East Hancock Elementary School, Grade 5 Math, had the highest scale score in the state in the latest statewide assessment released on Thursday.

The Mississippi Department of Education on Thursday released the test scores from the 2019-2019 state Academic Assessment Program -- showing all-time scores in English and math state-wide -- and the superintendents of all three local public school districts said they're pleased with the results.

"With the release of the 2019 Mississippi State Test Scores by the Mississippi Department of Education, Hancock County School District (HCSD) is celebrating many achievements," Hancock Superintendent Alan Dedeaux said in a press release Friday. "East Hancock Elementary School, Grade 5 Math, had the highest scale score in the state, and Grade 5 Math also had the highest percentage of students proficient and advanced in the state. HCSD achieved a 97% overall pass rate of the 3rd grade reading gateway assessment after retests and exemptions were taken into consideration.

"As a district, HCSD set a goal last year that each school would increase both their ELA proficiency and their Math proficiency by 10 percentage points from the prior school year. Many of the district’s schools met this goal with three schools increasing their ELA proficiency by at least 10 percentage points, and 5 schools increasing their Math proficiency by at least 10 percentage points.

"We are so proud of the gains we have made and we are proud of our students, teachers, and staff. Our district is committed to giving our students the best education we can. Although we have many achievements to celebrate, we will continue to analyze the data to determine areas that need improvement so that we can set new goals and make plans for improvement in those areas.”

Overall, the Hancock County School District increased approximately 7 points in ELA and 16 points in Math.

"I would like to commend our Pirate learners, teachers and leaders on a job well done!" Pass Christian Superintendent Dr. Carla Evers said Friday. "Their commitment to excellence continues to shine through each year at this time. We could not do what we do if it were not for the unwavering support of our families and community."

In the Bay-Waveland School District, approximately 47 percent of third-graders performed at a proficient or advanced level on the English Language Arts (ELA) test, which is also called the "Reading Gate."

That's a sharp increase over scores from the year before, and more than five percentage points over the state-wide average.

When MAAP was first administered in 2015-16, one-third of students met or exceeded grade-level expectations in ELA and mathematics.

In 2018-19, nearly half of students statewide met or exceeded expectations in each subject. ELA achievement has increased from 33.6 percent to 41.6 percent of students scoring proficient or advanced. Students scoring proficient or advanced in mathematics has jumped from 33 percent to 47 percent.

"I am super pleased with the test score gains BWSD accomplished in only one year," Bay-Waveland Superintendent Dr. Sandra Reed said in a statement on Friday.  "Our staff and students have worked extremely hard and the payoff shows.  While we still have work to do, we are on the right track and I couldn't be more proud of our entire community."

“Statewide assessments ensure that children in every school are achieving the learning goals for each grade level,” Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education, said in a press release issued Thursday. “When students score proficient or advanced, parents can be assured their child’s school is providing a quality education that has prepared students to be successful in the next grade.

“Mississippi students are outpacing the nation in learning gains thanks to their hard work and the hard work of teachers, school staff, school leaders, and parents,” Wright said. “Education in Mississippi is part of our state’s success story.”

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