The Delta Health Alliance

New Test Scores Show Marked Improvement in Children Entering Lockard Kindergarten

Posted on: October 4, 2017

New test scores released this week by the Sunflower County Consolidated School District show marked improvement in the number of students entering Lockard’s kindergarten class who are at grade level and reading proficient.

According to Josh Davis, Delta Health Alliance vice president and coordinator of the Indianola Promise Community, “As the school district has done for the last four years, they tested the incoming kindergartners using a literacy test approved for all public schools in the state. For the Lockard students, 51% were already at grade level earlier this month. This is twice what it was when we first began the promise community work and represents a significant accomplishment of the early childhood education community in Indianola.”

Davis went on to say that, “These new test results are the product of a number of community partners working together over the past couple of years to develop uniform curricula among the child care and Head Start centers, to agree on standard benchmarks for children entering kindergarten, and to ensure children who need help get that help. The remarkable improvement over the last few years demonstrates what can happen when people work together and focus on our children.”

According to Betty Petty, chairperson of the Sunflower County United for Children and a member of the partnership, “We are delighted with these results and offer our congratulations to our partners, the parents, and most of all to the children who have been working so hard. In addition, these test results will let us zero in on the students who need help and work with them in the coming months. For example, last year, more than 83% of the students were scoring proficient on the tests at the end of kindergarten. With these new numbers, we know we’ll do much better than that when the final test is given in May.” It goes to show and tell when “relationships” are formed there is nothing that can stop us from achieving our goals. Because the true “focus” are the children. When we are united the bond is Greater.

The community partners involved in the kindergarten readiness project include the Sunflower County Consolidated School District, Head Start Association, Indianola Promise Community, Children’s Defense Fund, Save the Children, Sunflower County United for Children, the city of Indianola and its Excel by 5 program, and participating child care centers in Indianola.

The Indianola Promise Community unites health care, education, government, community, and faith-based services to develop a “pipeline” of academic, family, and community resources, from prenatal care through high school graduation, creating a path for students to gain meaningful careers and earn financial independence. The promise community wants to ensure Indianola children are ready for school, that students who need help get help quickly, and that young people stay in school through graduation and transition to post-secondary education. To find out more about Delta Health Alliance and Indianola Promise Community, go to or follow us on Facebook.