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-Press Release, Granville County Public Schools
The NC Department of Public Instruction released the standardized test scores for the 2018-19 school year, and the results show some positive trends for the district. The majority of schools either exceeded or met growth, according to state analysis.
Growth measures the overall academic progress a student makes during the course of the entire year, compared to their counterparts across the state. Proficiency measures whether or not a student achieves a particular score, typically designated as level III or above on most tests.
Using a combination of the growth measure (20%) and percentage of students who are proficient (80%), the state assigns a school letter grade. Granville Early College High School earned an A. Wilton Elementary and Mt. Energy Elementary both earned a B, and seven other schools earned a C.
Eight schools earned a D, with four of those schools only two points away from earning a C. Northern Granville Middle School earned an F, but was one point away from earning a letter grade of a D.
Superintendent McLean offered her perspective on the outcomes, stating, “While our growth measures continue to remain strong, we did see some slippage in the overall letter grades of our schools. Since this past June, we have been using the raw data to make adjustments in our approach, including making changes in school leadership, reallocating curricular resources, and renewing our focus on literacy.At our lowest performing schools, we have already made significant changes to address areas of concern, which we are confident will yield positive results.”
Dr. Brenda Williamson takes on the newly merged and energized Northern Granville Middle School as the principal for the 2019-2020 school year. JF Webb School of Health and Life Sciences also prepares for its merger in 2020 with JF Webb High School under new leadership. JF Webb High School improved its letter grade from a D to a C this past year under Principal Amy Rice’s leadership.
A variety of external factors may have also contributed to the variance in test scores. This past year, the NCDPI administered newly designed math assessments at all grade levels, which resulted in statewide standard-setting, causing scores to be re-calibrated on a new scale. There were also no retests for any math tests, which did not afford some students a second chance to improve their score.
In addition, this was the first year that all students took all standardized tests online using their laptop computers as recommended by NCDPI. In the past, most tests have been administered using paper and pencil test booklets and answer sheets.
A deeper analysis of results by subject area, grade level and subgroup of students show some areas of marked improvement. For example, there was a double-digit increase in 8th grade math proficiency of 25 percentage points. In addition, 3rd grade reading proficiency increased by almost 8 percentage points for all students across the district. Finally, all but one high school improved their graduation rate, with JFW HLS boasting a 100% and Granville Early College at a 98% graduation rate for the year.
Dr. McLean further explained, “While important, these test scores are but one measure of student success. Our teachers work very hard to provide a safe environment where our students are prepared academically, socially and emotionally for what lies beyond graduation. This is our number one goal. We love our students, and together, our teachers, support staff and administrators will stay on the move!”