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Bovina Elementary celebrates ‘A’ rating

When the Mississippi Department of Education released accountability scores for schools and districts throughout the state in September, principals and superintendents scoured the scores and celebrated successes and areas of improvement. For one school in the Vicksburg Warren School District, those scores showed it was again one of the state’s best.

In achieving an A rating, Bovina Elementary not only pulled off the task of reaching the top level, but achieved that success in back-to-back years.

“We were excited because that is not an easy task. If it were, everyone in the state would be doing it. The scale changes each year, so you’re trying to hit a moving target and figure out what they’re [the state] is thinking,” Bovina Elementary Principal Miki McCann said Friday. “We just focus on making sure the kids are being taught in a structured, safe environment, the teachers are able to teach, and making sure they have the resources they need.”

The school celebrated the A rating with an assembly Friday morning. Superintendent Chad Shealy, who congratulated the children during the assembly, said Bovina’s success has come from its approach of breaking down results to the individual student. 

“One of the things Bovina has done very cleanly is they’ve embraced a standards-referenced approach to education. Early on, Miki has a clear pathway to where individual students are meeting those standards-referenced goals. What I mean, is it’s not just good teaching in general, they are very targeted and intentional,” Shealy said. “The thing that has been cool about Bovina … there is a very sharp focus here on the individual student; it’s personalized. Whatever the kid needs they get.”

McCann said the credit does not land at her desk but is instead shared by the school’s faculty and staff. 

“I’ve got a great team out here and we need to contribute this rating to the teachers because that is where the magic takes place, in the classroom,” she said. “We try to do what we do and do it well. We don’t try to get too fancy with things.

“We’re teaching the standards the kids are expected to know by the end of the year and making sure that is happening with fidelity. The kids set their goals so they know where they need to be by the end of the year, their teachers know where they need to be by the end of the year,” she said. “I think that is the thing that has really helped us make the move from the B to the A, the kids really knowing ‘this is where I stand, this is what I need to do to move forward.’”

About Tim Reeves

Tim Reeves, and his wife Stephanie, are the parents of three children, Sarah Cameron, Clayton and Fin, who all attend school in the Vicksburg Warren School District. The family are members of First Baptist Church Vicksburg. Tim is involved in a number of civic and volunteer organizations including the United Way of West Central Mississippi and serves on the City of Vicksburg's Riverfront Redevelopment Committee.

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