Huntsville City Schools system addresses improved state report card

WAAY 31 had some questions about the future for school leaders.

Posted: Oct 18, 2019 6:03 PM
Updated: Oct 18, 2019 7:04 PM

The Huntsville City Schools system is making some improvements.

The state report card, released Friday, gives the district a "B." That's up from a "C" last year.

WAAY 31 had some questions about the future for school leaders.

The spokesperson for the district said it took a lot of hard work and specialized help to improve their score. We wanted to find out what parents think about the marks.

"As long as they're working towards helping the children develop more, I feel they'll improve more next year," a parent said.

This parent didn't want to show her face on camera, because she's a school teacher herself. She said it's exciting to see Huntsville City Schools make improvements.

The state gave the district an 82, which is a "B." It's a 7-point increase from last year.

A school spokesman, Keith Ward, said the district developed its own report to acknowledge things such as academic achievement and individualized student help.

"It gives you a way to make adjustments or particular needs of a particular, or a particular class and put those resources in there so you can help those students along and basically...make a higher achieving student," he said.

The state also grades individual schools. Last year, four Huntsville schools failed, but this year, only one did. That's Martin Luther King Junior Elementary. It failed last year, too.

Ward said the school did make improvements, just not enough to move a letter grade. They'll put more resources into Martin Luther King Junior Elementary and talk to teachers about what they need. For now, parents are focusing on the small victories.

"That gives them strength. It lets them know that you care that they improved at least one letter grade, instead of saying, 'Oh, no, we went up one grade letter,'" the parent said.

Ward said they want all schools to have a "B" or higher next year.

"We're certainly happy with the progress that we've made, but it doesn't stop here," Ward said.

We've reached out to the state to find out what happens if the school keeps failing, and we're waiting to hear back.

In Huntsville, 90% of the schools saw an increase in their individual report cards, which is something the district says it's pleased to see.

We also spoke with Madison City Schools. The district got an "A" for the third year in a row and got a four-point boost in its numeric score. Superintendent Robby Parker said it's proof of just how great their school system is.

"We make it to where every school is equal. In every one of our schools, every child has an opportunity to have all the benefits that every child has," he said.

The Madison County Schools system is the largest district in North Alabama to get an "A." Last year, the district received a "B."

A spokesperson for the district, Tim Hall, provided this statement to WAAY 31:

"Madison County Schools received its state report card results today and we are very proud to report systemwide we received an A. Because of the wonderful things occurring in our schools, we are excited to report that 10 schools increased their scores. We have seen consistent improvement in our system over the past three years and we are looking forward to continuing that trend. Madison County Schools educate more than 19,500 students from Pre-K to grade 12."

Here are the overall grades for school districts in North Alabama:

COUNTY SCHOOLS:

Colbert - B
DeKalb - B
Franklin - B
Jackson - B
Lauderdale - B
Lawrence - B
Limestone - B
Madison Co. - A
Marshall - B
Morgan - B

CITY SCHOOLS:

Arab - A
Athens - B
Boaz - B
Decatur - B
Florence - A
Fort Payne - B
Guntersville - A
Hartselle - A
Huntsville - B
Madison city - A
Muscle Shoals - A
Russellville - B
Scottsboro - B
Sheffield - B

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