KCPS Top 10 in growth

Analysis of this year’s Unbridled Learning Assessment and Accountability results can be summed up in one word by Knox Superintendent Kelly Sprinkles: “growth.”

Data released on Thursday by the Kentucky Department of Education shows that Knox County Public Schools is in the top 10 ranking of school districts for growth in comparison to the previously reported school year.

Knox County is positioned in the 63rd percentile of districts in Kentucky, having previously been ranked 28th in 2013-2014.   The overall score for Knox County is 65.4, an increase of 5.8from the previous year.

With the data release came news that one Knox County school had earned distinguished classification and three others earned proficient.   Flat Lick Elementary, with an overall score of 73.0 and 90th percentile ranking, is the first distinguished school for Knox.  Lynn Camp Elementary (69.5 overall score, 79th percentile), G.R. Hampton Elementary (68.0 overall score, 73rd percentile), and Jesse D. Lay Elementary (67.7 overall score, 72nd percentile) each received the proficient title.

“The numbers still do not adequately represent what is going on daily in our classrooms; our staff and students are fully committed to achievement, and we are beginning to see the results, in data form, of that hard work,” said Sprinkles.

Sprinkles cited an intentional focus on curriculum and standards, on-going work with assessments, and quality professional learning communities that analyze student data and take immediate interventions as a few of the reasons Knox schools are seeing gains, according to the 2014-2015 reports.

“We are more focused than ever on a standards-based instructional system consisting of clear, high standards in instruction and also in the performance of students, faculty, and staff,” said Sprinkles.

“As we develop systems for our work and implement the standards-based system, it will be clear that from assessments to custodians and from instruction to finances, everything and everyone contributes to the improvement of Knox County Public Schools.”

The school district’s annual measurable objective, or goal, for 2014-2015 was 60.6.  With the 65.4 overall score, Knox district met the annual measurable objective and met the student testing participation rate goal.

“We still have work ahead in the areas of achievement gaps and novice student reduction,” explained Sprinkles, after reviewing the data with members of the district’s leadership team.

“Our team will be working with schools to provide support in meeting the needs of all students with interventions, student support, whatever it takes to break through the barriers.

“Our goal is college and career ready for all Knox County students and that begins when they enter primary.  We must focus on their individual needs throughout their education to ensure that they will have a successful future.”

Other notable achievements throughout the school district include:

Knox Central has met the criteria needed to exit priority status.   The school joins 9 others throughout the state that have made enough improvement over the past three years to be removed from the list of low performing schools.  The school will undergo a diagnostic review this fall as part of the priority turnaround process.  Knox Central had an overall score of69.6 in 2014-2015 which is in the 66th percentile.  During the 2013-2014 school year Knox Central was in the 18th percentile and had an overall score of 59.5.

Central Elementary, Girdler Elementary, Knox County Middle, and Lynn Camp Middleeach were deemed as progressing by the Department of Education.

Even though Knox County is still classified as a district that needs improvement, a classification that is given to all school districts with scores below the 70th percentile, Sprinkles sees the data release as proof of the improvement that has already occurred.

“Every student, every employee regardless of title or position, and every parent, guardian, and family member should be commended for the work that is going on in the Knox County Public Schools.”