On Friday, October 17, 2014, the Mississippi Department of Education released the MKAS2 Beginning of Kindergarten scores for the state of Mississippi. The test, given to 40,000 kindergarten students in Mississippi during the first month of the 2014-2015 school year, was the first of it’s kind in the state. Soon after headlines were seen in the region’s newspapers announcing that two-thirds of Mississippi kindergartners were not yet ready to read. The benchmark score for the test was set at 530, and 19 out of 144 school districts in Mississippi obtained the score or higher. The Mississippi Department of Education will now study the results and see what is working for districts and what is not.
With the 7th highest average in the state, Quitman School District kindergartners scored a 534 on the assessment. School officials note several reasons the five year olds in Quitman are finding their names at the top of the list.
- 450 children ages 0-5 years are registered in the QSD Imagination Library.
- Early childcare providers and area volunteers team with both Quitman School District and Manuel Goff Head Start Center in Clarke County’s Excel by 5 Collaboration.
- The school district’s Pre-K Program is in it’s seventh year and employs certified Pre-K teachers teamed with assistants to ensure all classrooms have no more than a ten student to one teacher ratio.
When asked what she thinks has been the key to Quitman School District’s success in early childhood education, Dr. Suzanne Hawley, Superintendent of Education, says, “We have made a commitment to early learning and early literacy. This is the acknowledgment of the hard work of our parents, teachers, administrators, and students.”