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Tracey Potter’s kindergarten class learns new words during group activities.

County schools improve on state report

The Franklin County School system saw a year of hard work pay off when the Alabama State Report Card came out at the end of January. As a whole, the system rose from a score of 78 to 81, which means it rose a letter grade.

“I am very happy with the results from this year’s state report card. We saw tremendous growth in all of our schools,” Superintendent Greg Hamilton said.

Phil Campbell Elementary School and Red Bay High School had the highest grades with 86. Belgreen High School scored 83. Vina High School was graded at 82, and East Franklin Junior High School received an 81. Tharptown Elementary School received an 80. Phil Campbell High School rated 78, and Tharptown High School rated 74.

“The hard work of the teachers, administrators and students is to be applauded,” Hamilton said.

One of the biggest improvements came from EFJHS, whose score went from 66 to 81. Principal Jonathon King accepted his position January 2018, when the state report card had just released. He said he made the goal then for the school to improve every day and for the teachers to strive for that goal as well.

“We talked to the teachers and identified what we needed to work on. I gave the teachers ownership of their classroom to improve how they saw fit,” King said.

He also provided monthly attendance incentives to students to encourage learning in the classroom.

“They have to be at school in order to learn,” King said. “We’ve got some good teachers here, and I think it was a culmination of these things that caused our grade improvement.”

While they are celebrating this success, King said he is encouraging the teachers to not settle but continue to seek improvement daily, which is a sentiment echoed by Hamilton.

“I know that the best days of the Franklin County School System are still ahead of us,” Hamilton said. “I am extremely proud of all the efforts to make this school system the best it can be in providing a first-class education to all students.”