Lowndes County schools has two “failing” schools; grad rates lower than state average

Published 4:50 pm Tuesday, June 18, 2013

By Fred Guarino

The Lowndes Signal

Despite two sets of bad news for the Lowndes County School system recently, Superintendent Dr. Daniel Boyd said system administrators are working diligently to address students’ needs.

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The Alabama State Board of Education on Tuesday released its list of failing schools according to the Alabama Accountability Act of 2013, and Lowndes County Public Schools have two schools on the list.

Also, while a Lowndes County Public Schools graduation rate of 67 percent overall for the 2012 school year is an improvement over the 60 percent from 2011, it is below the state average.

Alabama Accountability Act information released Tuesday morning show both Lowndes County Middle School and Hayneville Middle School listed as failing schools.

The result is a $3,500 state income tax credits for families with students in a failing school to attend a private school.

“It’s unfortunate that we ended up on this list, but again we’re doing every single thing we can to provide for prescriptive professional development for teachers and our principals that address needs of the students,” said Boyd. “We just need to continue to work hard to do that.”

He said students who leave Lowndes County Schools would take away from the school district’s funding for the subsequent year.

For 2012 School Year the system’s total graduation rate was 67 percent. The graduation rate for individual schools in the county were Central High School — 69 percent and Calhoun High School — 65 percent.

The state as a whole had a graduation rate of 75 percent, which puts Lowndes County Public Schools eight points below the state average.

According to the State Department of Education, Lowndes County’s grad rate was 60 percent for 2011 school year. Central had a graduation rate of 61 percent and Calhoun was at 59 percent.
Boyd acknowledged the graduation rate for Lowndes County was an improvement, but that it was still below the state average. “We’re still working with our teachers and our principals through professional development, trying our very best to provide the training that they need so our scores can increase,” he said.

Boyd said there was not one particular problem area to point to that would address dropouts, he said it takes schools and parents working together to encourage students to stay in school.

Boyd stressed that the school system does have summer programs across the county, credit recovery programs and a program at Calhoun High School that allows Calhoun and Central students who did not pass a course to retake it.

He said there are also “remediation tutorials for students who did not pass the graduation exam” taking place at Calhoun this summer for students from across the district.