Baldwin County’s schools have received their report cards from the state and the news is good. Almost every school in the county saw gains over the last year and the district’s overall average was raised three points, from an 82 to an 85.
While some schools received D or F grades last year, this year the county’s lowest score is a C and some schools made large gains in their numbers in the last two years.
Bay Minette Elementary jumped from a 54 F last year to an 83 B this year. Bay Minette Middle jumped from a 63 D to a 79 C. Foley High School went from a 68 D to a 77 C and Silverhill Elementary from a 79 C to a 91 A.
Baldwin County Schools’ Academic Dean Joyce Woodburn said the system was gratified to see the increase in scores across the county and attributed the increased success to the system’s four-part plan implemented over the last year.
“Each of the four parts represents something that meets the needs of specific components in our school system,” Woodburn said. “For example, guided reading is an effort to help all students become increasingly literate. At the middle school and high school levels, it is an effort to focus on kids that are below grade level in reading. In the K-6 arena, we’re using guided reading for all of our students and moving toward the goal of balanced literacy.”
Woodburn said EMINTS training, another part of the four-part plan, focuses on helping teachers “increase the tools in their toolboxes” with additional training.
Another major facet that helped facilitate the score changes was the usage of Scantron Analytics, a data collection system. According to Woodburn, this tool allows teachers, administrators and central office personnel to compare testing data, gradebook grades, attendance information, and other factors in real time, and use this information to help students become increasingly academically successful.
“Scantron Analytics is of the utmost importance because now the data shows us where the holes are with students, shows us where we’re succeeding and failing,” Woodburn said. “It allows us to make smart decisions about how to fill in gaps and lets us do it in real time.”
Curriculum leaders are also a key part of the plan, allowing greater continuity in instruction across the system’s schools.
“Curriculum leaders, reading coaches and instructional coaches are the people that are the conduit between this division and the schools because now we have people we can pull in once a month and tell them here’s what we’re doing,” Woodburn said. “We’re all singing the same song now with a consistent plan throughout the district with everyone on the same page.”
Woodburn said while she and other system officials are pleased with this year’s scores, there is still more to be done.
“Do we have work to do? Absolutely, but we’re on the right track and it’s evident,” Woodburn said. “This is such an encouragement.”
Woodburn was thankful for the support received from Superintendent Eddie Tyler and the Baldwin County Board of Education with the plan’s implementation.
“Thanks to the coordinated and consistent efforts of teachers, administrators and district level personnel, the Baldwin County Public School System is showing tremendous gains in student achievement,” Woodburn said. “I am very grateful to the superintendent and the Board for their support of the Four Part Plan. We continue to move forward in a positive and exciting direction under the leadership of Superintendent Tyler.
BCBE member Shannon Cauley said the results speak for themselves.
“This academic plan that Dr. Woodburn and her team have set out has been incredibly successful in our schools, as these test scores are showing,” Cauley said. “It’s gratifying to see that decisions we help make as a school board are having such a direct positive impact on our students and their ability to learn. Academic success is our top priority and we will continue to support programs like this that make sure our children continue to make increases in learning ability.”
Scores for Baldwin County’s schools are (from 2017 to 2018):
Baldwin County High: 70 C to 76 C
Bay Minette Elem: 54 F to 83 B
Bay Minette Middle: 63 D to 79 C
Central Baldwin Middle: 79 C to 82 B
Daphne East Elem: 93 A to 96 A
Daphne Elem: 84 B to 95 A
Daphne High: 83 B to 87 B
Daphne Middle: 82 B to 87 B
Delta Elem: 85 B to 93 A
Elberta Elem: 82 B to 92 A
Elberta High: 81 B to 89 B
Elsanor Elem: 87 B to 91 A
Fairhope Elem: 83 B to 97A
Fairhope High: 87 B to 92 A
Fairhope Intermediate: 88 B to 94 A
Fairhope Middle: 92 A to 93 A
Foley Elem: 81 B to 87 B
Foley High: 68D to 77 C
Foley Intermediate: 80 B to 81 B
Foley Middle: 74 C to 74 C
Gulf Shores Elem: 91 A to 92 A
Gulf Shores High: 77 C to 84 B
Gulf Shores Middle: 91 A to 89 B
J Larry Newton Elem: 89 B to 92 A
Loxley Elem: 83 B to 88 B
Magnolia Elem: 79 C to 84 B
Orange Beach Elem: 97 A to 98 A
Perdido School: 81 B to 87 B
Pine Grove Elem: 67 D to 71 C
Robertsdale Elem: 87 B to 86 B
Robertsdale High: 69 D to 71 C
Rockwell Elem: 93 A to 96 A
Rosinton Elem: 88 B to 89 B
Spanish Fort Elem: 95 A to 97 A
Spanish Fort High: 84 B to 91 A
Spanish Fort Middle: 92 A to 93 A
Summerdale School: 74 C to 78 C
Stapleton Elem: 87 B to 89 B
Silverhill Elem: 79 C to 91 A
Swift Elem: 75 C to 90 A
WJ Carroll Inter: 87 B to 92 A
Virtual School: xxxxx to 80 B
District Average: 82 B to 85 B