After last year's round of state testing, Meridian High School was rated as 'low performing.' School administrators say MHS was just a few points from reaching the 'successful' rating. This year school officials are optimistic that scores will improve even more.
'We started a campaign to make sure students are at school daily.'
Meridian High principal Victor Hubbard says offering students rewards for daily attendance is just one strategy being used to help improve test scores.
'All of our teachers have bought in to the system,' says Hubbard.
Two intervention specialists have also been brought in to assist students who need extra help.
'Most of my students that I have, came within two or three points of passing the examination,' says English II Intervention Specialist, Katie Blair. ' I tell them that there are no guarantees in life, but that I'm going to assure them that they pass the test this time around.'
Throughout the year students have been allowed to do practice exercises in the computer lab. There's also intensive review during each class and in an after-school program.
At the end of each nine weeks students have been given practice tests to measure improvement. In that regard, Principal Hubbard says 'so far, so good.'
'We knew that the first 9 nine weeks our QDI was not where we wanted it to be,' says Hubbard. 'The second nine weeks we showed remarkable growth and we're happy, but not satisfied.'
An information guide for students and parents is now available in the school's office. Inside it there are questions that can help students get prepared for the big tests in May.
According to students we talked to, all of the intense preparations for testing are working
'It's making me less nervous. I now feel ready,' says MHS sophomore, Michael Swanson.
The next round of practice testing starts Tuesday and will last through Friday. State testing in Mississippi will take place May 1st through May 4th.