Assignment Education: Enterprise School District

ENTERPRISE, Miss. (WTOK) - The Mississippi Department of Education recently released its ratings for every school district in the state. Nine school systems received an "F", but that's an improvement from last year when 20 districts failed. Today we are continuing our special assignment of looking at nine local districts. This includes one that's ranked as one of the top 5 in the state.

The Enterprise School District ranks number 4 in the state. This is according to the newly released accountability ratings for Mississippi schools.

"We have so much success in those classrooms every day that's not measured by the ratings," says Superintendent Josh Perkins. "It's getting students to work hard. It's getting students to build a work ethic. It's getting students to be disciplined and to understand what it means and takes to work."

Hard work is paying off for the district, which has almost 1,000 students. During the latest testing the district's 7th graders rated #1 in the state for math scores. Math teacher J.D. Simpson says he didn't use special incentives to motivate the students.

"I think 80% of it is motivation," says Simpson. "You just motivate them to want to do good, and make them understand that it's in their best interest."

Because of limited funds, the superintendent says the district does not have all state-of-the-art technology, and this includes computer programs. For example, he says the teachers don't have smart boards to use. Ultimately, Superintendent Perkins says it's a combined effort between the community, parents, students and teachers which has made the difference.

"When I say parental support I'm not talking about people signing up for PTO or volunteering for the fall festival," says Perkins. "I'm talking about parents being involved with their child at home. Reading with them every night or working with them on their studies. That's where our parental involvement is so key."

As part of the latest ratings, Enterprise Elementary tied for 3rd in the state. Its high school ranked 5th and its middle school received a "B" rating.