Pictured is Penny Wells' fourth-grade classroom at Austin-Tracy Elementary, which was one of 20 schools named to the Commissioner's List having extraordinary growth and academic growth.

GLASGOW — Three elementary schools in the Barren County School System received accountability ratings of four stars when the Kentucky Department of education made public state assessment scores for the 2018-19 school year and rolled out a new five-star accountability system on Tuesday. Those schools are: Austin-Tracy, Hiseville and Temple Hill.

The new accountability system assigns the state, school districts and schools with an overall star rating ranging from one to five, with one being the lowest and five being the highest.

The star ratings are based on the 2018-19 Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress or K-Prep assessment data and other indicators.

Such indicators taken into consideration when assigning star ratings for schools at the elementary and middle levels are proficiency in reading, mathematics, social studies, science and writing; separate academic; and growth/progress over one academic year.

“Those three schools were indicated as four-star schools and of course that's an average of the indicators from proficiency, separate academic and growth. Proficiency and growth are the two that are weighted the most. It's about 36 percent,” said Scott Harper, director of instruction and technology for the school district. “Separate academic is made up of 27 percent or so of the rest of the total.”

He continued that all three schools performed very well on the 2018-19 K-Prep assessments that fed into the accountability system.

State averages for the proficiency indicators are: Reading, 54.6 percent; Math, 48.6 percent; Writing, 46.6 percent; Social Studies, 53 percent; and Science, 31.7 percent.

Austin-Tracy and Temple Hill scored above state average in all proficiency indicators.

Those scores are: Austin-Tracy — Reading, 63.4 percent; Math, 67.2 percent; Writing, 69.4 percent; Social Studies, 58.3 percent; and Science, 36.1 percent; Temple Hill — Reading, 68.5 percent; Math, 65.7 percent; Writing, 69.7 percent; Social Studies, 75.8 percent; and Science, 40 percent.

Hiseville did not score above state average for all proficiency indicators. It's scores are: Reading, 63.6 percent; Math, 44.6 percent; Writing, 58.1 percent; Social Studies, 74.2 percent; and Science, 31.3 percent.

A summary chart provided by the school district in a press release issued on Tuesday showed the state elementary rating to be three stars.

The chart also showed the overall score for the state elementary average to be 64.2. Other overall scores for indicators are: Proficiency, 70.4; separate academic, 64.7; and growth, 57.7.

Austin-Tracy Elementary had an overall score of 76.9. It's indicator scores are as follows: Proficiency, 83.4; separate academic, 76.9; and growth, 70.4.

Temple Hill had an overall score of 76.9. It's indicator scores are as follows: Proficiency, 85.6; separate academic, 78.9; and growth, 66.8.

Hiseville's overall score was 71.6. It's indicator scores are as follows: Proficiency, 75.8; separate academic, 77.0; and growth, 63.5.

Kentucky Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis explained during a press conference on Monday what it means for a school to receive a four- or five-star rating.

“A four and a five star school means you have schools that have rated in the really exceptional part of our school rating and accountability system. That's exceptional performance,” he said.

According to a press released issued by the Kentucky Department of Education on Tuesday, for the 2018-19 school year there were 233 schools across the state that received a four-star rating. Of that number, 146 were elementary schools, 60 middle schools and 27 high schools.

Harper attributed to the schools' success, as well as the entire school district, to focusing on what works best through visible learning work they have engaged in over the past four to five years to help teachers and staff “dig deep into the standards and to know what the intention of learning is.”

“These three schools have a long-standing tradition of great instruction and great instructional programs. I think they know their students and know their students well,” he said. “They really focus in on goal setting and having the students know where they are and where they are want to be in given time.”

He continued that they also use the data they have to inform students where they are instructionally and make plans to address it and move forward.

In addition, 20 schools across the state were recognized by Lewis during Monday's press conference for exhibiting extraordinary growth and academic progress.

Those schools appear on what is being called the Commissioner's List and have had at least a 10 point gain in proficiency from 2017-18 to 2018-19 and received a very high label for the growth indicator for elementary and middle schools or the transition indicator for high schools in 2018-19.

Schools in southcentral Kentucky that appeared on the Commissioner's List are: Austin-Tracy Elementary, Munfordville Elementary, Monroe County High School and Green County Middle School.

Joey Bunch, principal of Austin-Tracy Elementary, said: “It's an outstanding award to be one of the 20 schools to show the growth that we did and to be recognized for it."

He continued that his students, faculty and staff have all worked hard and that he wants everyone to know that the school is trying to grow.

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