Demopolis City Schools see academic improvement across district

Published 10:56 am Friday, August 5, 2022

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At the July 18 Demopolis Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Tony Willis reported on DCS academics and was proud of the improvements he saw within the system.

He said that the majority of the system’s teachers took part in professional development over the summer. Teachers were training for AMSTI, ACT, and general practice in preparation for the 2022-2023 school year.

Summer learning for students also saw increased participation. Elementary school students had summer learning in June and saw well over 100 participants. Summer enrichment has also helped advance some students who had fallen behind. Willis said over 300 hundred students across the district attended summer learning or summer enrichment, which is an improvement from last year.

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Under student achievement, Willis said that the preliminary results from standardized tests administered during the last school term showed great improvement. K-2 showed the most improvement with a gain of 20 percentage points. Students in grade 5-8 saw a 5 percent rise in reading scores, 11 percent in math, and 13 percent in science.

Willis also reported that Demopolis ranked 21 out of the 137 school systems in Alabama. None of the schools above Demopolis had minority enrollment or poverty rates over 50 percent, but Demopolis does with 58 percent in poverty rates and 60 percent minority enrollment.

“I think our teachers and students deserve a huge pat on the back for us being in the top 15 percent. There’s not a single school above us that looks like we do,” said Willis. “I think those are some huge positives.”

At the high school level, there was an all-time high on CCR percentage (College Career Readiness), dual enrollment, and ACT scores.

“Overall, when you look at DIBLES at the elementary level, ACAP in the middle grades, and high school, every single data point is trending up and that’s what we want,” said Willis. “From an academic standpoint, it’s huge when you can look at every piece we measure statistically and they’re all going the right way.”