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North Butler Elementary Scores 3 Stars KY's New 5 Star Accountability System

As principal of North Butler Elementary one of my goals is to always be transparent about the schools progress in all areas.  We work extremely hard each day at NBES to create a culture of excellence in all aspects of a students life. The Kentucky Department of Education, along with federal and state legislation uses the Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress (K-PREP) along with some data reporting tools to measure all schools on their effectiveness.  This year the state has redesigned their accountability reporting into a new 5 Star rating system. The new system, according to Kentucky Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis, provides an unprecedented degree of transparency for stakeholders, while showing progress on a diverse set of indicators. For the 2019 reporting year, the following elementary factors will be used to figure the accountability score:

  • Reading and Math Proficiency

  • Social Studies, Science and Writing Proficiency

  • Academic Growth Over One Academic Year

  • (In 2020 Quality of School Climate and Safety will be calculated)

A collection panel appointed of educators, parents, and Kentucky Education Board members met recently to determine the cut scores. The cut scores were identified for the overall star rating, as well as individual indicator scores of Very Low, Low, Medium, High and Very High for proficiency, growth and separate indicators. 

(see those cut scores on table 1-2)

Table 1                         5 - Star Rating Cut Score Scale:

Star Rating

Cut Score

1 Star

0 - 46.9

2 Stars

47 - 58.9

3 Stars

59 - 70.9

4 Stars

71 - 78.9

5 Stars

79 or higher



Table 2              Indicator Cut Scores Scale:


Very Low




Very High



0 - 50.9

51 - 66.9

67 - 76.9

77 - 89.9

90 or higher


Soc. Studies/ Science/Writing

0 - 49.9

50 - 61.9

62 - 71.9

72 - 79.9

80 or higher



0 - 47.9

48 - 54.9

55 - 59.9

60 - 68.9

69 or higher


Proficiency - 69.3 Medium

   Separate - 63.1 Medium

       Growth - 56 Medium

This week we learned that North Butler Elementary scored 3 Stars on Kentucky’s new 5 Star Accountability System. In comparison to the state, 183 schools of the 725 elementary schools in the state scored a higher star rating than NBES.  North Butler also scored in the medium range in all indicators with reading numbers as high as any other time in school history. I want NBES to be a model that other schools desire to be.  It is our charge to make the future of our kids successful. Our climate is already to that point, and I believe our academic success is heading in that direction. Our rigor and academic performance has increased each of the last three years; I fully expect to be a top rated school in the state over the coming years.  I commend our teachers, students and parents for the tremendous growth in the last calendar year. Not calculated this year, but to be used in future years is the Quality of School Climate and Safety. This is one area I feel will help lift the school to a 4 or 5 star rating this coming school year when coupled with the noted growth that were are seeing in the data shown later in this report.  

At NBES we believe teaching life skills, loving kids and keeping students safe is extremely important. Much more important than a single high pressure test score. NBES takes great pride in our climate, care and safety procedures.  It is also important to point out only 3rd - 5th grade students are administered the accountability testing, only 4th graders take part in science testing, and social studies and writing is only administered to 5th graders. Therefore we must realize that all accountability testing is somewhat of a moving target in relationship to growth from one year to the next.  As we move forward we will continue to strive for the Butler County Schools mission of:

Building character and 21st Century skills

Collaborating with families and the community

Shaping the next generation of local and global citizens

Comparing current data to one year ago at North Butler Elementary:

Proficient/Distinguished: (Strong academic Standing)

Reading increased from 44% proficient/distinguished to 55%

Math increased from 43% proficient/distinguished to 46% 

Writing increased from 9% to 45% proficient/distinguished

Social Studies increased from 24% to 46% proficient/distinguished

Science stayed nearly the same as a year ago at 43%

Novice Reduction: (Performing below grade level)

Reading novice was decreased from 26% to 19%

Math novice was decreased from 27% to 16%

Writing novice was decreased from 48% to 30%

Social Studies novice was decreased from 23% to 16%

Science novice moved from 7% to 9%

To access all data by subject,  grade, gender, economic status and more please visit or visit and click on the School Report Card Link.  If you have any questions regarding this report or Kentucky’s new accountability system feel free to contact me anytime at or 270-526-8936.

Thank you for your support,

Josh Belcher, Principal


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