Kemper County Schools Show Improvement

Two years ago the Kemper County School District received a Failing rating based on state test scores. In 2011 it moved up one notch to Low Performing. And the results for 2012, under a new grading system, reveal that it has moved another notch in the right direction.

According to state test score results from last school year, based on new performance classification, the district received a letter grade of D.

"One of the main factors that we attribute to our success is increased looks at data," said Pollock. "We set goals and constantly monitored progress."

Although each of the district's three schools improved, the biggest shift was at West Kemper Elementary. Serving students pre-kindergarten through 6th grade, the school's rating jumped two notches from Failing in 2011 to Successful in 2012.

"We knew that hard work, after-school tutoring, calling parents, parental involvement, community involvement, we did everything that we could do to get others out to help us and move our students forward," said Connie Johnson, West Kemper Elementary principal.

Aside from the efforts work of faculty, staff, students and parents, Johnson gives a lot of credit to a $1.8 million, three-year school improvement grant that West Kemper Elementary received.

The principal credits a lot of the success of this school to the use of technology. All of the students use technology every day. For example, all 470 students at West Kemper have a Neo board. Teachers can type in specific assignments for each student and actually watch each student as he or she works the problem.

Kemper County High and East Kemper Elementary, both improved from Low Performing in 2011 to Academic Watch, or a D.

Pollock says the goal for this year is for all of the schools to continue to improve and the district to receive at least a Successful rating.