December 2, 2013

School principals aim for higher test scores

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — The Laurel County Board of Education met with school principals and administrators Monday night to discuss improvement plans for each Laurel County public school.

“We want to point out and recognize that after a data clean-up, the state released changes to the School Report Cards and London Elementary School was placed in the rewards and assistance category as a  ‘High Progress School,’” said Tharon Hurley, chief academic officer for Laurel County Schools. 

Originally, the school received the designation of “needs improvement/progressing,” however the new data shows the school is in the top 10 percent of most improving schools in the state. 

In the 2011-2012 school year, the school had an overall score of 51.3.  The school had an overall score of 61.8 points for the 2012-2013 school year, an increase of 10.5 points.

The board also held an informal meet and greet with school administrators.

Harmon Hodge, principal of South Laurel High School, reported to board members although test scores for last year’s juniors weren’t as high as they had hoped, the school administration is optimistic scores will increase in all areas.

As part of the plan to raise test scores at SLHS, Hodge and school staff has implemented practice tests for the ACT, as well as requiring more open answer questions during regular testing.

They are also planning on revamping curriculum to six periods to ensure students get more time in vital classes.

“We expect ACT scores to rise with this junior class,” Hodge said.  “There’s no way to compare two academic classes because each student is so different from one another, but we’re working on ACT preparation and expect to see positive results.”

While giving his report, North Laurel High School principal Mike Black said they are concentrating on college preparation at the school.

Black said NLHS is conducting mini ACT tests and trying to help students with time management in relation to testing.

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