Of the area’s traditional schools, four topped the rest when results of the 2014-15 North Carolina School Report Cards were released last week — the three schools in the Elkin City Schools district and Starmount High School all received Bs.
Among the tri-county Early College High Schools, two scored an A or better — Surry and Yadkin — with Wilkes receiving a school performance grade of B.
The three Elkin schools as well as Starmount High School also met their expected academic growth for the school year.
Elkin High School topped the four schools with a school performance score of 79, just four points lower than the 2013-14 score of 84. Elkin Elementary received a score of 73, just two points lower than the 2013-14 score of 75. Both of those schools exceeded growth standards in the 2013-14 year.
Elkin Middle and Starmount High received scores of 70. To be graded a B, a school must have a score from 70 to 84. In 2013-14, Elkin Middle had a score of 69 and Starmount High scored 64, which were Cs. Both schools met expected academic growth in the newest report card.
These scores are determined 80 percent by achievement scores based on several indicators depending on the grade levels in the school, and 20 percent by academic growth. In elementary and middle schools, the achievement score is determined “by the percentage of students scoring a level 3-5 (proficiency) on the end-of-grade reading and mathematics and grades five and eight science,” explained Shelia Settle, director of accountability and testing for Elkin City Schools, in a news release about Elkin’s report card results.
“The high school calculation includes proficiency on the following seven indicators: Math I end-of-course, English II end-of-course, Biology end-of-course, ACT (the nationally normed assessment determining college readiness which is taken by all 11th-grade students), passing Math III, the high school graduation rate (graduating within four years of entering high school) and the ACT WorkKeys (career readiness assessment taken by select students),” said Settle.
She explained, “Student growth is determined by the trend of each individual student utilizing specific content data from three prior assessments. A projection is then made for each student to determine or indicate a year’s worth of growth in that subject area.”
The early college results include: Surry Early College exceeded growth and received a grade of A+NG with a school performance score of 92, an improvement over an A and 87 the prior year; Yadkin Early College exceeded growth and received an A with a 91, an improvement over an A and 88; and Wilkes Early College met growth and received a B with a 76, down just one point from 77. To receive an A+NG, a school must earn a score of 85 to 100 and not have significant achievement or graduation gaps.
Most other schools in the area received a C, which is a score between 55 and 69. In Surry County in the area, this includes: Central Middle, exceeded and 68, an improvement over not meeting growth with a 59; Copeland Elementary, met and 67, an increase over 63; Dobson Elementary, did not meet with 66, two points lower than 2013-14; Surry Central High, did not meet with 64, one point higher; Rockford Elementary, met and 62, one point higher; and Mountain Park Elementary, met and 56, a decrease from 58.
In western Yadkin County, this includes: Starmount Middle, exceeded and 65, an improvement over not meeting growth with a 54 and D; Boonville Elementary, exceeded and 64, two points lower; West Yadkin Elementary, exceeded and 64, increase over 60; and Jonesville Elementary, did not meet with 60, a decrease from 65 when it met growth.
In eastern Wilkes County, this includes: C.B. Eller Elementary, exceeded and 69, an increase from 61; East Wilkes Middle, exceeded and 65, an increase from 63; East Wilkes High, did not meet and 61, decrease from 63; Ronda-Clingman Elementary, met and 55, a decrease from 65 and exceeding growth.
Bridges Academy, a charter school in State Road, received a D with a score of 53, a decrease from 61 and a C in 2013-14, and did not meet expected academic growth after meeting it the prior year. Also, Traphill Elementary in Wilkes County met academic growth and received a D with a score of 49, two points lower than 51.
The school report cards include more information above just the academic growth and achievement scores. It also “offers up-to-date information about student achievement, attendance, class size, school safety, teacher quality, school technology and other topics for the school districts in North Carolina,” said Settle.
She emphasized the report card is not a complete profile of an individual school or district. “School accountability focuses on academic achievement as measured by standardized testing. However, standardized testing is only one piece of a measure for academic success,” Settle said. “Our staff tends to look at the body of work that is occurring each day in our classrooms and in our schools to reflect academic achievement and successful student work.
“When focus is on the whole child and his or her learning experiences, we are utilizing various measurements that can paint an entirely different picture from standardized testing.”
“This is the 14th year North Carolina has provided a comprehensive resource for information on public school indicators,” said State Superintendent June Atkinson in a release. “The information contained in the NC School Report Cards will help parents and the public better understand how schools are preparing students for the future.”
For additional access to the North Carolina School Report Card, visit www.ncpublicschools.org/src/. Parents seeking more information or with specific questions can reach out to their principals, Settle said.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.