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LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI)- The State Department of Education is looking into the curriculum at West Lowndes High School.

A report released at friday’s Board of Education meeting showed the school scored poorly in academic performance.

Both Superintendent Lynn Wright and West Lowndes High Interim Principal Charles Jackson say they’re aware of the negative reports that came out during the meeting.

“Right now, we’re in a situation at West Lowndes. And we got to make some tough decisions and marked improvement,” says Wright.

The report finds students are weak in reading and writing skills. Instruction at the school also lacked rigor and critical thinking. The school’s interim principal , Charles Jackson, says they’re aware that improvements need to be made but they’re on the right track.

“5 years ago , we were at 90 for our QDI. Today we’re at 121. We’ve made significant progress. 5 years ago we only had 19% of our students pass the Algebra 1 test. Now we have close to 50% of the students passing the Algebra 1 test. So we’ve very close to being where we need to be, but there are still a lot of things that we have to overcome,” says Jackson.

According to Jackson, in addition to dealing with improving test scores, the school also has to keep up with major changes.

“This year the programmable calculators were taken from the students. So it was like a step backwards for them. We trained them to use the calculators. Now they can’t. We have a brand new U.S. History test. a lot more rigor. a lot harder. a lot more students had trouble with it. So things are constantly changing,” says Jackson.

Several programs, like progress monitoring and morning and advisory tutorials have been put in place to help students with school work, but Jackson says the biggest challenge is motivating the kids to believe in themselves.

“We have to change the mindset. And the mindset is..I can’t be successful. Well we have to teach children that they can be successful,” says Jackson.

The superintendent and interim principal both say they the school has come a long way. They also want to encourage parents involvement in their children’s education.

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