Bryan Station High School principal sees signs of progress on test

Bryan Station High School might be Lexington's only school with a persistent low-achieving label, but its results on the new K-PREP test offer hope for a turn-around.

Bryan Station ranked at the 17th percentile on the new test, according to results that were released Friday.

Fayette Schools officials say that if Bryan Station can make the same kind of gains on next year's test, it can climb out of the "priority school" category.

Bryan Station is classified as a priority school this year as a result of having been on the state's old list of persistently low-achieving schools, made up of the lowest-scoring 5 percent of Title I schools for three consecutive years.

Priority school, a new classification added to Kentucky's scoring system this year, replaces the persistently low-achieving category.

Bryan Station was added to the persistently low-achieving list in fall 2011.

Mike Henderson, who took over as Bryan Station principal in July 2011, said school staffers are pushing hard to raise achievement. The school also has received state assistance to help it make improvements.

"We're asking teachers to do a lot of things differently, trying not to do traditional teaching all the time," Henderson said. "They're learning new routines, learning new ways to engage kids. We've also set up a new leadership structure."

Much of the school's recent gain has come in improvements to its graduation rate, Henderson said.

"In 2008, it was down around 50 percent, and now we're up to about 75 percent, which is close to the state average," he said. "Our average for our African-American kids is around 83 percent, which is way up there for the entire state.

"So we've done a good job of convincing kids to stay in school and graduate. Now we have to get them to meet the college benchmarks on the ACT."