A statewide organization that measures classroom progress has presented 11 awards to the Biloxi Public School District, recognizing achievements in elementary and junior high classrooms in Biloxi.
The Program of Research and Evaluation of Public Schools, known as PREPS, has recognized
Gorenflo, Jefferson Davis and North Bay elementary schools and Biloxi Junior High School as being Value Added Schools, meaning those schools have been high performing compared to other schools with similar socioeconomic demographics.
The three elementary schools were each cited for three honors, all connected to state test scores. They involved mathematics achievements, language arts achievements, and for improvement in their Quality of Distribution Index, which measures achievement and the distribution of student performance on state assessment tests.
Biloxi Junior High School was recognized for its achievements in Algebra I.
Additionally, the Biloxi Public School District was one of only 17 districts honored for having the highest percentage of teachers and administrators participating in PREPS-sponsored professional development opportunities and other programs and activities during the past year.
"Anytime you get a third party endorsement – whether it's from a statewide organization, the U.S. Department of Education, or the national media – it's great news for your community," said Biloxi Public Schools Superintendent Arthur McMillan. "These latest awards are a credit to the hard work and dedication of our teachers, our students and our parents. They say that we are headed in the right direction here in Biloxi Public Schools."
PREPS is a private non-profit consortium of school districts whose purpose is to develop and implement educational products and services that help manage and support districts' efforts to demonstrate improvement in their instructional programs.
PREPS is supported by the College of Education at Mississippi State University and is housed in the Center for Educational Partnerships, the service division of the college. PREPS believes that collaboration among member districts enables each district to benefit from the development of products and services that no single district is capable of developing alone.
McNeer, Miller chosen as National Merit finalists
Biloxi High seniors Elizabeth Ann McNeer and Genevieve Clare LaRose Miller have been named as finalists by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. They will now be considered for National Merit Scholarships.
Elizabeth plays the clarinet in the Biloxi High School Marching and Symphonic Bands, and serves as band captain. She is treasurer of the National Honor Society and vice president of Mu Alpha Theta. She is Biloxi High School’s 2012 STAR Student, and a graduate of the Biloxi Chamber's Junior Leadership Biloxi Program. She has participated in the Biloxi High School Math and Science Society, and played violin in the Mary C. O’Keefe Youth Orchestra.
She plans to attend Mississippi College and major in biomedical science. Elizabeth is the daughter of George and Sara McNeer.
Genevieve is a member of the National Honor Society. She is also president of Mu Alpha Theta and is the president and co-founder of the Advance Placement Psychology Club. Genevieve plays varsity tennis and was named a Wendy’s High School Heisman School Winner. She is an Ambassador Girl Scout, recently earning the Gold Award. She is also active in theater and has won first place and second place in the Mississippi Theater Association playwriting competition, along with second place in the female monologue competition. Genevieve was a national finalist for National History Day group presentation last year.
She is undecided on her choice of college, but plans to study either biology or psychology and attend medical school. Genevieve is the daughter of Dr. Jule Miller and Dr. Sharon LaRose.
Girls track team shines over break, races for district Thursday
The girls track team traveled to two meets over the break and brought home two second place finishes.
At the Picayune Invitational, the Lady Indians were led by Nachaska Wright who won the 200 and 400 dashes. Miia Newman and Aneisha Bell also had first place finishes with Miia setting a personal best in the pole vault at 9 feet 6 inches.
At the Pearl Invitational, the Lady Indians were led once again by Nachaska Wright, who earned gold medals in the 100, 200 and 400 dashes, and a silver in the long jump. Also bringing home medals were Miia Newman with a silver in the pole vault, Aneisha Bell with a silver in the discus, and Frensha Sims with a bronze in the 100 dash.
Said Coach Payton Ragon: "We'd like to thank each of the girls who participated in the meets over the break. It was a job well done. Let us continue to build on our accomplishments as we set our sights on the Division Title coming up this Thursday, April 19 on the Biloxi campus."