AJH to implement ACT WorkKeys for all 8th graders

Published 8:00 am Thursday, March 30, 2023

Alexander Junior High will implement ACT WorkKeys for all eighth graders beginning in the 2023-2024 school year. ACT WorkKeys helps students make the most of high school by exploring college majors and careers based on individual student’s interests.

It’s just one step principal Patrick Hardy is implementing to help students. Hardy told Brookhaven School Board members Tuesday that electronic message boards throughout the school will continually run with information displayed to help students understand what state testing is all about.

“You’re giving your students ‘measurables,’” said board member Robb Massengill.

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“That is correct,” Hardy said. “Students need to understand not just what they’re being tested on, but why they are being tested.”

Dr. Brandy Myers, Brookhaven School District’s director of Special Services, told the board that students were greatly improving in math master at Alexander and Lipsey Middle School, and in reading skills at Brookhaven Elementary.

“It’s really phenomenal growth,” Myers said of the improvement of special education students in reading at BES.

“Is this a measure of teachers being really in their niche, or students excelling, or both?” Massengill asked.

“It’s both, really,” Myers said.

Federal Programs Director Rob McCreary said the improvements at the schools also comes back to principals and program leaders strategically applying the funding they have.

In addition to the implementation of ACT WorkKeys, McCreary said high school juniors have benefitted from the district’s partnership with Jumpstart Testing in working to advance ACT scores.

“Sixty-two percent of our kids have grown their ACT scores by 2 points or more — 2.5 points on average,” he said.


In other business, the board:

  • Authorized Steven Williams of the Mississippi Forestry Commission to spray a section of school-owned land near the MFC office on County Farm Lane to eradicate cogongrass, an invasive grass categorized as the world’s seventh-worst noxious weed. The weed has become a serious problem in the coastal area of the state, and should be eradicated by multiple sprayings before it reaches that point locally, Williams said.
  • Approved a school bus turnaround for 789 Saints Trail NW.
  • Approved 35 student transfers out of district for the 2023-2024 school year. All students are the dependents of certified instructors who work in other districts, and must be allowed to transfer out by state law.
  • Approved the reorganization of the board for one year, beginning immediately — Dr. James “Vernell” Hooker as president; Dennis “Jason” Childress as vice president; Erin Smith as secretary; and Robert “Robb” Massengill and Patrick Brown as board members.