Ocean Springs among top in state on academic assessment

There are a lot of good teachers and a lot of good school districts in South Mississippi. But, when it comes to overall performance, Ocean Springs does it just
Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 3:42 PM CDT
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OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - There are a lot of good teachers and a lot of good school districts in South Mississippi. But, when it comes to overall performance, Ocean Springs does it just a little better.

“It’s what we’ve worked for for so long,” said Jennifer Necaise, principal of Ocean Springs Upper Elementary School. “Coming out of COVID for two years, that’s a daunting task for anybody. And it shows that our community, our students are resilient and they’re able to accomplish the main focus, which is to educate our students.”

According to the Mississippi Academic Assessment program results from last year, which were just released, they did it well. The district finished 1st place in the state in two of the academic categories: fifth and eighth grade Biology and third through eighth grade English Language Arts. It ranked 3rd in U.S. History and 5th in Mathematics and Algebra I.

Samantha Switzer is the fifth-grade science teacher at Ocean Springs Upper Elementary, which helped put the district on top. “It is full of passionate educators,” she said. “It’s hard to find a teacher that is not fully invested in their students and their craft. So, we love what we do every day.”

The secret to testing well coming out of the pandemic is to cover the material thoroughly.

“We don’t teach to the test. We make sure that everything that the child is missing from the previous years, we’re teaching that,” said sixth-grade English teacher Davin Lovett. “So, we’re pretty much teaching different grade levels at one time. So, we’re just trying to make sure that child succeeds and moves forward with excellence.”

Expectations are high for everyone. “I set those goals for myself just as I set the goals for my students,” said sixth-grade math teacher Leigh Hughes. “They know that I believe in them, just like I know my administrators believe in me. So, that gives me the power to do what I’m doing and be really good at it.”

To see the entire list of results, visit https://www.mdek12.org/OPR/Reporting/Assessment/2021-22 or view a summary of the results on our story: State test results for 2021-22 school year bounce back to near pre-pandemic rates

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