3 Schools Rated Successful
The Canton Public School District has worked hard to increase student achievement. Over the last several years it has made undeniable, continuous progress. As a result, this year the Mississippi Department of Education has given three of the district’s schools “Successful” ratings. Canton Elementary went from “Academic Watch” to a “Successful” rating. Canton School of Arts & Sciences went from “Low Performing” to a “Successful” rating. Nichols Middle School met growth and maintained its “Successful” rating. However, Canton High School did not meet growth; it now has a “Low Performing” label. As a result, the district was given a “Low Performing” rating. We are disappointed that we missed getting a higher label by 1.7 points. However, we are not discouraged. Our district is still making progress. To move from having only one successful school to having 3 successful schools, shows that we are clearly making progress as a district. Under the federal model, Canton Public Schools had no priority schools. We are definitely encouraged by our progress.
As the Canton Public School District works to overcome years of challenges, its progress is evident in its lower dropout rate and increased graduation rate. In 2006, the district’s dropout rate was 42.7% and its graduation rate was 41.8 percent. Today the district’s graduation rate has improved to 71.6 percent. That’s 30% more of its students graduating from school. The district’s dropout rate has been tremendously lowered to 22.4 percent. That’s 20% more students choosing to stay in school. Over the last six years, approximately 400 more students have earned their high school diploma. The district has also improved its culture and climate, decreased student discipline problems, increased student attendance, and increased parental involvement. The district has made tremendous social and academic progress among other improvements. It has also been very fiscally conservative and responsible with taxpayer dollars.
However, while we have made some incredible gains, we know we must continue to intensify our efforts to keep improving our students’ academic performance. We are looking at data and are devising a plan of action to strengthen areas of weakness. We are putting forth all our efforts to provide quality personnel and other resources needed to improve in these areas. We have an improvement plan already in motion to support more focused efforts at Canton High School. We still want to make sure that our successful schools continue to improve and grow academically. As a district, we are continuing to focus on improving teaching and learning for all of our students.
As the district continues to work hard to improve its performance, it is encouraged by the progress that its students, teachers, administrators, and parents have made. We are all working together to move our district to greater academic success.
Therefore, when you hear these new labels please also know that we are a work in progress, we are improving, and we are achieving as we reach new heights.