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Majority of Granville Co. Public Schools Exceeded or Met Growth

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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!”

2019-20 School Year Marks Big Changes for GCPS

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-Press Release, Granville County Public Schools

Another school year has come and gone, and a new one awaits for the students of Granville County!  We are open for business and accepting enrollments at all schools! We have so many different educational environments, programs and instructional models; any family can find the right fit with us.

In addition to the academic achievement of students, this year’s main focus for our Board of Education and Administration will continue to be on the safety, health and welfare of our children.

In partnership with our County Commissioners, the Sheriff’s Department and the Creedmoor Police Department, the strong School Resource Officer presence in our schools will continue. Efforts to improve the physical security of our campuses also continues with new video surveillance systems, new perimeter fencing, new locks and entryways, along with increased safety training for all staff.

Air quality monitoring continues, with every school being tested by an outside independent laboratory, with results posted to each school’s website for public review.

Anti-bullying and anti-drug, alcohol and tobacco campaigns will be in full effect this school year as well.

A new mobile app will provide students, parents and staff tools for communication concerns related to the well-being and emotional health of our school communities. We will continue to support the social-emotional learning of students through our social worker, counselors and our new Parent University.

You would be correct in thinking that school begins in August – but not for everyone!  In fact, three of our campuses have already started school!  They operate on a dual-calendar, offering both a traditional and ‘year-round’ option to families.

West Oxford Elementary, Butner-Stem Elementary and Butner-Stem Middle School all provide families a modified school calendar in which students avoid the long summer break. While the total number of school days doesn’t change, the vacation time is split up during the whole year, after every 9 weeks of school. More than 350 of our students had their first day back on Monday, July 15!  No summer slide for them!

There is lots in store at other schools across the district this year. Granville Academy is beginning its second year, offering a blended online and face-to-face model for students K-12. The first school of its kind in the state, these students physically attend school only two days a week and receive instruction virtually the other part of their schedule. This is a fantastic option for families who have unique situations, or for those parents who want to be intimately involved in their student’s schooling.

Many home school families, in both our county and surrounding counties, have been flocking to this innovative and non-traditional model.  Early indications show high levels of academic success for the students participating, and other school districts from across the state are inquiring how they can duplicate our home-grown model.

Three other schools are undergoing significant transformations as well. JF Webb High School is busy planning for the merger of the School of Health and Life Sciences in 2020-21. All of the current Biomedical Science courses offered through JFW HLS will continue, with plans for expanded offerings in Career and Technical Education programs, as well as college-level courses offered through VGCC.

Under the leadership of Principal Rice, not only are academics getting an overhaul, but the school itself is also receiving significant facility upgrades, which will go nicely with the improved mascot logo, boasting that Warrior Pride!

Northern Granville Middle School is full of activity in preparation for the merger with Mary Potter Middle School this fall.  The added enrollment helps boost the number and variety of elective course offerings for all students, which will now include Spanish, Art, Music, Chorus, Agriculture Education, Technology Education, a NEW Minecraft Coding and Video Game Design class, and PE.  Principal Williamson is also planning a wide range of clubs and other enrichment activities for students beyond the regular curriculum.  Exciting times to be a Knight!

Stovall Shaw Elementary is also buzzing with activity this summer in preparations for the merger of students from Joe Toler Oak Hill Elementary. In addition to the new classrooms, instructional programs and electives being planned by Principal McGhee, the school also continues its theme of “Healthy Active Students,” providing a focus on the physical and emotional well-being of students.

Also worth noting are improvements to the entire entrance/drive/parking area of the school, which is being completely redone.  This much-needed upgrade will help ease congestion and traffic concerns, providing a safer experience for all when visiting the school.

Lots of other exciting opportunities are expanding and evolving at schools across the district as well. Mt Energy is entering their second year as a “School of Character,” providing an environment that focuses on leadership and giving back to the community.

Wilton Elementary School continues to offer “The Leader in Me” program, for which they received statewide recognition last year.

West Oxford Elementary School offers the “Global Focus” program, giving students a taste of world cultures and experiences, expanding their perspectives of the world.

CG Credle Elementary offers the “Leadership and Wellness” program, and Granville Central High School continues to offer its focus on STEM-related electives for all students through advanced college-level coursework.

