Jessamine KPREP results encouraging, says superintendent

Published 2:21 pm Wednesday, October 6, 2021

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Kentucky’s Board of Education released the results of their 2021 Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress (K-PREP,) the annual summative assessment given in grades 3-8, 10 and 11 to Kentucky public school students

This year’s report saw an impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. Kentucky’s 171 school districts closed to in-person classes in March 2020 to help contain the spread of COVID. Schools remained closed or switched between in-person, remote and hybrid learning models through much of the 2020-2021 academic year.

The Kentucky Department of Education applied for and received a waiver from the US Department of Education for the accountability and school identification and reporting requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act.

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Due to the reverberations the pandemic has had on education, there is information that will not be available on the School Report Card for the 2020-2021 school year. For example, student membership was not verified by superintendents, attendance and absentee rates were not reported, and the student-to-computer ratio data was not recorded due to the unavailability of daily attendance data.

Statewide, students showed average ACT scores of: 17.1 for English, 18.5 for reading, 17.7 for math, 18.3 for science, and 18 for the composite score. Of the 42,443 Kentucky students tested, 42.3 percent reached the benchmark for English, 39.9 for reading, and 29.9 for academics.

Jessamine County has a total of 14 schools and 8,037 students. A total of 527 students were tested for the ACT. The results were reported as: 16.8 for English, 18.6 for reading, 17.7 for math, 18.6 for science, and a composite score of 18. Scores were higher than the state average for reading and science. Jessamine students on average scored slightly lower for the state average for English and matched state averages for math and the composite score. The district showed 39.9 percent of students reaching the ACT benchmark for English, 39.9 percent for reading, and 28.8 percent for math.

For the district, a total of 92.8 percent of students were projected to graduate within four years of high school. Jessamine students surpassed that expectation with a total of 95.3 percent of students graduating within those four years.

Teachers within the county were also profiled, with Jessamine showing a total of 574 educators – an average of 10.5 years of teaching experience between them. Of that 574 total, 131 teachers (or 22.8 percent) were inexperienced. Sixty-one percent of teachers reported a favorable school climate, 64 percent found managing student behavior manageable, and 66 percent found the school leadership favorable.

Jessamine County Superintendent Matt Moore called the 2021 KPREP “encouraging.”

“Our district continues to rely on multiple sources of information to assess our students’ progress and while this information is helpful, we do not depend entirely on a snapshot of student performance from one test on one day,” he said. “Always, but particularly during the pandemic, it’s important that we have a multitude of ways to assess learning and guide instruction. We know from our testing results that we have work to do in the areas where we already anticipated more efforts were needed. Improvements that we will concentrate on include early reading skills, math, science, and writing at various grade levels, and ACT preparation.”

The Jessamine district is using student assessment data from a testing system called iReady that provides state and national comparisons for student performance. Moore said that due to the testing windows in 2021 and the type of data the testing provides, iReady results are a better indicator of student progress than K-PREP provides. JCS iReady data indicates that JCS exceeds Kentucky and the nation in the percentage of students who are performing on grade level in reading and math. Moore says that information from iReady testing also confirmed that JCS summer programs were largely successful in catching students up from learning losses from the 2020-2021 school year and preventing “summer slide,” saying that the 1000 students who attended during the summer were able to begin the 2021-2022 school year as well-prepared as possible.

“In what was likely the most challenging school year in our history, our district family pulled together and supported our students to perform as well as or significantly better than their peers across the state and country,” said Moore. “Our teachers delivered instructional content multiple times in multiple ways to ensure that students were learning. Our students were flexible and adaptable over several learning mode changes and worked hard to gain knowledge and skills. Our support staff worked to remove every barrier possible to student success. And, our student families stepped up big-time to support student learning at home. Our results tell us that our teaching strategies are effective and that students are mastering content. These results would not have been possible without the contributions of the entire Jessamine Schools Family.”