Okolona Middle School celebrates success


OKOLONA, Miss. (WCBI) – Students at a middle school in Chickasaw County have been learning the correlation between hard work and rewards.

Rachel Hearn didn’t want any student at Okolona Middle School to miss out on a big celebration.

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Hearn has encouraged students to study hard for tests, or diagnostics, taken as part of the “I Ready” program. The program was used for reading and math and helped teachers track students’ needs, personalize their learning and monitor progress throughout the year.

This is the second year Okolona Middle School has used I Ready, and Principal Mark Fields said the progress has been so good, that an honors celebration has been set for Friday.

“We have kids with i Ready that are growing 30 points, at times, we have a love for learning in the hallways, things are going in the right direction, we have parent involvement. I want to always recognize kids and teachers that go above and beyond and help this school get to where it needs to get,” said Fields.

Another key role in the progress is community involvement, Principal Fields and teachers understand that getting the community’s support is vital for success of students and the school.

“We have community entities donating to help make this possible,it takes a village, it really does,” said Hearn.

Students have learned that hard work is noticed and rewarded.

“When you work hard you get so much done and you achieve so many goals, not only for yourself, but the whole school,” said seventh grader Jameeah Isbell.

“I think it’s important, because when you get rewards you will strive to do more and more and get more rewards for it,” said Eighth Grader Rahiem Blanchard.

Principal Fields, teachers and administrators said the students’ measured improvements are proof positive that a district’s tax base and wealth do not determine success or failure.

The Okolona School District was taken over by the state from 2010 to 2012. The Honors Celebration takes place Friday morning in the high school gym.