From press & staff reports
The Louisville School District and its local area schools were recently recognized for numerous PREPS awards for their hard work and dedication to the students of its schools during the PREPS/MAPE Conference, March 20-21, 2012, at the Hilton Hotel in Jackson, MS. PREPS is a private non-profit consortium of school districts whose purpose is to develop and implement educational products and services that help manage and support districts’ efforts to demonstrate improvement in their instructional programs. PREPS is supported by the College of Education at Mississippi State University and is housed in the Center for Educational Partnerships, the service division of the college. Collaboration among member districts enables the districts to benefit from the development of products and services that no single district is capable of developing alone. The Louisville School District was recognized at the recent statewide conference of Program of Research and Evaluation of Public Schools (PREPS) for receiving an Involvement Award. The PREPS Involvement Award is given to school districts in recognition of significant involvement in PREPS programs and activities. The award recipients have had the highest percentage of their teachers and administrators participate in PREPS-sponsored professional development opportunities and other programs and activities during the past year. This year the Louisville School District was one of seventeen recipients of the PREPS Involvement Award. Dr. Bill Wade, Superintendent of Education of the Louisville Municipal School District, has been recognized at the recent statewide conference for being this year’s Dan Merritt Courage Award winner for the development and implementation of the Professional Development School at Eiland Middle School in partnership with the College of Education at Mississippi State University. The first Courage Award was given at the PREPS Conference in 1996 to Dr. Dan Merritt who was chosen as the first recipient for his continued and repeated service to the Jackson Public School System. In memory of Dr. Merritt, this award was established for a school district or an individual who is recognized for taking a professional risk for the greater good of Mississippi Public Schools. This year Dr. Bill Wade was the only recipient of the Dan Merritt Courage Award. Also, Eiland Middle and Nanih Waiya Attendance Center were recognized at the conference for being named as Value Added Schools. These schools were also recognized for the efforts of teachers Rena Jones of Nanih Waiya and Pam Reed of Eiland Middle. Rena Jones is a Biology I teacher at Nanih Waiya. Mrs. Jones Biology I test scores have ranked students’ performance on average as fifth across the state of Mississippi. Nanih Waiya valued added award was given in recognition of the teacher’s Biology I students test scores for closing the gaps among all students and high achievement. Eiland Middle School Pam Reed received recognition in honor of their Algebra I teacher Pam Reed. Mrs. Reed algebra I students all scored advanced on the State Algebra I test. PREPS Value Added analysis began in June 1997. PREPS Value Added analysis allows for valid comparisons of educational performance, taking into account (or holding constant) the impact of differences in the socioeconomic background of the students considered in the research. The model is used in the PREPS Value Added Awards Program to identify high performing schools among Mississippi districts. Schools that are adding value are those which are considered to be performing significantly better than other schools with comparable socioeconomic circumstances. The Value Added analysis produces a band of predicted performances and recognizes those schools that are performing above the predicted band. Using MCT2 and SATP scale score averages for 2010-2011 or the numerical QDI score (for new QDI awards) reported by the Mississippi Department of Education under the Mississippi Assessment and Accountability Reporting System (MAARS) and the school socioeconomic indicator (percent of students on free or reduced lunch), PREPS has performed Value Added analysis at the elementary through high school levels.