In 2010, Lawrence County High School was designated as a Persistently Low-Achieving School and the district was a Focus District. As superintendent, Robbie Fletcher has taken a districtwide approach to improvement efforts guided by the goals of having the student population ready to learn and to achieve college- and career-readiness prior to graduation.
The results of the 2012-13 accountability cycle ranked the school district in the 14th percentile. The 2014-15 test results placed the district in the 80th percentile. As a result, Fletcher and the Lawrence County Board of Education have set a goal of having a Distinguished district by 2017.
Districtwide systems, protocols and high leadership expectations guide the work at the district and school level with flat communication providing a unifying structure. Weekly meetings of the superintendent and central office administrators include completion of the Central Office Communication/Accountability calendar, which details the superintendent’s and each administrator’s priorities for the upcoming week along with specific directives/expectations from Fletcher.
District strategic planning sessions with administrators and managers occur bi-monthly to monitor the district’s strategic Big Rock Plan that is aligned with the district improvement plan. Monthly meetings among administrators, managers and principals are held to remove barriers and to assess progress on student achievement along with quarterly presentations of progress by principals to the board of education. In addition, individual coaching and monitoring of school improvement plans by Fletcher ensures alignment to the goals set by the board of education as well as state delivery targets.
The district holds School and Community Days twice a year. District administrators spend a major portion of a scheduled and publicized day in each school being fully accessible to all shareholders. Each day concludes with a town hall-style meeting with the superintendent presiding over a discussion of the successes and challenges of the school. High expectations and communication are the norm in Lawrence County promoted daily by Fletcher and his motto of “All In.”
As a next step toward global readiness, Lawrence County leadership and central office staff have facilitated a partnership with Ashland Community and Technical College and American Electric Power (AEP) to add a dual credit academy at the high school that focuses on STEM-related fields. This partnership will provide more than $800,000 in support as part of the AEP Foundation’s Credits Count program.