The state testing scores for the past academic year were released last week and Laurel County Schools did exceptionally well, according to Laurel County School Superintendent Dr. Doug Bennett.

Bennett released the following information regarding this year's test results:

• Twelve Laurel County schools scored in the Top Twenty Percent of all schools in the state.

• Six Laurel County schools scored in the Top Ten-Percent of all schools in Kentucky.

• The overall achievement composite score of Laurel County's elementary schools is in the Top Ten of 173 districts in achievement (Percentage of students scoring Proficient and Distinguished).

• Laurel County is the only district in Kentucky to have four elementary schools whose students scored Proficient and Distinguished in the Top Four-Percent in the state.

• Bush Elementary was the Sixth Highest scoring elementary school in Kentucky with a Proficient index of 101.4.

• Combined North and South Middle School students scored in the Top 8 Schools in Kentucky in Proficiency.

• The combined graduation rates at North Laurel High School and South Laurel High School showed an increase with a graduation rate of 91 percent.

Bennett noted, "The 2018 results reflect our students' academic momentum in key areas, yet show a need to continue to increase Proficiency levels and decrease Novice levels. We are, however, excited to achieve such high levels of performance. For instance, per the Proficiency indicator: Twelve of our schools scored in the Top Twenty-Percent of all schools in the state, our middle schools' combined scored in the top-eight in the state, and the composite achievement scores for our elementary schools is in the top ten in the state. Even so, we are driven to make continuous improvement and grow in all areas of student learning and achievement."

Although this is a year of transition for assessment and accountability for Kentucky schools, the Laurel County School district has many things to celebrate.

"The scores reflect the hard work, achievement, and dedication of our students, teachers, administrators, parents/guardians and community members who recognize the importance of education," Bennett added."The district looks forward to continuing to work together to provide the best opportunity for all Laurel County students to graduate as productive citizens who are prepared to excel in college and career."

The scores from the past year are not as detailed as in some categories in the past and are not categorized as "Needs Improvement," "Proficient," or "Distinguished" as in past years.

njohnson@sentinel-echo.com

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