Assignment Education Series: Philadelphia Public School District

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PHILADELPHIA, Miss. (WTOK) - The Mississippi Department of Education recently released its ratings for every school district in the state.

Over the next several weeks, we're going to take a look at eight local districts.

Philadelphia Public Schools received a 'C' rating for the 2016-2017 school year. While there is still room for improvement, the district has improved from years past.

"My high school is a 'B'," says Superintendent of Education Lisa Hull. "It's the first time it has been a 'B' in several years. That was definitely a celebration for us. My elementary school moved from a 'D' to a 'C'."

Philadelphia's graduation rate was 90.3, one of the higher graduation rates in the state.

"A lot of hard work went into that and the credit definitely goes to those schools, to our teachers, to our students," says Hull.

A teacher at Philadelphia High School says it's all about knowing your students. If you know each child's strengths and weaknesses, the easier it is to make improvements.

"Knowing your kids is the most important thing and what they bring to the table, what they're good at and how you can help them," says Leslee Long, Philadelphia High School teacher.

Students can also help each other when they may not even realize it.

"If they're doing group work then they can help each other," says Long. "Higher students see things differently than lower students. Everyone has something they can add to the conversation and bring to the table."

The district is meeting quarterly and has been to help each school make improvements. Next year, the district wants the elementary and high school, that now includes grades 7 through 12, to receive at least a 'B'.

Over 1,100 students attend the Philadelphia Public School District.