5 Coast districts get A ratings for the first time. See how all the schools rank.

Five school districts in South Mississippi have achieved an A rating for the first time ever, the state announced Tuesday in reporting its annual accountability results.

Bay St. Louis-Waveland jumped from a C to and A while Gulfport, Hancock County, Harrison County and Stone County moved up from a B rating, based on the 2018-19 state test score results.

Now, a little over a third of the state’s 31 A-rated schools are in South Mississippi.

“Mississippi schools and districts are achieving at higher levels each year, and their grades demonstrate how well they are serving the children in their classrooms,” said state Superintendent Carey Wright.

Each year, schools and districts get a letter grade — A, B, C, D or F — from the Department of Education based, in part, on scores and year-to-year progress on state tests, called the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program.

The scores and rankings are unofficial until the Mississippi Board of Education certifies them at its Thursday meeting.

Coast districts

Ocean Springs School District ranked second-highest in the state overall, which is its highest ranking ever.

On the Coast, it also had the highest math and English proficiency, as well as the highest percentage of students taking accelerated courses like Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB).

Hancock County schools had the highest reading growth on the Coast at 72.2% and second-highest math growth. Biloxi had the highest math growth at 82.9%.

Pass Christian schools scored the highest in college and career readiness.

Poplarville had the highest graduation rate at 94.7% and Picayune the lowest at 77.1%.

Jackson County moved back to an A after slipping to a B last year.

Picayune improved from a C to a B.

Bay-Waveland and Hancock had the highest reading growth in the state for the bottom 25% of students, and Hancock also had the second-highest math growth for the bottom 25%.

Bay-Waveland and Gulfport showed the biggest progress in English learners.

Junior, high schools

Ocean Springs was the highest-ranked high school in the state.

Also ranked in the top 10 across the state were West Harrison, Pass Christian, Biloxi, Vancleave and Bay High.

Pass Christian had the highest reading proficiency on the Coast, and Biloxi High had the highest math proficiency.

Poplarville had the highest graduation rate on the Coast and third-highest in the state at 95%. Pass Christian ranked highest on the Coast in career and college readiness.

Gulfport had the highest English-learner progress.

Biloxi Junior High ranked highest in the state.

Elementary schools

Beach Elementary School in Pascagoula had the highest overall score on the Coast with 662 points and second-highest in the state.

Also in the state’s top 10 was Bayou View Elementary with 592 points and Pineville Elementary in Harrison County with 589 points.

Bayou View also had the highest reading and math proficiency on the Coast.

Pineville had the highest science proficiency in the state with a perfect 100, along with French Camp in Choctaw County.

Lake Elementary in Pascagoula had the highest reading growth at 105.4. Beach Elementary had the second-highest reading growth and highest math growth.

Pass Road Elementary had the highest progress by English learners.

Needs improvement

George County School District was the only one to lower its score from last year, moving from a 648 to 634.

Four Coast schools got an F rating: George County’s LC Hatcher Elementary and Benndale Elementary and Moss Point’s Kreole Primary and Escatawpa Upper Elementary.

District rankings

School DistrictTotal PointsGrade
Ocean Springs731A
Hancock County704A
Pass Christian704A
Long Beach696A
Stone County696A
Jackson County685A
Harrison County674A
Pearl River County661B
George County634B
Moss Point521D

High school rankings

SchoolTotal PointsGrade
Ocean Springs811A
West Harrison807A
Pass Christian789A
Bay 782A
Pearl River Central760A
Long Beach750B
East Central746B
St. Martin685B
Harrison Central671B
Moss Point650B

Top 10 elementary schools

Elementary SchoolDistrictTotal Points
Beach Pascagoula-Gautier662
Bayou View Gulfport592
Pineville Harrison County589
Lake Pascagoula-Gautier577


East HancockHancock County530
Arlington Heights Pascagoula-Gautier529
North WoolmarketHarrison County529
PerkinstonStone County517
LizanaHarrison County513

View the full statewide results at

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Lauren Walck has been in journalism on the Gulf Coast for 10 years, and she’s the Sun Herald’s senior news editor and a regional growth specialist. She is a native of Mobile, Alabama, and an alumna of Louisiana State University.
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