Harlan Independent School District recently celebrated another year of success on annual state assessments, now known as K-PREP. The district has displayed a number of “Top 10” banners from the Harlan High School gym rafters over the past decade and 2012 proved to be another “banner year.”
During its awards ceremony, the schools recognized those individual students, known as “Golden Dragons,” who scored distinguished in all areas in which they were tested along with those students who excelled on the ACT exam, used by universities and colleges for admissions and scholarship decisions.
Harlan Middle School eight-grader, Matt Roddy, was recognized for earning a perfect score on the EXPLORE exam, a test used as a predictor of success on the ACT.
Classes of students were also recognized for finishing in the Top 10 among schools in the state. Harlan High School students placed 10th in Kentucky in language mechanics, eighth in reading, seventh on the English II End-of-Course exam and second in the state in writing. Harlan Middle School students earned the highest score awarded in Kentucky in Science 7 and Social Studies 8. Banners will be hung from the gym rafters in recognition of these accomplishments.
Harlan Middle School ranked in the top 10 percent of middle schools in Kentucky on the K-PREP and was classified as a Distinguished Middle School and a Highest Performing School. Harlan High School ranked in the top 13 percent and was classified as a Proficient High School. Harlan High School was also recognized as “One of America’s Best High Schools” by U.S. News & World Report for the fifth consecutive year.
Harlan Independent School District also ranked in the top 10 percent of school districts in Kentucky and was classified as a Distinguished District and a Highest Performing District. This is the third consecutive year that the district ranked among the top10 percent of school districts in the state on state assessments.
“We are very proud of our students and staff,” said Superintendent David Johnson. “They work extremely hard throughout the year inside and outside the classroom. We also appreciate the support of our families and community. They expect a lot of our children and our schools and we are working to meet those expectations.”
The district also recently received scores for student performance on the EXPLORE exam, taken by this year’s eighth-graders, and the PLAN exam, taken by sophomores. These scores are used as predictors of future performance on the ACT exam which is taken by all high school juniors in Kentucky.
Scores for Harlan Middle School and Harlan High School showed improvement in all areas over last year. The most significant gain was made by eighth-graders in English where more than 90 percent were deemed to be on pace for college readiness.
Harlan High School’s sophomores again ranked among the top in the state on the PLAN exam. The students’ scores ranked sixth in English, 10th in reading, 25th in math and 26th in science with an overall Composite score ranking of 15th highest among the state’s 231 high schools.
“We are pleased to see the strong performance of our students on the EXPLORE and PLAN since those exams help predict future scores on the ACT which is so important for students going to college,” stated Johnson. “Harlan High has consistently ranked among the state’s best in percentage of students going to college. So, it is important for our students to be prepared for college and to be successful when they get there. We know we still have a lot of work to do but it is encouraging to see the progress of our students.”