Warrick schools receive A and B ratings

Warrick County School Superintendent Brad Schneider

The Warrick County School Corp. received an A grade rating, with 12 out of 17 schools receiving an A as well.

Castle South Middle School, Yankeetown Elementary, John H Castle Elementary, Tecumseh High School, Tecumseh Middle School, Castle North Middle School, Loge Elementary School, Boonville Middle School, Oakdale Elementary School, Castle High School, Newburgh Elementary School and Sharon Elementary School all received an A rating.

Elberfeld Elementary, Lynnville Elementary School, Tennyson Elementary School, Boonville High School and Chandler Elementary School all received B ratings for the 2017-2018 school year from the Indiana Department of Education.

Tecumseh Middle School went up from a B in the 2016-2017 year to an A this past school year.

Elberfeld, Lynnville and Chandler elementaries, all went down a letter grade from an A in 2016-2017 to a B in 2017-2018.

Warrick County schools superintendent Brad Schneider said three out of the five schools with B ratings were only two points away from an A.

"This is something our teachers, students, and parents should be very proud of," he said.

The Warrick County School Corp. was also only one of the 38 school corporations out of over 300 in the state that earned an "A" rating.

Schneider said during his 16 years as superintendent, he believes the Warrick school corp. has only received a B rating possibly once, with the rest of the years being As.

According to Schneider, the corporation's and the schools' grades are calculated from multiple factors.

"They're based on the spring Istep tests grades, the high schoolers grades, graduation rates," he said. "We also get points for students who can demonstrate academic growth from year to year. It's not just passing rate percentages."

Schneider said he thinks the positive grades reflect all of the hard work of the students and teachers.

"It's validation that we have great schools, North to South to East to West, no matter where you go," he said.

Although he is proud of the results, Schneider said he doesn't think as much emphasis should be placed on them as there is.

"Looking at the results, we are confident we are preparing students to be successful," he said. "But, at the same time, we caution against just using one letter grade, one test, to measure the way students are doing against other. It is one small snapshot, one small test but, again our students perform very well."

At the same time, he said the school corp. won't just be satisfied with the grades they have.

"And say, 'That's good enough," he said. "We will always continue to strive to improve what we do."

Schneider said the high Warrick grades though do have an impact on surrounding school corps., with families who are non-residents either moving to Warrick County so their children can attend A-rated schools or staying in their respective county and paying a tuition fee for their students to attend Warrick schools.

Sandy Friedrich of Newburgh, who has two young adopted daughters, said she specifically moved to Newburgh from Evansville because of the good school ratings.

"All of the elementary schools in Evansville had Fs," she said. "And I wanted my girls to go to the best schools."

Schneider said the school corp. doesn't have a problem with students from other neighboring counties attending Warrick schools, "as long as we have room and students are willing to pay the tuition to come here."

"But that is not something we advertise or put out in mailers," he said. "..."We always look at how much space we have because we aren't going to pack kids in just to make room. We need to have room for kids that actually live here in Warrick County first, and then we can entertain some non-resident students if they so choose."

Schneider said parents should know that not all of the 17 schools will take non-resident attendees.

"It based upon availability of space and class sizes so we have not taken students in all 17 of our schools," he said. "But we do consider that for most of our schools here in the county."

But, Schneider did say the fact that families are willing to relocate to Warrick for its public education is proof the schools are on the right track.

"And I know that the schools are proud of being able to demonstrate academic excellence," he said.

Schneider said he is pleased with all of the efforts and hard work that went into the corp. and all of the schools receiving high ratings year after year.

"Good things are being done all throughout Warrick County and we are appreciative of our teachers who continue to perform at an unbelievable level, facing huge obstacles placed in front of them by the Indiana Board of Education," he said. "That's a testament to our kids, parents and teachers because they all put forth great effort to get these results again."

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