CCPS BOE says hello and goodbye; district test scores discussed

Published 5:09 pm Thursday, October 27, 2022

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The Clark County Public Schools Board of Education officially welcomed its newest member from District 2 Tuesday night.

Judge-Executive Henry Branham swore in Dora Hall before her family and friends.

Hall replaces Brenda Considine, who resigned from the seat in July. She was appointed by Kentucky Education Commissioner Jason Glass last week after the board asked the state to make the appointment in September.

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In a previous interview with the Sun, Hall said that she is a lifelong Clark County resident. She and her husband, Chuck, have one son, Noah, a sophomore at George Rogers Clark High School.

She is currently employed by the National Youth Advocate Program as its foster care program director and is a licensed clinical social worker.

Hall has pledged not to be a stranger in local schools.

“I will be active in attending functions,” she previously told the Sun. “I have good relationships with the schools because I used to provide therapy in them…I am here to listen and be available to people if they are having issues, and will help guide them in the direction of resources that they might need.”

District KSA data

The board also heard a presentation regarding the district’s performance on the Kentucky Summative Assessments.

The results differed this year from what was previously a 5-star system.

The new accountability system provides a color-coded rating for all schools at each level ranging from red (lowest) to blue (highest). Each school system receives a color coding for elementary, middle, and high schools.

“This is a new accountability system with new norms, and we are transitioning from in a pandemic to kind of in a pandemic to what we hope is post-pandemic,” said Superintendent Dustin Howard during a recent phone interview.

Students from third to 11th grade are tested each year. All third through eighth-grade students are tested in reading and math. Fourth, seventh, and 11th-grade students are tested in science. Fifth, eighth, and 11th-grade students are also tested in social studies and writing.

So how did the district do?

The district was in the yellow category across the three levels of schools, which is in the middle of the scale.

Shearer and Strode Station Elementary received a yellow rating. Conkwright Elementary received an orange rating.

At the middle school level, Baker Intermediate received a green rating, and Campbell Junior High received a yellow rating.

George Rogers Clark High School received a yellow rating.

The assessment results did not shock Howard.

“This is not a gigantic surprise to us. We assessed our kids throughout the year,” he said. “We are now looking at where our kids are in the fall compared to the spring, and we have done some screenings with reading and match for every student in the district.”

Much has been made in state and national headlines about gaps in learning coming out of the pandemic, where distance and restricted learning were the norms. Clark County was no exception.

“We definitely have gaps in learning, specifically from some self-evaluations,” Howard said. “We are going to work to get out students back in school and keep them in school and getting our attendance rates up,” Howard said.

To help mitigate the gaps, Howard said that the district will do its best to make resources available to students and schools and that the district will get through this together.

CCPS says goodbye to Nance

The board took time to honor the retiring Arelene Nance.

Since 2009, Nance has served as the administrative assistant to the superintendent.

As part of the small ceremony, board chair Megan Hendricks read a proclamation regarding her service from the Kentucky Senate.

“I always tell people when we talk about Ms. Nance that she is a professional until the end, and it has never waivered from that since I have known her,” Hendricks said.

A smiling Nance expressed her gratitude to the board.

“Thank you all for everything. It has been a pleasure working with you,” she said.