JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The Jackson Public School (JPS) District has been rated as a “C” school district, one letter grade up from last year’s “D” rating.

Among the district’s schools, Obama Elementary School was rated the top elementary school in the state. Several schools improved two or more letter grades.

The graduation rate is also up to nearly 85%, the highest it’s been in years.

The improvements come as a result of the five-year improvement plan that was launched in 2019. JPS staff said it’s an important milestone that should be celebrated, but they said their work on improving the district is far from over.

“We’ve achieved this performance level by strategically focusing our work, by mobilizing talented educators to support our scholars in and out of the classroom and by holding ourselves accountable for delivering excellence. What this is showing us is that real change and accelerated growth can happen in the span of one year,” said JPS Superintendent Errick Greene.

“If our children aren’t the focus and our children aren’t who we’re doing this for, then it’s all for nothing… We’re very proud of our improvement, we’re very proud of our new rating, but we still acknowledge that they’re is still growth to be made and we’re going to work tirelessly,” said Christopher Samuels, a teacher at Callaway High.

Accountability grades are based on results of the Mississippi Academic Assessment program for English Language Arts, Math, Science and U.S. History.