By Chris McGuinness

The Cove Herald

In addition to raising the school district's overall rating from the state, a recent presentation by Copperas Cove Independent School District officials shed more light on gains made by individual campuses during the 2010-11 school year.

"We got together as a team, and we worked hard," said Cindy Hutcherson, the district's executive director of curriculum and assessment. "It was a concerted effort across campuses."

While no specific school improved its rating from the 2009-10 school year, a presentation made by Hutcherson at a school board meeting earlier this month revealed several areas of improvement.

Overall, the district was commended for having college-ready graduates for the class of 2010. Hutcherson said the state used three indicators - the SAT, ACT and completion rates - to determine the commendation and created a director of programs college readiness position within the district.

"We put a lot of time and effort into helping students who are struggling, and we wanted to put just as much energy into helping students who do well and want to go to college," Hutcherson said.

She said the district also made use of the most up-to-date data as well as professional development and training to focus on improving math and science at the district's schools. The effort appears to have paid off.

According to the presentation and the state's reports, six of Cove's 10 schools received commendations in science, and three were commended for showing improvement in mathematics.

The ratings and commendations are based on student performance on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, a state test, and takes into account other factors such as completion rates and annual dropout rates.

This year, Hutcherson said the district would continue to focus on improving student performance and students' scores on state tests though several programs and professional development.

However, the work educators put in this year won't show up as a state rating during the 2011-12 school year because Texas schools are switching over to the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness test.

"The way schools are rated will be completely different," said Hutcherson. "The system will change, and we were told there will not a be rating for 2012."

Katie Rudesheim, the district's spokesperson, said districts will keep their latest ratings through the next school year.

Contact Chris McGuinness at or (254) 501-7568.

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