State report card: Cullman City Schools receive A; Cullman County Schools receive B

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Cullman County Schools received a B and Cullman City Schools received an A for the 2017-2018 school year, according to the preliminary report card released by the Alabama State Department of Education on Friday. (Cullman Tribune file photos)

MONTGOMERY – On Friday morning, the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) released its preliminary report card for public schools statewide, for the 2017-18 school year.  The early report only gives number and letter grades, without any breakdown of contributing factors which, in the final report card due Dec. 31 according to ALSDE, will include:

  • Academic Achievement – 20 percent
  • Academic Growth – 25 percent
  • Graduation Rates – 30 percent
  • College and Career Ready Data – 10 percent
  • Chronic Absenteeism – 10 percent
  • Enrollment by Student Subgroup – 5 percent

In a press release, State Superintendent of Education Dr. Eric Mackey said, “Overall, we are pleased with the academic growth that we see across the state.  It is a testament to the dedication of our teachers, principals, and all those who support their work that student performance continues to rise. As state superintendent, I am grateful for these hardworking individuals in our local schools who improve the trajectory of children’s lives every day.  We believe that our best days and highest levels of achievement lie ahead of us, not behind, and we look forward to working with our state policymakers and lawmakers in 2019 to make sure that we are providing ever better resources and supports for our schools.

“The 2018 State Accountability report tells us something valuable about a school or school system, but it does not tell us everything about that school or system.  Based primarily on a particular assessment, it is a snapshot in time. When stacked together year after year, similar to snapshots of your family, these pictures of school academic performance can certainly can be used to monitor academic progress and growth.  But when we describe our children, we use more than snapshots; we talk about their personalities, struggles, challenges, aspirations, successes.”

The overall score for Alabama improved from C to B. 

Cullman City Schools’ overall system score slipped one point from 92 to 91, still within the range to make the city system one of 15 districts in the state to earn an A.  Cullman Middle and High improved, while West Elementary’s number score fell slightly. East Elementary matched last year’s score.

Cullman County Schools retained its B letter grade from last year, but improved five points from last year to score an 85.  The scores by school showed a marked improvement: last year’s report card included 13 Cs and a D, while this year only three Cs appeared in the report, along with 19 Bs and four As.  Twelve schools improved by a letter grade, while Holly Pond Elementary and Fairview High improved two letter grades.

Grades below, shown by: School, Number Grade (2018 v.2017), Letter Grade (2018 v. 2017)

City system

All Cullman City 91 / 92 A / A

  • Cullman Middle School 96 / 93 A / A
  • Cullman High School 89 / 88 B / B
  • East Elementary School 95 / 95 A / A
  • West Elementary School 91 / 94 A / A
  • Cullman City Primary School 91 / n/a A / n/a

County system

All Cullman County 85 / 80 B / B

  • Parkside Elementary School 86 / 81 B / B
  • Cold Springs High School 77 / 79 C / C
  • Cold Springs Elementary School 90 / 85 A / B
  • Cullman Child Development Center 38 / n/a ID (The CDC, a special needs education facility, did not have enough criteria to be assigned a letter grade.)
  • Fairview High School 88 / 68 B / D
  • Fairview Elementary School 86 / 81 B / B
  • Fairview Middle School 89 / 86 B / B
  • Good Hope High School 84 / 73 B / C
  • Good Hope Elementary School 87 / 77 B / C
  • Good Hope Middle School 88 / 81 B / B
  • Good Hope Primary School 88 / n/a B / n/a
  • Harmony School 87 / 78 B / C
  • Hanceville High School 80 / 79 B / C
  • Hanceville Elementary School 84 / 72 B / C
  • Hanceville Middle School 86 / 83 B / B
  • Holly Pond High School 84 / 75 B / C
  • Holly Pond Elementary School 92 / 79 A / C
  • Holly Pond Middle 85 / 85 B / B
  • Vinemont High School 79 / 73 C / C
  • Vinemont Elementary School 81 / 73 B / C
  • Vinemont Middle School 87 / 89 B / B
  • Welti Elementary School 91 / 80 A / B
  • West Point High School 79 / 77 C / C
  • West Point Elementary School 90 / 83 A / B
  • West Point Middle School 85 / 76 B / C
  • West Point Intermediate School 89 / 74 B / C

The Tribune did not reach the city school system for comment, but Cullman County Schools Superintendent Dr. Shane Barnette shared:

“I’m really excited about it. We had 23 out of 26 schools that improved. Two slid back slightly, by just a couple of points, and one stayed on the same level.

“I guess one thing I’d like to point out: like I’ve said, that one score–this report card–doesn’t identify our schools.  I mean we’re a whole lot more than one score, but we are excited that our scores came up. But there’s a whole lot more that goes into whether a school’s successful or not.

“Overall, our system came up five points; you know, we were at 80 last year and moved up to 85.  And I’m extremely excited about that. It really shows the work and dedication our faculty and staff have put into educating the kids of Cullman County.  And our students have really stepped up to the challenge and accomplished some great things, and we’re expecting even more, going into the future.”

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