MOVING ON UP: Vicksburg Warren School District earns B Letter Grade from Mississippi Department of Education

Published 11:06 am Tuesday, September 27, 2022

The Mississippi Department of Education released its unofficial school district accountability grades for the 2021-2022 school year on Tuesday morning, and the Vicksburg Warren School District earned a B grade.

Up two letter grades from the 2018-2019 school year — the last year grades were recorded before the COVID-19 pandemic — VWSD was one of 36 districts in Mississippi to earn a B grade.

“The school board of trustees has, for years, been working to transform the district and to support teaching the skills our students need to be successful in college, career and life,” said VWSD Superintendent Chad Shealy. “I am proud of the effective strategies we have used to engage students and of the hard work our teachers, students, principals, families, staff, and community partners have done to jump two letter grades to a B rating.”

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Broken down by school, the letter grades are as follows:

  • Warren Central High School: B
  • Vicksburg High School: C
  • Bovina Elementary School: A
  • Redwood Elementary School: A
  • Bowmar Avenue Elementary School: A
  • Beechwood Elementary School: B
  • Sherman Avenue Elementary School: B
  • South Park Elementary School: B
  • Warrenton Elementary School: B
  • Vicksburg Intermediate School: C
  • Warren Central Intermediate School: C
  • Dana Road Elementary School: C
  • Warren Central Junior High School: D
  • Vicksburg Junior High School: F

The state does not rate River City Early College and the Academy of Innovation individually as scores are shown at each student’s zoned school.

The district recorded a College and Career Readiness Score of 34.7 percent, a participation rate of more than 95 percent and a graduation rate of 88 percent.

VWSD said in a release that it continues to make decisions based on what is best for students and to transform the district.  Recent innovative changes include:

  • Expanding the Pre-K program from 4 to 17 classrooms, so that every family has the opportunity to enroll their young children in early education and give their child a head start in learning.

  • Building relevancy into its high school models through the creation of the Vicksburg Warren College and Career Academies. This model allows all high school students to understand why they are learning specific skills and how they will apply the skill in the career path of their choice.

  • Visioning with students well beyond their walk across the stage at graduation. Students prepare for the path they want to take after high school  – enroll in college, enlist in the military, become employed with industry credentials they earned in high school, or become an entrepreneur.

  • Implementing a framework and system of collaboration amongst building leaders and district-level administrators to achieve wildly important goals.

  • Increasing the number of students who understand how to set, track, and achieve academic and personal goals.

  • Forming strategic partnerships with employers, universities and community colleges so students are better prepared for next steps after graduation.

  • Investing $143 million dollars in important upgrades to facilities across the district to make buildings safe and to support the great work that was already happening on the inside.

The Mississippi Department of Education (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 achievement, particularly student proficiency levels.

Mississippi’s school grading system considers many indicators, including how many students score in the top two levels on the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program (MAAP) tests for English Language Arts and Mathematics in grades 3-8 and high school, whether students score the same or higher on state tests each year as new content is introduced, and whether students are graduating within four years of entering the ninth grade. 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.

To learn more about Mississippi’s A-F accountability system, visit mdek12.org.

NOTE: Accountability scores, released to Mississippi school superintendents and some media groups, were embargoed until 11 a.m. on Sept. 27. Scores will not be official until Thursday, Sept. 29 by a vote of the Mississippi Department of Education Board. Data files will not be posted to the MDE website until scores are official.