RHS principal presents positive report to councils


ROBERTSDALE, Alabama -- RHS Principal Joe Sharp gave a positive report to both the Robertsdale and Silverhill councils on Monday after the release of the State Report Card showed a positive trend across the board for the school.

“We serve three communities, along with several outlying communities, and sometimes it’s difficult in that situation to keep everyone on the same page,” Sharp said. “I want to commend our teachers, staff and students for doing an outstanding job. We still have a lot of work to do, but we are headed in the right direction.”

The recently released State Report Card showed growth across the board in the five main areas, academic achievement, academic growth and college career and readiness, which are all based on the school’s ACT scores, along with graduation rates and absenteeism, which is measured by the percentage of students who missed more than 18 days during the school year.

“We are leading area school in the change in absenteeism rates,” Sharp said. Absenteeism rates saw a 19.14 percent gain from 2018 (37.32 percent) to 2019 (18.18 percent). The jump can also be contributed to the fact that the state of Alabama changed the standards from 15 days in 2018 to 18 days in 2019.

“From day 1 we have pushed to get and keep students in school,” he said. “Obviously, they can’t learn if they are not there and even with the change in standards, the numbers show that what we are doing has been successful.”

RHS also saw a dramatic increase in academic achievement from 2017 to 2019. Scores are based on the number of students scoring “proficient” or above on the state standardized tests. RHS saw an increase of 22.77 percent from 2017 (35.35) to 2018 (58.12).

Academic growth, which is based on the progress students made utilizing the state standardized test, increased 11.45 percent from 2018 (82.68) to 2019 (94.13).

College career and readiness, which is the percentage of students who met one or more of the six college and career ready indicators (a benchmark score on any of four ACT tests; a passing score on an Advanced Placement (AP) exam; a passing score on an International Baccalaureate (IB) exam; Silver, Gold or Platinum level on ACT WorkKeys; earning transcripted College Credit while still in high school; and passing an industry credentialing test), increased from 67.06 in 2018 to 70.85 in 2019, a 14.85 percent increase.

The school’s graduation rate also continued to increase from 2018 to 2019, up to 80.88 percent from 74.5 percent in 2018, a 6.48 percent increase. Sharp said he expects that number to increase to 89.5 percent in 2020.

Overall, the school jumped 10 points from 2017 (69) to 2019 (79).

This year, Sharp said, he hopes to continue the growth with the school’s participation in the C.E.R.T. (College Equipped Readiness Tool) program.

RHS is also looking to augment the Program B.E.A.R. program, a grant program that ended in September, by offering afterschool tutoring, funded by the Central Baldwin Education Program (CBEF).

There are areas where there is room for improvement, such as a decrease in academic growth among students with disabilities and a decrease in graduation rates among black students.

Both councils commended Sharp and the staff at RHS for their efforts in improving academics at the school.

Other business in Robertsdale included:

•Denied a request from Rosinton School to contribute to the school’s Centennial Celebration.

•Reappointed Linda Booker to the city’s Library Board.

•Authorized the purchase of two trucks for the city’s Public Works department.

•Extended the vacancy date on the Foreland Home from mid-November to Dec. 31.

Other business in Silverhill included:

•Approved sponsorships for the Annual Prayer Breakfast and Honoring Our Heroes event with the Central Baldwin Chamber of Commerce.

•Received the 2018-19 audit report from Johnson, Slaughter, Driver and Northcutt PA.

•Renewed the town’s contract with Avenu Insights & Analytics for collection of business licenses.