When the Kentucky Department of Education released the statewide accountability results Tuesday, Christian County Public Schools had reasons to celebrate.

"All seven of our schools that were TSI (targeted support and improvement) schools based on (2017-18) data … exited TSI status," said Tracey Leath, CCPS district assessment coordinator, at a Monday media meeting. "So that means that no Christian County School has a federal designation based on their last year data."

After the previous year's accountability results, the state department of education placed Freedom Elementary and Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary schools under Comprehensive Support and Improvement. The CSI designation means that the school's overall score is in the bottom 5% of all schools in the state at that level.

Both schools exited CSI under the new five-star accountability model. MLK Jr. Elementary school received a two-star rating and Freedom Elementary School received a one-star rating.

The largest group of schools in a support improvement category were under the TSI designation after the 2017-18 school year. That designation means that at least one student group at a school performed below all students in the state at that level.

According to New Era archives, Christian County Middle and High School, Hopkinsville Middle and High School, Pembroke Elementary School, Sinking Fork Elementary School and South Christian Elementary School were labeled TSI last year.

According to Jessica Fletcher, KDE chief communications officer, while KDE was creating the latest accountability results the United States Department of Education told KDE that the TSI designation was insufficient. That forced KDE to scrap the TSI designation when grading schools with 2018-19 accountability data.

Fletcher said that not only were no new schools added to the designation, but all schools in the state that had been designated TSI had that label removed. KDE looked at all of the schools once labeled TSI to check their progress.

KDE created a new label, Additional Targeted Support and Improvement, to replace TSI. Fletcher said that if a TSI school's under-performing groups made no improvement then that school would be labeled ATSI.

If a TSI school's under-performing group made any improvement, the TSI label went away. All seven TSI schools in Christian County made improvements with their under-performing groups.

"Had (the CCPS TSI schools) not improved, they still would have had their federal label," Leath said.

Kentucky will start labeling schools as TSI again next school year after the designation falls in line with federal mandates.

Reach Jon Russelburg at jrusselburg@kentuckynewera.com

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