Barack Obama Magnet ranked top elementary school in Mississippi

“To be the number one ranked school in an urban school district in the state of Mississippi is something all these kids can be proud of."

VIDEO: Barack Obama Magnet ranked top elementary school in Mississippi

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Barack Obama Magnet Elementary School is ranked number one in the state for its test scores.

It is part of the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program testing and the students were rewarded for making the grade.

The more than 300 students at Barack Obama Magnet Elementary chanted, danced and celebrated at their achievement party Wednesday. They have been ranked Mississippi's top elementary school.

“To be the number one ranked school in an urban school district in the state of Mississippi is something all these kids can be proud of," said Principal Kathleen Grigsby. “There is a stigma attached to education in Mississippi as well as to Jackson Public Schools, so we are excited to have such a positive way to celebrate.”

The top honors are part of the 2018 accountability ratings, which are designed to measure student achievement based on the educational standards being taught in the classroom throughout the year. The 3rd through 5th grade students were tested back in the spring and earned the high rankings in language arts, math and science proficiency -- as well as continued growth language arts and math.

“We are extremely smart and powerful,” said a student.

“We are good, our grades are good and that is pretty much it,” said another student.

The students and staff admit it took lots of studying and discipline to be ranked top performers.

“We have scheduled or carved out time throughout our days, Monday-Wednesday and Friday where the students are getting one-on-one or small group instruction to prepare and the second semester we also provide touring for students,” said teacher Janet Wallace.

The parents were just as excited as the students and teachers about the honor.

“One of the things that we want to do is we are attempting to change the narrative of JPS and the image. I think we are trending the right direction,” said parent Rashad Williams.

The hope is the young scholars will continue to strive for excellence.

“When they leave here, I want them to be successful in whatever they do and want to be,” said Principal Grigsby.

This the second time the school has been ranked the number one elementary school in the state.

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