MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Grades are in for the Meridian Public School District. Now, educators are doing their homework to see where they can improve.
"You have to dig deep," MPSD Superintendent Dr. Amy Carter says. "You have to look to see where did you miss the mark? And that's what we spent this semester doing. We spent time really looking at where did individual students, where did we really miss the mark with them?"
Overall, Meridian schools maintained a D rating for the 2016-17 year, the same score as the previous school year but with a bump up in total points.
Grades for most of the schools didn't change. Poplar Springs tops the list, keeping its B rating.
Dr. Carter says she's especially proud that Meridian High raised its score from a D to a C and West Hills Elementary is no longer failing. But two schools dropped down a letter grade.
"We're analyzing our data, and we're looking for those opportunities to make up ground," Dr. Carter says.
Crestwood Elementary dropped from a C to a D rating and Carver Middle is now failing.
"First and foremost, above test scores, it's about educating the whole child," Carver Middle Principal Felicia Ruffin says.
The principal says they want to keep their focus on each individual child. She says the scores will follow.
"It's about making sure that children understand that we are here for them, the community understands that we are here for them and ultimately, getting the message across that education is vital," Ruffin explains.
Across all the district, there's one area that needs the most work: reading.
"We're looking for our community to step up to the challenge as they've done in times past, with having much more of a focus on literacy," Dr. Carter says.
Dr. Carter says their goals are high, but with dedicated teachers and parents, she knows they can keep improving.
"Anytime, you're building and establishing a foundation, it takes time," she says. "But give us some time, and we will get there."
MPSD's graduation rate for 2017 was 78.5 percent.
You can click the attached link to find the full 2016-17 ratings from the Mississippi Dept. of Education.