On Thursday, October 12th the Mississippi Department of Education did a second release of the embargo on the final accountability results for the 2017 – 2018 school year. Those who had seen the earlier release were waiting to see if there was a change, but no, there wasn’t.
Quitman School District scored 524 points and maintained a D rating. But everyone who truly knows and sees Quitman School District, or Panther Nation, or any of the schools, or Quitman, or the students, or the teachers, or the parents, or maintenance, or housekeeping, or technology, or the list goes on and on, knows that the school is not average. There is so much good already happening. QSD students have in front of them an opportunity for one of the top educations in the state of Mississippi.
They are able to go, return, and do amazing things here.
“A leadership cohort,” Dr. Holloway explains as he stands in front of the Quitman Junior High PTO last night in the school’s library. “We are building leaders here for the future of Quitman School District. I’ve worked in five districts, and our kids here are just as smart as the kids in those districts. We have just as much talent; our teachers are just as good. What we are doing now is giving them more tools like Go Green, Ready Math and Ready Reading. Did you see WTOK yesterday about that Lauderdale County school that got an ‘A’? They were using Ready Math and Ready Reading. Now our students have access to the same curriculums, and we are doing amazing things with the Leader in Me program here.”
You don’t have to travel far to read (RE: HERE) what QHS Principal and Mississippi Administrator of the Year Dr. Howard Savage has to to say about the future of Magnolia Nation. When you read it you’ll instantly recognize Panther Nation, the heart of which sees an incredible future for it’s children.
About the 2018 Quitman High School rating of a “C”, Savage does not deny disappointment but remains as steadfast as ever, “I wanted to be an A. Nobody wanted to be a C. Quitman High School is 646. We are two points from a B. We are proud to have two years of successful ratings. We have identified areas of improvement, and we are focused on becoming an A school through student and teacher leadership. We now have a program called Case 21 which will help us identify and target growth for individual students. We are excited to continue our march of becoming an A school, but we are proud of two consecutive years of a successful rating. We need to chase the goal. The goal is an A. To do that we have to stay together. We grew a lot of students last year. We are not making any excuses. We keep on moving.”
Quitman Junior High Principal Coach Bill Russell explains, “We don’t like being last. We’re eventually going to be the best, but we’re never going to be just defined by the letter grade in the paper at the end of the year.”
With a 2018 accountability rating of D with 274 points earned out of 700, Quitman Junior High administrators, faculty, staff, parents, and students have high expectations for growth in the 2019 rating.
Russell continues, “We have more classes and credits being offered this year for our 8th grade students. There are more intervention programs for our struggling learners. Every kid that comes to this school is met where they are. We assess all students at the beginning of the year to see where they are and try to fill in the gaps so that they can show growth on the next year’s state assessment. Now we have a more effective, experienced and knowledgable leadership team, and we are more comfortable with each other. The teachers are liking the Ready curriculum. We have more technological assets. The Leader in Me is a good program, and the Case 21 assessments will help us to see where our kids are academically every 9 weeks.”
Quitman Upper Elementary scored 369 out of 700 points which kept them at a C rating. They are 8 points from a B rating. Administrators such as Principal Leah Ivey and Instructional Facilitator Chelsea Davis have studied, examined, and dissected every test score and percentage to come from the the 2018 Accountability results. Mrs. Ivey is excited about the growth she can track at Quitman Upper Elementary and within the district. She pulls her hands together under her chin and says, “We are not satisfied yet. ” The maternal instinct she feels toward over 400 upper elementary children leads the the second year principal to say, “The forward movement is something we are going to celebrate.”
Quitman Upper Elementary has never seen a B rating, but both Ivey and Davis agree that the time is coming. Both also agree that the time is soon.
Quitman Lower Elementary received a C rating, and Principal Amanda Allen says, “At QLE our focus is proficiency. Children leave here and are ready to be proficient in third grade. We teach up. We expect our kids to be on and above grade level. We’re focused on big rocks, or those essential standards that these kids need to be successful.
The staff here is the best thing we have going. Nobody is going to do more than the ladies in this building. We have an awesome PTO. We offer incentives from them that other people can’t because all those things come together.
#QLEexcellence means we are going to be the best there is. In all things we want to do more and be more. We don’t have low kids. These kids are the top in the state of Mississippi. We are going to expect great things from these children. The goal is proficiency and advanced. It’s what we do with them that matters.
What are we doing to make children love coming to school? That’s our responsibility.”