HOPKINS CO., KY (WFIE)-
A year after the Kentucky Board of Education called Hopkins County Central High "persistently low achieving", the school has shown drastic improvements in their most recent state test scores.
Last year, Central ranked in the bottom five percent of schools in the state, but now school officials say they're among the best in the region.
Being in the bottom five percent of state test scores was something senior Katherine Browning wanted to change.
"It's a completely different atmosphere," Browning said.
Central is now in the 62nd percentile for state testing scores, a ranking that is among the highest in Hopkins County and the region.
"It would have been easy to quit, but they didn't quit. They changed it and it motivated everybody, so you go to give it all to the kids," Principal Tommy Burrough said.
Curriculum Specialist Cheri Brown says the school's composite ACT score jumped a whole point and a half, and that trend trickled down to underclassmen.
"Then the sophomores blew the PLAN out of the water this year, our highest score in five years," Brown said.
School officials say tracking the progress of students from test to test has been beneficial to make sure they're improving or if they need additional help.
"It was a lot of hard work and our classes were a little bit harder. We did have a lot more work, but it paid off and so I think our work ethic has just escalated," Browning said.
With the new accountability model, Central scored about two points short of "proficient", but the school says this is a big step in the right direction.
"Students did their part and teachers did their part. It has been very stressful. They are so overworked, but it is so exciting to see that the work has paid off," Brown said.
Central will no longer be labeled as a "priority school" once they score proficient two years in a row.
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