West Elementary celebrates “A” rating

West Elementary students celebrate the school’s “A” rating Friday. (Photo by Charlie Benton, SDN)
Staff Writer

Students and faculty at West Elementary School in Sturgis celebrated a big victory Friday afternoon.

The school was the sole institution in the Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District to receive an A rating from the Mississippi Department of Education. Accountability ratings were releasedin October, and showed West had jumped from a C rating to the A rating. The district’s current rating remains at a C.

“Look around you,” said West Elementary Principal Gabrielle Mills. “Look beside you. Look in front of you. Look behind you. These are the other reasons why we are an A-rated school, all because of you.”

Mills also acknowledged the school’s faculty and staff for its role in the high score.

“Many students attended before-school tutorials, during-school tutoring sessions, after-school tutoring sessions while participating in rigorous instruction as well,” said SOCSD Director of Assessment and Intervention Andrea Smith, who served as principal of West last year.

“Students, you were active learners. Our power hour sessions of small group instruction were one of the key factors to the rating you heard we have.”

Smith specifically recognized the fourth graders, who took the third grade math assessment last school year, netting the highest score statewide.

Smith also said representatives from the Columbus Municipal School District had come to West to observe.

SOCSD Superintendent Eddie Peasant also congratulated the school and read a proclamation from Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill. Sturgis Mayor Walter Turner also attended the celebration.

“I’m really proud of each and every one of you, on behalf of our team at central office, Dr. Christy Maudling, Dr. Tori Holloway and Mr. David Baggett,” Peasant said. “We’re all proud of all the hard work you put in. That’s teachers, staff and especially the students here at West Elementary, so congratulations again, I’m really excited to be here.”

The event ended with a pep rally and a drawing for prizes for students who scored above average on the tests.