Assignment Education: Newton County School District

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Newton County School District ranked top 15 in the State of Mississippi.

"We were very, very excited," says Superintendent J. O. Amis. "We knew we were going to be very close to it."

Last year, Newton County Elementary was rated an 'A' and Newton County High, which includes grades 6-12, was a 'C.' This year, the high school bumped that up to a 'B,' giving the district an overall 'A' accountability rating.

"It was a lot of hard work from our students, teachers, assistant teachers, cafeteria workers, bus drivers. It takes everyone," says Amis.

The rating has a lot of components, but basically, proficiency, growth, ACT scores and graduation rates make up a district's score.

"It will be very, very difficult for us to maintain the 'A,'" says Amis. "It's probably easier to become an 'A' than to maintain an 'A.'"

The district says it is determined to stay on top. Newton County School District is making sure every student is showing growth and proficiency.

"It's ok to be where you are," says Tamra Mills, teacher. "You don't have to beat anyone in the class. As long as you're showing growth every time you do something."

Teachers are spending one-on-one time with each student to discuss strengths and weaknesses, and how they can improve.

"Everybody just has to keep working hard," says Amis. "It is a family, community effort to be an 'A' district."

More than 1,700 students attend the Newton County School District.