Winfield schools ranked fifth in state

Winfield Elementary School principal Mallory Long (right, standing) and curriculum coordinator Kallie Woodley, far left, spoke to the board about the new benchmark score requirements for third graders to advance.

By Luke Brantley
Staff writer
WINFIELD — The Winfield City School system was ranked in the top five in the state based on its most recent state department of education report card.
Report card results were made public on Thursday, Dec. 14. Winfield schools received a total score of 93, tying for fifth place with Auburn and Hoover schools.
Report card scores are based on several factors, such as academic achievement, academic growth, graduation rate, college and career readiness, chronic absenteeism and progress in English language proficiency.
The school system as a whole received the 93, but each individual school receives its own score. Winfield Elementary School scored a 93 this year, up from a 92 last year.
The high school scored 90, which was down from last year’s 91.
The middle school received an A, a large improvement from last year’s score from an 82 up to a 91.
Superintendent Randy Thomley said the score was the result of a team effort.
“We’re celebrating this high test report card score, but it starts with our bus drivers picking kids up in the morning, and then with our ladies who are getting the ovens ready to feed breakfast to the kids,” Thomley said. “Students get to walk into a clean building with attractive walls with decorations of our students’ work on it. Then we have our support personnel who help our children, and our finances which let us have small class sizes, and our teachers who are very demanding of our students—but demanding because they want them to be their very best. Then there’s our leadership team, our administration, our school board and our families. It takes a whole village.”
Thomley said the school system makes keeping track of student data a priority.
“We study data all year long,” he said. “We give an assessment right when kids start school, we give an assessment right before Christmas and then one more after the ACAP test during the spring.
“This year, for the first time, if a student doesn’t meet a certain scale score (435), they have to repeat the third grade, so we met with those families and had a parent night to give them extra help to do well on the tests. But we’re very intentional about it.
“Through the year, every program—the principals, the child nutrition, transportation, myself, CSFO, federal programs, special education—if something happens in the year that’s foreign to us, we put it on a list, and when we get to the end of the year, we go to a summer retreat and talk about those things.
“That sets the tone for the start of the year. (As for) the data, what we do is our school board allows us to buy books, reduce class sizes and our city partners with us by the extension of the sales tax. It’s all of Winfield. That ‘A’ belongs to everybody in this school district, and that’s how we do that.
“But even though we’re proud of that, we know we can do better. That’s our attitude. So we’re going to do our best to do better every year.”
In the board’s regular meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 12, elementary school principal Mallory Long  and curriculum coordinator Kallie Woodley spoke to the board about the ACAP test scores and how the new benchmark score requirement will affect third graders.
Long and Woodley also shared other important information, such as possible exemptions for students who don’t meet those scores.
Long also discussed the amount of paperwork required for each student to maintain their dossiers to keep track of all of their data, and what the school was doing to help teachers keep up with it all.
In other business:
- The board voted to accept the lieutenant governor’s grant to go toward putting new roofs on the elementary and high schools.

See complete story in the Journal Record.
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