New Ranking System Grades Clark County Schools - 8 News NOW

New Ranking System Grades Clark County Schools

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LAS VEGAS -- Schools in Clark County will now receive an annual report card on how well they help students perform. It's all part of a new school ranking system unveiled Thursday.

Teacher Maria Morales pushes her students to make the grade. In turn, her school is now ranked as one of the top performing in Clark County.

"It's all the hard work that we've done, it's finally paying off," said third grade teacher Maria Morales.

Halle Hewetson Elementary School, along with 36 other campuses, just received five stars as part of a new school ranking system unveiled by Clark County School District Superintendent Dwight Jones.

"It's about transparency. What we have said is we'll tell you the truth," Jones said.

Schools are graded, not only on test scores, but on a number of factors including how well teachers work together and whether parents get involved.

"We have always felt that our kids can accomplish anything," said Hewetson principal Lucy Keaton.

Hewetson was once one of the worst ranked schools in the district. Keaton faced the challenge head on. English is not the first language for many of the students. Keaton urged teachers and parents to help kids read more. The student proficiency has increased by more than 50 percent.

Last year, students at Hewetson read nearly 80,000 books with some of the students reading at high school and college levels.

"When you have success on campus, a lot of wonderful things happen," Keaton said.

Five Star principals like Keaton will now have more freedom to shape their curriculum and their budget to fit students' needs. They will also serve as examples to lower performing schools.

At the moment, the ranking system only includes elementary and middle schools. The district is still working on finding the right formula to grade high schools.

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