When the Mississippi State Board of Education approved accountability grades in September, Pearl Public School District earned an A rating for the 2018-2019 school year.
“We are very excited and proud of our performance. This success is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our students, teachers, principals, and entire staff,” stated Dr. Raymond Morgigno, Superintendent of Schools. “Being an A-rated district is a big honor for our students, staff, and the entire community.”
In addition to receiving an A rating as a district, Pearl Lower Elementary earned an A rating. Northside Elementary, Pearl Upper Elementary, Pearl Junior High, and Pearl High earned B ratings.
“It’s an exciting time, with one school an A and the others within striking distance of earning an A,” said Dr. Morgigno.
Each year, Mississippi’s districts and schools receive a letter grade based on how well students perform on state tests included in the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program (MAAP). The percentage of Pearl students scoring proficient on the reading, mathematics, and United States history tests has increased for the last three years, with science proficiency remaining strong each year at nearly 80 percent.
Also included in the state’s accountability model is the district’s graduation rate. In 2019, Pearl Public School District boasted the 7th highest graduation rate in the state at 94.1%. This all-time-high marks a 14.9% increase in the district’s graduation rate over the last six years. While not included in the accountability model, the dropout rate is another area in which Pearl ranks among the best. Its 3.3% dropout rate for 2019 was the 7th lowest in the state. Over the past two years, the graduation and dropout rates for Pearl Public School District have been the best in the metro area.
Since the cut scores for the state’s grading scale were changed in 2017, the district has earned an A rating for two of the last three years, and all schools in the district have been classified as High Performing with either an A or B rating.
School Board President Andy Eaton expressed the board’s pleasure with the performance of the district saying “the rating is a reflection of the commitment and dedication of our students, staff, administration, and parents.” He continued, “Great things, such as this, can be achieved when everyone works together to strive for excellence.”
Dr. Morgigno pointed out, “As a district, we did great. However, we can never become complacent. There are always areas that can be improved. We will continue to work hard to ensure that our students are getting our best effort every day.”