The Communicator newspaper with GSD info
photo of superintendent Dr. David Daigneault

Superintendent's Message

Good Enough is Never Enough

Grenada School District has received its 2017 accountability grades from the Mississippi Department of Education, and this year, we earned a grade of B. To put that in perspective, Grenada placed in the top 28 percent, ranking 40th out of 147 other state school districts.

The accountability grades are determined by student performance on the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program (MAAP) tests for English and math, which are taken annually by students in third through eighth grade. High school grades are determined by graduation rates, advanced coursework, and student performance on algebra I, English II, biology, history, and ACT tests.

As a district, Grenada is up from last year's grade — a C — but we can still do better … and we will. We are!

The most impressive data that we've pulled from these detailed test results shows exactly where the district is performing at a high level. Third grade math scores were ranked #15 in the state, and the corresponding English scores were ranked #13. Other high rankings in math included the fourth grade (#14), fifth grade (#23), and seventh grade (#17), where 49 students earned a perfect score on the MAAP test. Best of all, our eighth grade math finished 12th in the state with an impressive 45 students earning a perfect score.

Among all the accountability data, we've been able to discover not only our strengths but our weaknesses too.

In every grade, we work hard to close learning gaps. We've found effective technologies to help us recognize these weak spots, and then we target those areas with a combination of individualized student instruction as well as after-school tutoring, thanks to our AmeriCorps and 21st Century Community Learning programs.

One place we're striving to improve scores is in reading and language, which have fallen below our math and science scores. Grenada Elementary started tackling this a few years back in grades K-3 by implementing a new curriculum, Wonders, which aligns with iReady and places a strong emphasis on reading. We're encouraged by the results of the new reading focus, and it shows in our accountability scores. (Remember, the third graders ranked 13th in the state for language!)

The fourth and fifth grades implemented Wonders last year, and they've also started a new book club to encourage reading outside of class. New incentives for Accelerated Reading throughout the elementary school, as well as the K-3 challenge to read 10,000 books — if achieved, the kids will get to watch the principals and me eat lunch on the roof — are going a long way toward promoting a culture of reading in the elementary school.Grenada School District has received its 2017 accountability grades from the Mississippi Department of Education, and this year, we earned a grade of B.

To put that in perspective, Grenada placed in the top 28 percent, ranking 40th out of 147 other state school districts.

The accountability grades are determined by student performance on the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program (MAAP) tests for English and math, which are taken annually by students in third through eighth grade. High school grades are determined by graduation rates, advanced coursework, and student performance on algebra I, English II, biology, history, and ACT tests. As a district, Grenada is up from last year's grade — a C — but we can still do better … and we will. We are!

The most impressive data that we've pulled from these detailed test results shows exactly where the district is performing at a high level. Third grade math scores were ranked #15 in the state, and the corresponding English scores were ranked #13. Other high rankings in math included the fourth grade (#14), fifth grade (#23), and seventh grade (#17), where 49 students earned a perfect score on the MAAP test. Best of all, our eighth grade math finished 12th in the state with an impressive 45 students earning a perfect score. Among all the accountability data, we've been able to discover not only our strengths but our weaknesses too.

In every grade, we work hard to close learning gaps. We've found effective technologies to help us recognize these weak spots, and then we target those areas with a combination of individualized student instruction as well as after-school tutoring, thanks to our AmeriCorps and 21st Century Community Learning programs.

One place we're striving to improve scores is in reading and language, which have fallen below our math and science scores. Grenada Elementary started tackling this a few years back in grades K-3 by implementing a new curriculum, Wonders, which aligns with iReady and places a strong emphasis on reading. We're encouraged by the results of the new reading focus, and it shows in our accountability scores. (Remember, the third graders ranked 13th in the state for language!)

The fourth and fifth grades implemented Wonders last year, and they've also started a new book club to encourage reading outside of class. New incentives for Accelerated Reading throughout the elementary school, as well as the K-3 challenge to read 10,000 books — if achieved, the kids will get to watch the principals and me eat lunch on the roof — are going a long way toward promoting a culture of reading in the elementary school.Grenada School District has received its 2017 accountability grades from the Mississippi Department of Education, and this year, we earned a grade of B.

To put that in perspective, Grenada placed in the top 28 percent, ranking 40th out of 147 other state school districts.

The accountability grades are determined by student performance on the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program (MAAP) tests for English and math, which are taken annually by students in third through eighth grade. High school grades are determined by graduation rates, advanced coursework, and student performance on algebra I, English II, biology, history, and ACT tests.

As a district, Grenada is up from last year's grade — a C — but we can still do better … and we will. We are!

The most impressive data that we've pulled from these detailed test results shows exactly where the district is performing at a high level. Third grade math scores were ranked #15 in the state, and the corresponding English scores were ranked #13. Other high rankings in math included the fourth grade (#14), fifth grade (#23), and seventh grade (#17), where 49 students earned a perfect score on the MAAP test. Best of all, our eighth grade math finished 12th in the state with an impressive 45 students earning a perfect score.

Among all the accountability data, we've been able to discover not only our strengths but our weaknesses too.

In every grade, we work hard to close learning gaps. We've found effective technologies to help us recognize these weak spots, and then we target those areas with a combination of individualized student instruction as well as after-school tutoring, thanks to our AmeriCorps and 21st Century Community Learning programs.

One place we're striving to improve scores is in reading and language, which have fallen below our math and science scores. Grenada Elementary started tackling this a few years back in grades K-3 by implementing a new curriculum, Wonders, which aligns with iReady and places a strong emphasis on reading. We're encouraged by the results of the new reading focus, and it shows in our accountability scores. (Remember, the third graders ranked 13th in the state for language!)

The fourth and fifth grades implemented Wonders last year, and they've also started a new book club to encourage reading outside of class. New incentives for Accelerated Reading throughout the elementary school, as well as the K-3 challenge to read 10,000 books — if achieved, the kids will get to watch the principals and me eat lunch on the roof — are going a long way toward promoting a culture of reading in the elementary school.

Reading is one of the best ways to stimulate young imaginations, and we call on parents to help us with this task by swapping out some of those screen hours (both television and tablets) for reading time. Studies show that reading reduces stress, improves memory, and teaches empathy — all things that help make a happier, healthier child.

The rubric to calculate these scores is complex and ever-changing, but we must remain steadfast in our commitment to always pushing ahead. District-wide, we never settle for "good enough."

The Mississippi Department of Education recently named us a District of Innovation —one of only a handful in the state — which gives us the freedom to explore even more forward-thinking curriculum. We're fortunate to have the teachers and administrators who can carry out these plans, and we also benefit a great deal from parental input and the support of our community here in Grenada. We're casting a wide net at Grenada Schools, from bringing in three-year-old kids for our Pre-K program, to helping local adults earn their GED through our Education Center for Adult Learning. It's not just about making the grade. We're about changing the community.

We believe an educated community is a prosperous community.