Last Fall, Pascagoula and Gautier High Schools rallied students to study hard to earn high test scores. The district launched a campaign called "Superior: Expect It" to motivate students to help each school achieve the highest rating - Level 5.
Based on newly-released high school test scores on the Coast, it appears Gautier and Pascagoula had the highest percentage of students who passed the Subject Area Tests. It seems the campaign worked.
Superintendent Hank Bounds said "Everything that we do in this district, we work to be at that level, and the best we can be. That's what we talked about, everything we did last year, and it's paying off in student test scores now. So I'm really excited".
Everyday, as students come to school, they see signs posted throughout campus. The signs remind the students that the school district has very high expectations of them.
The district credits teachers like Carolyn Cowart for the good test results. Nearly 98% of Biology students at Gautier High passed their tests. Carolyn Cowart said "You have to make the class enjoyable. That's one of the first things. But you also have to demand a lot. You can't take second best from the students if they're going to actually be able to do what you're looking for".
Sophomore Doug Fontaine said "We had really good teachers to help us go along. They helped us review the material, and helped us learn. I was very excited that our school did very well, and that I could be a part of it".
Students and teachers will know for sure if they have something to cheer about, when final test scores and school ratings are released September 12th.
Based on the preliminary test scores, Moss Point High School had the lowest percentage of students who passed their Subject Area Tests. Moss Point's Superintendent says the numbers may look low, but overall, test scores in the district have gone up.
Dr. Tressie Shaw Harper said "We have a positive growth in all four subject areas. We are setting high marks for ourselves. We are growing every year and getting better and better, and so we're very happy about them. There are some modest gains, but certainly a gain is a gain".
This year, Dr. Harper says the district plans to give students practice tests every nine weeks to prepare them for the "real" tests and to help teachers determine if students have mastered the skills.