PRC School District improves grade

Published 6:56 pm Saturday, October 1, 2022

Special to the Item

CARRIERE, – The Pearl River County School District earned a B-rating for its performance in the 2021-22 school year. The district was expected to get that grade when the Mississippi State Board of Education approves official grades for Mississippi schools and districts on Thursday, Sept. 29.

Mississippi’s schools and districts are graded on an A-F scale. The grades are part of the state’s accountability system, which helps teachers, school leaders, parents and communities know how well local schools and districts are serving students.   

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The Pearl River County School District’s improved grade is largely due to the progress students made during the 2021-22 school year rebounding after achievement declined in the first year of the pandemic. Pearl River Central Elementary School, Pearl River Central Middle School, and Pearl River Central High School have each earned a B-rating.

Statewide, Mississippi students made more progress than they typically do in one year as schools focused on accelerating learning after the first year of the pandemic. However, key factors including a student achievement decline in 2020-21, testing waivers, and one-year adjustments to the accountability system played a role in 2021-22 school and district grades. Therefore, the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) advises caution when interpreting score changes between the 2018-19 and 2021-22 school years.  In particular, substantial shifts in performance may be temporarily influenced by factors associated with pandemic disruptions.

The MDE emphasizes the importance of looking at the individual components that contribute to school and district grades to get a more complete picture of student growth and achievement, particularly student proficiency levels.

The Literacy Based Promotion Act requires 3rd grade students to pass the Grade 3 reading test in order to be promoted to 4th grade. At Pearl River Central Elementary School, 90% of 3rd graders were promoted to 4th grade for the 2021-2022 school year. Seventy-eight percent passed the 3rd grade spring reading test, 8% passed with Good Cause Exemption Retest One or Retest Two and 4% were promoted through other allowable Good Cause Exemptions. Information on the 3rd Grade Reading Test and Good Cause Exemptions is available on the MDE website. All students promoted to 4th grade by Good Cause Exemption will continue to receive intensive reading intervention support in 4th grade.

Mississippi’s school grading system considers many indicators, including how well students perform on Mississippi Academic Assessment Program (MAAP) tests for English Language Arts and Mathematics in grades 3-8 and high school, whether students are showing improvement on those tests from year to year, and whether students are graduating within four years. The system also factors in performance on the ACT and advanced high school courses and how well schools are helping English learners and the lowest-achieving students make progress toward proficiency.

Learn More About Mississippi’s A-F Accountability System

• Unofficial 2021-22 accountability results for schools and districts:

• Understanding the Mississippi Accountability Grading System for Schools and Districts

• Video about Mississippi’s A-F accountability system and the components of the system for elementary, middle and high schools:

• The Mississippi Succeeds Report Card, which includes additional information about the performance of schools and districts, will display official accountability results after Mississippi State Board of Education approval on Sept. 29, 2022: