On Tuesday, the Kentucky Department of Education released its new five-star accountability model along with kyschoolreportcard.com -- a website that breaks down education data by district -- along with each school's proficiency rates for the previous school year.
The new data helps parse the five-star ratings for Christian County Public Schools and gives insight as to where the district stands when compared to the rest of the state.
The district gained a two-star rating in elementary, middle and high schools. The state average is a three-star rating in all three levels.
As previously reported in the New Era, six schools in the district earned a three-star rating. Of those six schools, five were elementary schools. At a meeting Monday to discuss the district's school ratings, Amy Wilcox, CCPS chief instructional officer, said that progress at the elementary schools has been a main goal of the district.
"Some of the largest work that we are trying to be a more proactive partner in is the work that has to come before we get kids (in the schools)," she said. "We know that the (learning) gap is really established before they come to us."
The school proficiency rates give some insight on why those schools gained the highest rating in the districts.
The KDE proficiency dashboard shows the proficiency ranks of each Kentucky school, broken down into reading, mathematics, writing, social studies and science. Here's a closer look at the CCPS schools that received three-star proficiency ratings.
Crofton Elementary School
Crofton Elementary School broke both the state social studies and mathematics proficiency rates by a wide margin. In mathematics, the school had a 55.8% proficeincy rate, compared to the state elementary school average of 48.6%.
The widest margin for Crofton in the proficency rates was in social studies. The school had a 68.5% proficiency rate, compared to the state average of 53%.
It also scored 1% higher in science than the state average. Although it ranked under the state average in both reading and writing, the school broke the district average in both categories.
Indian Hills Elementary School
Indian Hills Elementary School blew past the state proficiency averages in mathematics, writing and social studies.
In mathematics, the school scored a 55.4%, almost 6% higher than the state average. In writing and social studies, the school scored a 61.4% in both categories. That is more than 15% higher than the state average in writing and 7% higher in social studies.
Millbrooke Elementary School
Millbrooke Elementary School also scored higher than the state average in mathematics and social studies with 56% and 55.1% proficiency rates, respectively.
However, the school scored a 13.9% in science compared to the 31.7% overall state score.
One of the biggest elements to help bring those numbers up is the Striving Readers Grant that CCPS implemented a few years ago. The grant helps preschools and day cares teach future CCPS students to read before they get to school .
"We're trying to invent solid literacy practices in that," Wilcox said.
If a student can't read, that brings down their ability to learn any subject properly, she noted.
Sinking Fork and South Christian Elementary schools
Sinking Fork Elementary School scored well above the state average in mathematics with a 64.6% proficiency rate.
Although it was below the state average in the other four categories, the school beat the district average in science, social studies, writing and reading.
South Christian Elementary School eclipsed the states proficiency rate in social studies. The school scored a 65.3% proficiency rate, compared to the states average of 53%.
Although the five-star accountability system uses more than just proficiency rates to score each school and district -- academic growth, transition readiness and graduation rates are also taken into account -- the proficiency data helps paint a clearer picture as to where the schools have succeeded and what areas of concern still exist.
Reach Jon Russelburg at firstname.lastname@example.org.