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Guthrie schools show improvements following latest A-F grade reports

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The Oklahoma State Department of Education released their report cards for all school districts, including Guthrie Public Schools. Guthrie’s elementary and junior high grades showed an increase while the high school slipped a point.

 Photo By Chris Evans

Photo By Chris Evans

This release of grades for GPS comes with some notable changes from the 2012‐13 grades by the Oklahoma State Department of Education. The most visible change that will be noted by patrons of Guthrie Public Schools is in the Elementary grade. Last year each grade center in Guthrie was given a grade. Due to the process prescribed by the State Department of Education, grades for some sites were the result of student performance in other buildings and not truly reflective of performance at that site. In an effort to explain this irregularity, Dr. Janet Barresi, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, wrote a letter to Guthrie Public Schools parents and patrons. Responding to the request from GPS Superintendent, Dr. Mike Simpson, the State Department of Education revised their rules to allow school districts that utilize grade centers to consolidate their results providing a more true reflection of the work within the district.

Elementary Consolidated Report Card | High School Report Card | Junior High Report Card

The results reflected an increase in the Elementary and Junior High Grade. Had the elementary grade been consolidated last year, the score would have been 64 percent or a D. The consolidated grade for the 2013‐14 school year at the elementary sites (Cotteral, Central, Fogarty and Guthrie Upper Elementary) is 70 percent or a C‐. Guthrie Junior High showed an 18 percent improvement from 64 percent or a D to 82 percent or a B‐ while Guthrie High School remained with a C showing a one percent drop from 77 to 76 percent.

“The phenomenal success of Guthrie Junior High can be traced to carefully focusing resources on students who need the greatest assistance in specific areas. These results (Guthrie Junior High’s 18 percent increase) are the body of work of a highly dedicated staff that focused on what their students truly needed to grow academically,” Simpson said in a release.

Guthrie Junior HighAnother notable change in the testing procedures was the elimination of modified testing for special needs students. Special needs students in Guthrie made up 13.6 percent of the student body for the 2013‐14 school year.

According to Dr. Simpson, “I’m encouraged with the results. One particular area of improvement district‐wide was student attendance. This requires dedication from our staff as well as the parents. Children cannot learn if they aren’t in school.”

“The change in how students with special needs are tested is something I expect our legislature to carefully examine in the next session. Beginning with this report card, special needs students, regardless of disability, are required to complete the same assessment as regular education students.”

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