greene County’s performance higher than the state average in both subjects.

As reported when test scores were released in August, every school saw an increase in test scores for every subject area from 2021 to 2022.

Over half of the state report card grade for elementary schools and one-third of the score for high schools and districts comes from growth alone. That is measured in two categories: whether all students are meeting annual expected growth in math and English language arts and whether the lowest performing 25% of students are meeting expected growth.

A decline in growth is what hurt Greene County schools the most. Math growth in Leakesville Elementary, for example, fell from 83.5% in 2019 to 67% in 2022. Reading growth fell from 79.1% to 66.4%.

Sand Hill Elementary, the only school in the county to earn a higher letter grade, increased in English growth from 56.6% to 66.8%. It decreased in math growth from 61.5% to 59.4%.

The 2021-22 school and district grades were impacted by key factors involving student achievement decline in 2020-21, testing waivers and one-year adjustments to the accountability system.

Statewide, about 81% of schools are rated C or higher for the 2021-22 school year- up from 73.5% in 2019 and 62% in 2016.

87% of districts are rated C or higher- up from 70% in 2019.

Mississippi’s accountability system includes the following components:

  • Student proficiency and growth rates in ELA and Mathematics in grades 3-8
  • 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