Kemper Schools touts improved ratings


Kemper County Superintendent of Education Hilute Hudson contends that the recent school ratings released by the Mississippi Department of Education indicates that the Kemper County School District is indeed “on the rise.” 

The Kemper County School District has moved from an F rating (pre-pandemic) to a C rating with a growth of 117 points, just seven shy of a B rating. 

The high school had a C rating, but was two points from a B, while the Lower Elementary School and Middle School were both Cs. The Upper Elementary raised its score by 90 points, but was still rated as a D. 

“Kemper Rising” was developed with Kemper County’s educational community and stakeholders’ input from board of trustees, faculty, staff, alumni, partners, families and friends of Kemper County School District (KCSD) over a two-year period. In 2020, KCSD heavily invested in “The Wildcat Way” campaign, which was conceived and designed by current Superintendent Hilute Hudson to galvanize support for placing students first in every decision for the district. 

The Lauderdale County and Neshoba County School Districts were rated as A’s, while the Louisville School District was a C and Noxubee County a D. 

In Noxubee County the high School was a C, while the Elementary School and Middle Schools were both D’s. In Louisville, the high school, middle school and Fair Elementary were all D’s, while Louisville Elementary was a C, while Noxapater Attendance Center was a C and Nanih Waiya Attendance Center was an A. 

“When you hear about Kemper Rising, you cannot help but to think about a district that was n the verge of a state takeover due to a F status on the MDE accountability model that now is rated as a C,’ Hudson said. “A district that was once perceived as lacking success in student achievement and advancement, financial accountability, and employment retention and growth is now the district that is rising and strengthen in all areas.” 

Hudson pointed out several areas the district has shown success: 

— Five students graduated in 2022 with both a high school diplomas and an Associates Degree; — The attendance rate at KCHS is now 93.1 percent, a marked improved over the pre-pandemic rate of 84.1 percent.; — During the 2021 -2022 school year, 64 students took at least one Dual Credit/Dual Enrollment Course and 44 students received a National Industry Certification — Restructured East Kemper and West Kemper Elementary to create an Upper and Lower Elementary —Successfully passed $a $12M School Election Bond to aid in the construction of a new elementary school to be located in DeKalb; — KCSD moved from probation status to fully accredited on all MDE accountability standards — Increased certifications to 14 National Board Certified Teachers — More than half, 73 out of 140, of the KCSD employees have an advanced degree. 

— Improved facility structure and middle and high school to enhance learning opportunities and create safe school environment “Our students and the community are champions in more ways that one,” sad Hudson, who took over as Superintendent of Education in January of 2020. “Kemper rising reminds me of that one stanza in Maya Angelou’s poem ‘Still I rise’ that says ‘ Just like moons and like suns, with the certainty of tides, just like the hopes springing high, still I’ll rise.” 

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