Making the Grade: Students excelling at Bailey APAC Middle School

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — It’s no secret that the Jackson Public School District is struggling.

The Mississippi Department of Education rated the district an “F” for the second year in a row.

However, not all the schools in JPS are struggling.

Bailey APAC Middle School is full of high-performing and talented students. Kids get into the school one of two ways: they either take an achievement test, or they audition for art, dance, music or theater.

According to the state’s accountability ratings, students here have the highest Science proficiency and Reading proficiency scores of any other middle school in the state.

Not only is this the highest performing middle school in JPS, but it also rounds out the top five in the state.

“It lets me know that the leadership and structure of the school is where it needs to be,” said Casie Mitchell, a parent.

Principal Christi McAlpin, the secret to their success is simple:

“You know, we work really hard to build relationships with our children and our parents, and it pays off for us, but it starts in the classroom with our teachers,” she said. “Our teachers have to forge relationships with students in order to get them to want to work and to build and to build that work ethic with them.”

“I feel like it was us as students and teachers helping us to work our hardest and to do our best on tests,” said Victoria Akins, a 7th Grader.

“It’s a privilege to have teachers that actually want it as bad as I want it and to want me to succeed,” said Caylus Jenkins, a student.

Parental involvement is key to success.

Students who get into Bailey typically come from Power APAC. Then they usually move on to Murrah.

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