With the 2019-20 school year in full swing, leaders in the West Point Independent school district now are fully focused on instruction. School district leaders detailed different instructional practices Tuesday, during a monthly school board meeting.
In addition to the Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress, the school district uses Measures in Academic Progress testing to measure student growth, a test administered three times during the school year which measures student performance in reading and math.
School principal Carla Breeding said the school wants to ensure all students are successful in school, despite their economic background. About 80 percent of the students at West Point are considered at an economic disadvantage, according to the Kentucky Department of Education.
“We want all of our kids to be successful whatever their situation,” she said.
The Kentucky Department of Education labeled the school as a Comprehensive Support and Improvement school, meaning it was one of the lowest-performing schools in the state based on data from last school year.
To help improve the academic performance of the school’s students, Breeding said the school day includes a 90-minute uninterrupted block in reading and language arts instruction for elementary school students and one for math. Breeding also highlighted the educational importance of recent school field trips, new instruction resources and weekly staff meetings focusing on professional development.
In response to a question asked about preventing boredom in students who already performing well, Breeding said there is an opportunity for the district’s gifted and talented teacher to work with those students.
“We want everyone to make progress,” she said.
Breeding thanked the teachers for their work heading into the current school year.
“I continue to be so encouraged and impressed by our teaching staff, their positive attitudes and their willingness to be flexible to be so student-focused,” she said. “We really have a great atmosphere here with our teachers and our teaching staff.”
For outside school opportunities, interim superintendent Sally Sugg said the school district is working on applying for a $150,000 federal grant for a 21st Century Community Learning Center, which provides academic opportunities for students after school hours. Sugg said there is a meeting at 6 p.m. Oct. 23 in the school’s library to get feedback from the West Point community about what the grant should be used for.