Kindergarteners, Pre-K Students Make Significant Gains on Statewide Assessment

JACKSON, Miss. – The results of Mississippi’s statewide assessment of learning in pre-K and kindergarten show that the majority of the state’s youngest students have made significant gains during the academic year. More than 36,000 kindergarteners took the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment in the fall and spring of the 2017-18 school year. The state average score for the fall test was 504. The average score climbed to 710 on the spring test. “These results validate the hard work of kindergarten teachers across the state who have successfully helped students build their foundational literacy skills,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “Reading instruction must remain a major focus through the 3rd grade and beyond so that all children develop strong reading skills. Reading is the gateway to learning.” Every district in the state showed progress among their kindergarten classes, though student achievement varied. District average scores ranged from 626 to 794. The target end-of-year score for kindergarten is 681, and 123 school districts met or exceeded this target score. This score categorizes students as transitional readers. Students scoring at this level are beginning to read unfamiliar words and easy reader material but are not yet independent readers. Progress in kindergarten remained steady from 2016-17 to 2017-18, with, 65 percent of kindergarteners scoring at or above 681 both years. At the end of the 2015-16 school year, 63 percent met the target score, up from 54 percent in 2014-15. The Kindergarten Readiness Assessment evaluates skills such as the ability to recognize letters and match letters to their sounds and a student’s recognition that print flows from left to right. The...

MDE to Host First Literacy Coaching Symposium

JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Education’s Office of Elementary Education and Reading will host its first Literacy Coaching Symposium on June 7, 2016, in association with the 2016 Making Connections Conference at the Gulf Coast Coliseum and Convention Center.  The symposium is a one-day pre-conference institute designed to provide a focused professional learning opportunity for K-12 literacy coaches, reading specialists, instructional coordinators, and administrators who work directly with teachers to support literacy instruction. “Literacy coaches provide on-site support to build teacher knowledge and skills in order to improve student outcomes. This symposium will give educators who serve in coaching roles the opportunity to explore successful strategies for transferring the theory of coaching into every day practice,” said Dr. Kymyona Burk, state literacy director. This event is designed to promote collaboration among literacy coaches and to provide professional learning opportunities and resources, which will strengthen coaching capacity. “With the implementation of the Literacy Based Promotion Act, we have seen first-hand the powerful impact that a skilled coach can have on instruction.  Drawing on this experience, we have secured some of the most  highly regarded trainers in the nation to design an intensive institute.  It is our goal to equip participants with the skills  necessary to support teachers in their respective districts as they provide students with rigorous reading instruction,” said Dr. Kim Benton, MDE chief academic officer. Nationally renowned presenters including: Patti Montgomery, author and former executive director of the Office of Literacy for the state of Colorado; Dr. Enrique Puig, director of The Morgridge International Reading Center at the University of Central Florida; and, Kevin Smith, research...

Read to Ride!

OBE Principal Sunnie Barkley is congratulating bicycle winners. Thirty students received bicycles for reading from Academy Sports and Outdoors in Olive Branch. There was an extra incentive to read at Olive Branch Elementary School this holiday season.  If a student read and completed a “reading log,” the student was eligible to win a new bicycle and helmet, compliments of the Academy Sports and Outdoors in Olive...

Be a Champion and Read Contest

The Mississippi Association of Educators believes reading is the child’s key to success in school and life. That’s why MAE is emphasizing reading through its Be a Champion and Read contest. The goal of the contest is to get your child excited about reading. Entering your child in the contest is simple! Choose six reading-level appropriate books and encourage your child to read all of them before the final date to qualify as a “champion reader” on Friday, October 23. Students who meet the six-book challenge qualify for the contest drawing. The grand prize winner receives tickets to the Egg Bowl with two guests, a visit to the field during pre-game activities and a school prize pack! There will be two winners, one for MSU and one for Ole Miss. Other prizes will be awarded to four students from each team. Students can only choose one team and enter the contest one time. Only K-8 Mississippi public school students can participate and win. Additionally, four participating teachers or librarians will win $500 for their classroom. There is also a $250 cash prize which will be awarded to four teachers who have the best decorated bulletin board, door, or classroom promoting the contest. Be sure to mark which team your child is reading for – MSU or Ole Miss! Students completing the challenge will receive a MSU or Ole Miss bookmark and certificate highlighting that your child is a championship reader! Don’t forget that your child’s reading list is due to the teacher by Friday, October 23....