Ocean Springs School District sees testing scores improve despite pandemic

Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 9:48 PM CDT
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OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - While the state as a whole saw dropping scores in English Language Arts, one school district in the state actually saw improvements during the pandemic.

Most students of the Ocean Spring School District are walking with their heads high.

“The students were eager to be back, and we work them hard,” said English teacher Cindy Lowery.

And that hard work paid off here, but across the state, students struggled.

According to the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program, school districts statewide saw test scores drop. Within the past two years, math scores dropped by 12 percent and English down 6 percent.

So how did Ocean Springs School see English test scores rise? Lowery said technology and organization helped make virtual learning effective.

“We had Google classroom at the time and that enable us to organize them while they were with us. If they had to be out, then it was easy to follow,” said Lowery.

Even bouncing between in-person and online learning, students continued to take diagnostic tests every nine weeks and focused on areas for improvement.

“When they see that data, they’re able to have a sense of accountability and a sense of responsibility,” said Olivia Smith, 8th grade English teacher. “They’re able to know what their goals are.”

Lowery said even though the school district had to adjust because of the pandemic, she says teachers still made sure to push students to their furthest potential.

“We’ve insisted that they meet the expectation because we knew that they could, so we worked with them constantly and they cooperated with us,” said Lowery.

Smith said the accomplishment gives both staff and students reassurance that their strategy brings success.

“The day in and day out, the nitty gritty, seeing how hard they’ve worked makes me proud,” said Smith. “More so than anything, where they were and how far they’ve come.”

And Smith said coming this far is not a stopping point.

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