Boyle Schools achieves high scores on KDE report card
Published 9:55 am Thursday, November 9, 2023
The Boyle County School District has received its 2022-23 School Report Card, available at kyschoolreportcard.com.
The results show Kentucky Summative Assessment data released by the Kentucky Department of Education. The accountability system uses a color-coded rating system, with red being the lowest; orange second lowest; yellow is middle; green is high; and blue is the highest.
Among the state’s 1,484 schools, only 185 scored a blue rating, and four of those are in the Boyle district.
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The three elementary schools in the district earned a blue rating; the middle school got a green rating; and the high school received a blue rating.
Superintendent Mark Wade said the district is the highest-performing county school district in the state. With some independent and state districts scoring higher, Boyle County is the 8th overall district in the state, according to the KDE.
Wade said one thing the district is most proud of is ACT scores at the high school. Their ACT scores are much higher than the state average. The state average score is 17.8, and the Boyle district’s average is 21.8. Wade said they’ve been an ACT leader in the state for a long time, as well as postsecondary readiness.
The KSA accountability system rates school and district performance in six state indicators: reading and math results; science, social studies and writing results; English learner progress; quality of school climate and safety; postsecondary readiness; and graduation rate.
New this year is a change indicator that shows how performance in those areas have changed from the previous year.
The district schools have increased or maintained in every area listed above except one. Reading and math scores decreased at the high school, and were given a yellow rating.
Schools increased or maintained scores in science, social studies and combined writing; quality of school climate and safety; and postsecondary readiness. These areas have green or blue ratings at each school. The quality of school climate and safety is green at each school.
In terms of progress toward state goals, the district made progress in reading, math, science, and writing, and stayed the same in social studies.
The four-year graduation rate went down 1% from 2022. The state goal is that 95% of students are expected to graduate in four years. Boyle Schools met that 95% goal in 2022, but in 2023 that number slipped to 94% of students graduating in four years. However, the five-year graduation rate increased from 95.4% to 98%.
English language proficiency increased exponentially at the elementary level. The state goal is that 51.1% of students should be EL proficient or above. In 2022, that percentage was 26.7% at Boyle Schools. In 2023, 50% of students are EL proficient at Boyle.
Kindergarten readiness is higher than the state average. The state average is 38% ready with no intervention. The Boyle district has 44% of students ready with no intervention. With intervention, the state average is 54%, and Boyle’s is 46%. With enrichment, the state’s is 8%, and Boyle’s is 10%.
The district had a higher percent of above-average scores than the state in kindergarten in the areas of academic/cognitive, language development, physical development and social emotional development.
The middle school had the lowest overall score, but is still green. Wade said the school was very close to hitting the blue mark, and believes the school is on the right trajectory. He said schools get penalized for not meeting certain goals, which shows on the middle school’s report card results.
Wade said they need time to implement effective strategies and continue to follow the Blueprint teaching model.
“Things are going well there; the culture is really good, the attendance is good, the students are working hard, so if they stay that trajectory, I am confident that they will achieve their goal and be a blue rated school next year,” Wade said.
One thing that has helped the district be so successful is adhering to the Blueprint teaching model, according to Wade. He said it’s a classroom structure that they know works. It includes daily formative assessments tied to learning targets. Teachers assess whether or not students understand each day’s lesson, which then impacts the next day’s lesson and assessment.
The Blueprint model includes a flashback, a learning target, introductory approach, an attention getter, explanation of models, discussion, differentiation of instruction, allowing students to try it out, and then getting an exit slip.
Wade said the teachers have used it so much in the classroom that they are professionals at it. They’ve tried to hone in student engagement, wanting students to be actively engaged in learning with differentiated instruction.
“We can never be satisfied with the status quo, it takes a lot of work from every employee in the district,” Wade said. “You have to have students that are bought in and want to be here, you have to maintain focus on the Kentucky academic standards, so it takes a lot of work, because the standards have changed over recent years. There’s constant reflection over what needs to be done, and we’re looking at assessments and learning targets.”
Principals have been looking at how better to help gap groups, including economically disadvantaged students, and special education students.
Wade said the number one way to help special education students is effective co-teaching structures, and making sure teachers work together well, as it produces positive results.
With co-teaching, classrooms have three different staff, each with their own stations. Sometimes students are grouped in terms of how well they are doing in the class. Co-teaching allows for students to have differentiation of instruction; and smaller groups leads to higher focus and more intensive instruction.
“We want to have classrooms that are very engaging, very differentiated, so students are involved; we want students to want to be at school,” Wade said.
Economically disadvantaged students scored lower in every area than non-economically disadvantaged students. Wade said that’s generally the case in every part of Kentucky, and they plan to help those students by sticking to the Blueprint model, and increasing co-teaching.
Schools offer individualized instruction to struggling students to meet them where they’re at. On daily formative assessments, teachers have developed ways to track progress and have been able to target growth and mastery of academic standards. They also do ability grouping in co-teaching classrooms, and use a plethora of tools to help facilitate learning.
“When we have identified issues, we really try to go after the issues; if we see a student that’s struggling, let’s help the student that’s struggling,” Wade said. “We want kids to succeed.”
Wade said the schools continue to set high bars and enforce them, and they make sure teachers and students know. He said they learn from their failures and study the data.
They have a philosophy that the schools should support what students want to do, and help them pursue it. Wade said schools try to put students in adult roles, such as the BSN broadcasting crews, or the school news at the middle school. The new Arts Academy helps students pursue careers in the arts.
The school board has helped provide opportunities for students to get involved in athletics and extracurricular activities. The new Boyle County Performing Arts Center allows students to watch quality performances. Wade said teachers are dedicated to doing what’s best for students.
“I think we have the best teachers and administrators in the state; they’re professional, they want students to be successful, and no matter their content, they’re professionals,” Wade said. “They work so hard for our students, and it’s not just in the classroom, it’s after school, coaching, etc.”
He said the teachers’ dedication and care creates a positive culture of trust and safety, where students want to be there and want to succeed.
“Kids know the teachers are there for them, and they want them to be successful,” Wade said. “It’s the culture that exists that’s fostered by our school system that’s paying dividends right now.”
To view more data on educational opportunities including AP courses and career and technical education; transition to adult life including career readiness; and school safety including behavior events and discipline, click here.