ACS admins focus on improving test scores

Published 9:46 am Wednesday, August 21, 2019

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With the new school year beginning, Andalusia City School administrators already have improving test scores on their minds.

“We have had a very smooth start to the school year,” Andalusia Elementary School principal Brenda Johnson said. “We are very grateful that we have our math coach and our reading coach to help us this year.”

For the past couple of weeks, Johnson said they have been meeting with teachers to discuss what standards need to be covered.

“I am making sure that we are going over the standards that need to be covered,” Johnson said. “We have been meeting with teachers for the past couple of weeks to go over the plans they have for the year.”

Last year, AES’ school report card dropped 11 points from an 81 to a 70, but Johnson hopes are high that they will improve this year.

“We have seen a tremendous amount of growth, which is what we were hoping for,” Johnson said. “We are still working on proficiency, but our students are learning and that is our goal. We plan on continuing with the plan that we had from last year.”

This year, the elementary school will face another standardized test in the form of ACAP, Alabama Comprehensive Assessment Program.

The Alabama Board of Education dropped the last standardized test, the ACT Aspire, in June 2017 in part because of concerns over whether the Aspire was testing what teachers were required to teach. Scantron tests were used until the new test was in place. Scantron tests were first given during the 2017-2018 school year.

Andalusia High School principal Dr. Daniel Shakespeare said they have had a great opening week, as well.

“We are focusing on academic achievements, academic growth, graduation rate and college and career readiness,” Shakespeare said. “Which are all of the indicators on our school report card.”

Shakespeare said they are focusing on those indicators through an extra course called “E-block.”

“In E-block, all of the grades are working on different things,” Shakespeare said. “The tenth graders are working on ACT prep, juniors are working to take the ACT and twelfth graders are working on work keys. Our ninth graders are working on getting credentialed. So, we don’t have to worry about them beyond this year. There are a lot of positive things going on in the classroom and things seem to be going well.”

With the academic growth and achievement indicator, Shakespeare said a lot of it has to do with the academic personality of each class.

“We are expecting a lot out of our junior class,” Shakespeare said. “They are very competitive and very strong academic wise. We are really looking forward to them testing in the spring.”