The Meridian Public School District says it's making significant progress in addressing some of its biggest concerns. New numbers show that test scores are up, and disciplinary problems are down district-wide.
So far, Meridian Public School Superintendent, Dr. Alvin Taylor is calling this the best 'back to school start' within the last three years for the district.
"Our academic achievement is at a three year high, and disciplinary referrals are at a three year low for our first nine weeks."
"Our test scores currently are higher than our spring test scores," says Meridian High School Principal Victor Hubbard. "Of course, our spring test scores came back over the summer, and showed that we were a successful school, but according to our common assessment, it shows that we can be a 'B' or even an 'A' school."
In terms of disciplinary referrals, numbers show that over the last three years those have decreased by well over 50%.
"The number of disciplinary referrals over the last three years has dropped by 63%," says Dr. Taylor, "and our exclusionary discipline which includes in school suspension, out of school suspension and expulsions is down 75%."
Superintendent Taylor also says that the number of fights district-wide is at a three year low. In fact, he estimates that over the last three years the number of fights district-wide has dropped by anywhere from 30% to 40%.
"Our disciplinary system is less punitive than our previous one," says Taylor. "For instance, in the past if a kid had his shirt out, he may have been written up and sent to the office, and it may have resulted in a suspension. Now what we call Level 1 and Level 2 offenses are handled in the classroom. Our disciplinary consequences are consistent throughout the district, and it's been in place now, it's going on the third year. So, the students know what the expectations are, and we have sent a clear message that fighting is not tolerated."