Long Beach School District tops the state in accountability scores

The Long Beach School District is ranked at the top of all districts in the state overall and placed in the top 10 statewide in all four subject areas.
Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 11:29 AM CDT
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SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - One South Mississippi school district is now ranked first in the entire state after the Mississippi Department of Education released accountability grades for the first time since 2019.

The Long Beach School District is ranked at the top of all districts in the state overall and placed in the top 10 statewide in all four subject areas: reading, math, history and science.

Like Long Beach, the Ocean Springs School District also placed in the top 10 in all four subject areas, and ranked third statewide.

Below are the results of the 2021-2022 school year as they were released by the state Department of Education:

School DistrictGradeRankTotal pointsGraduation rate
Long Beach School DistrictA180392.9
Ocean Springs School DistrictA377187.9
Pass Christian Public School DistrictA973588.7
Biloxi Public School DistrictA1272491.5
Harrison County School DistrictA1472088.2
Jackson County School DistrictA1571391
Stone County School DistrictA1770893.2
Bay St. Louis - Waveland School DistrictA1970295.7
Poplarville Separate School DistrictA3268990.1
Gulfport School DistrictA3368790.6
George County School DistrictA3768494.3
Pascagoula-Gautier School DistrictA3868489.6
Hancock County School DistrictB4866385.7
Pearl River County School DistrictB4965989.8
Picayune School DistrictC8659479.7
Moss Point Separate School DistrictC10556679.4

Factors such as proficiency in reading, math, history and science; growth in reading and math; acceleration; and graduation rates were considered to determine each district’s score. The grades reflect how student achievement has improved after declining during the early part of the pandemic.

Mississippi’s accountability system includes the following components:

  • Student proficiency and growth rates in ELA and Mathematics in grades 3-8
  • Growth of the lowest performing 25% of students in ELA and Mathematics
  • Science proficiency in grades 5 and 8
  • English Learner progress toward becoming proficient in the English language
  • Performance on the ACT and high school Algebra I, English II, Biology and U.S. History assessments
  • Student participation and performance in advanced coursework such as Advanced Placement and dual credit/dual enrollment courses
  • Four-year graduation rate

Roughly 81% of schools and 87% of districts will be rated C or higher for the 2021-22 school year. Though overall grades appear to have improved since 2019, state officials advise caution when interpreting score changes between the 2018-19 and 2021-22 school years. In particular, substantial shifts in performance might be influenced by factors associated with the pandemic.

“The pandemic not only disrupted teaching and learning, it also impacted the state’s accountability system that evaluates the effectiveness of schools and districts,” said Kim Benton, Interim State Superintendent of Education. “While we are encouraged by the tremendous growth, it is especially important this year to look at all the components that make up each school and district grade to get a complete picture of student growth and achievement.”

Click here to see the 2021-2022 accountability results for individual Mississippi schools and districts

The Pascagoula-Gautier and George County school districts both improved from a B rating last year to an A this year. And the Moss Point School District improved from a D to a C rating.

Two South Mississippi school districts dropped in the ratings: Hancock County went from an A rating to a B, and Picayune dropped from a B to a C overall.

The report also ranks individual high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools. The top two high schools in the state were #1 West Harrison High School and #2 Ocean Springs High School. A total of 12 South Mississippi high schools received A ratings.

High SchoolGradeRankTotal PointsGraduation Rate
West Harrison High SchoolA184988.7%
Ocean Springs High SchoolA284688.1%
Long Beach High SchoolA581692.9%
Poplarville High SchoolA880890.1%
D’Iberville High SchoolA1079991.5%
Pass Christian High SchoolA1178988.7%
St. Martin High SchoolA1278789.5%
Pascagoula High SchoolA1777989.2%
Hancock High SchoolA2077585.7%
Gulfport High SchoolA2476290.6%
Bay High SchoolA2576195.7%
George County High SchoolA2975494.3%

The ratings are considered unofficial until the Mississippi State Board of Education gives its approval at its Sept. 29, 2022 meeting.

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