OUR OPINION: Vicksburg Warren School District’s B Grade benefits all

Published 4:00 am Wednesday, September 28, 2022

The Vicksburg Warren School District succeeded in doing what some considered impossible: earning a B accountability grade from the Mississippi Department of Education.

This letter grade was built on the backs of every student, teacher, support staff member, administrator and parent at VWSD, all of whom worked tirelessly in unprecedented times to reach their academic goals.

Post reporter Ben Martin spent the last two weeks explaining MDE’s accountability model — and the way it sets up a certain percentage of school districts to fail. If you’ve read those stories, you understand just how extraordinary it is for VWSD to defeat the odds and rise not one letter grade, but two.

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It’s something of which all area residents can be proud, whether they’re connected to the school district or not. That can be evidenced by the attendance at Tuesday’s celebration at the Duff Green Mansion, which featured not only VWSD officials but also Mayor George Flaggs, members of the Warren County Board of Supervisors, the Vicksburg Warren Partnership, local business leaders in a variety of industries and representatives from the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center.

Not all of these people were products of VWSD; not all of their children attended school there. But just as the excitement extends outside the walls of academia, so do the benefits.

The higher our school district’s grade is, the more appealing our community is to potential partners in industry and potential residents.

Thanks to the district’s commitment to the “exit strategies” of enrollment, enlistment or employment and its emphasis on career skills, it’s a safe bet that the B grade will lead to more opportunities for children prior to graduation.

The B letter grade isn’t the end-all, be-all for our community, however.

We’ve known all along that what’s happening at VWSD is more valuable than any trophy earned or accolade given. Above all else, what the letter grade signifies is the quality of education afforded to students in our area — and the quality of adults those students are equipped to become.

We salute all those involved in this momentous achievement, and know it is a hard-fought victory. Congratulations to the Vicksburg Warren School District, and thank you for all you do for our youth.