The school recently received brag-worthy state test scores. Horse Branch chalked up the highest K-PREP test results of all Ohio County schools, and scored in the top 86-percentile across the state.
"We have a really good culture here, and it all stems from the community involvement. It bleeds over into our school, and what we've got going on inside these halls is very special," says Principal Jeff Martin. He says it took several days for the good test results to "sink in."
The test scores mean much more than outstanding academics to the tight-knit community of Horse Branch, Kentucky . There were threats to shut the school down over the past years -- in part -- because of its size. Around 200 students, preschool through sixth grade, attend the pint-sized school.
Melissa McDaniel's two children attend the elementary school. Before that, she attended the school herself. And before that, her father attended high school there. Generations of Horse Branch families grow up in the school; it's the highlight and pride of the community. "It'd just be so sad to lose something so special to people around here," says McDaniel."
The community fought hard to keep the elementary school open. For them, the high test scores serve as testimony for the school's worth.
"I heard people saying they were shocked to hear it. and I was like, 'What would they be shocked for?' I was proud of them. I knew they could do it," says McDaniel.
The test results are music to the community's years. After years of fighting for the school's worth, the little school now has big bragging rights.
In addition to Horse Branch Elementary, Beaver Dam, Southern and Wayland Alexander Elementary Schools and Ohio County Middle School scored in state's 'proficient' category. All Kentucky K-PREP results can be found by clicking here.