HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – A plan is in motion to improve after recent Alabama State Report Card scores, Huntsville City Schools leaders said Thursday.
Four schools in the district received failing grades and four earned A grades. You can view the state report card results for the district, and read our report about them, by clicking this link.
School leaders, in a presentation to the board of education Thursday, said the district showed overall improvement with room for more growth.
” Last year, Huntsville City Schools received an overall grade of 75. That’s for 2016-2017 data. This year, Huntsville City Schools received a 77 overall based on the data from 2017-2018,” said Superintendent Christie Finley. “I am very proud of our schools, our students, our teachers and principals. They are working hard as you know. I think it is important to note that the report card alone doesn’t define what actually takes place in our schools every day. It is a single tool to track improvement.”
But Finley admitted that there is need for improvement in attendance, along with reading and math scores. In Huntsville, 32 of 37 schools either maintained or increased their score. Last year, 12 schools received an F in comparison to this year’s 4.
“8 of those schools moved up to receive a D. Now, we know that is not where we want to be. We want all schools to be A’s. Most importantly, we want all students to be ready,” said Finley.
Huntsville City Schools is working on its own report card: Huntsville City Schools Future Indicators of Success. Leaders have said that “continuous improvement measures” are part of the district’s Strategic Plan.
“What we want to see is for every student to grow one year because what that tells us is they’re ready for the next year of learning,” Finley stated.
They will do that through tracking internal Huntsville City Schools data about student achievement.
“We have taken a proactive approach to address student achievement and growth,” Finley said. “We’ve developed the Future Indicators of Success… Basically what we’ve done is taken the percentage or formula the state gave us, and we were able to come up with what schools need to actually grow in achievement and grow in growth that would raise them a letter grade.” She said this also factors in other things that affect growth and achievement, like attendance, teacher retention, etc.
The goal, Finley said, is for this data to follow the student so their growth can be monitored to make sure there are no gaps in education.
If schools don’t make a certain amount of growth, the state can identify them. Finley said the work starts Friday to meet with leaders at schools like this in Huntsville to talk about school improvement plans. Leaders said that includes finding ways to add additional learning opportunities throughout the day for students to work on standards they have not mastered.
Principals will also be preparing State of the Schools addresses to their respective communities this month or early next month. This is another way you, in the community, can connect with your child’s school about what’s being done to improve.
“That will give them the opportunity to get in front of their stakeholders and share their state report card, their data, how the state calculated their grade, and glows and grows about their school. You’ll probably be hearing more about that from each school principal,” said Tammy Summerville, Deputy Superintendent of Instruction.