GC Hawley Middle School marches forward with an impressive offering of elective and advanced courses for their students, and Early College keeps pushing the bar higher each year by offering DUAL degrees (high school diplomas AND an Associate’s Degree) to their students.

South Granville High School receives much-needed facility upgrades and delivers that special “Viking” experience to students, leading the way in athletic championships and club activities.

Creedmoor Elementary School of the Arts and Tar River Elementary School round out the offerings with special instructional programs to foster creativity and leadership respectively, meeting the needs and interests of diverse learners.

For all of our newest elementary students, be sure to mark your calendars for an all-day, special Kindergarten Kick-Off at the Granville Athletic Park on July 30. Lots of fun planned for families, along with helpful information and registration forms available!

Finally, efforts continue district-wide to ensure we have the best possible staff in every classroom and in every position across the district. Professional development for all staff will continue to focus on personalized learning and student engagement, making sure that students are invested in their schooling, and are motivated and see value in what they learn.

Recruiting talent also remains a top priority, and the district looks forward to the warm welcome given to our new teachers in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce this August.

Superintendent Alisa McLean offered her thoughts on the direction of the school district, explaining, “Our commitment to the whole child and their quality of educational experience in GCPS – from the environment in which they learn to the individuals from whom they learn; it is ALL important. As such, there is a great deal of work occurring this summer to train, align, clean up, fix, repair, install and simply do what is necessary to ensure Granville County Public Schools is not one of the best but is THE best academic choice for families in our community. Options are contemporary and available; and moreover, our educators are second to none. The Board of Education and I are truly devoted to our motto of being ‘Committed to Excellence and Achievement for All!’”

GCPS Traveling Book Bus to Bring Summer Reading Opportunities

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-Information courtesy Granville County Public Schools

As a way to keep students reading during these weeks before traditional calendar schools begin, the Book Bus, our GCPS version of a bookmobile, will travel to neighborhoods and read with our students.

Students will have access to great book selections as well as the opportunity to borrow a book to read between visits.

There are even options for adults to read while their children are reading!

Please see the flyer below for dates, times and locations.

A New Look for JF Webb High School’s Mascot & Logo

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-Press Release, Granville County Public Schools

Big changes are underway at JF Webb High School.  New staff, newly renovated facilities, and a new instructional focus are all on the way. These updates, new ideas and student-focused changes will bring exciting new opportunities for the community.  But something folks may notice first is the school’s new look…

A school’s mascot can mean a lot, and not just to current students and past alumnae, but to the community at large. A high school mascot often embodies the spirit and personality of a school, depicting a real sense of what a school is about.

For more than 50 years at JF Webb High School, the mascot of the “Warrior” has come to signify courage, strength and overcoming adversity. Being a warrior means being tough and triumphant. While this meaning has stayed true, the actual artwork or logo that represents the warrior has seen some changes over time.

J.F. Webb High School graduates prior to 2004 know that the Warrior mascot was a Native American Warrior. If you ask the most recent 2019 Webb graduates to describe what their Warrior looks like, the majority would be unable to do so. They would likely tell you their school’s logo is simply the letters “JFW.”

Most are unfamiliar with “Wally” the futuristic Warrior that replaced the Native American Warrior around 2004 when most schools in the state of North Carolina, in an effort to be more culturally sensitive, redesigned their Native American Warrior mascots. Over the years, “Wally” has faded into the background and Webb’s logo became its initials.

When the school board voted to merge J.F. Webb and J.F. Webb School of Health and Life Science in 2020-21, a redesign committee consisting of administrators, teachers, students and parents was created. One of the first suggestions that the redesign committee made was to design and select a new Warrior mascot/log design.

Mrs. Amy Rice, Principal of J.F. Webb shared, “I believe it was important to the committee, especially the students, to move forward with a new mascot design that embodies the pride that we want all students and our community to have in J.F. Webb.  We wanted a mascot and logo that students and athletes would proudly wear and promote.”

After reviewing a variety of possible ideas, Webb narrowed down its mascot and shield logo ideas with help from a graphic design company that has experience working for school districts on similar projects.

With the help of 1988 JFW alumni Grey Blackwell, some final touches were added to provide the finished product that everyone on the committee was pleased with.

While the school campus is receiving extensive physical upgrades, including a new HVAC system, fresh paint, new furniture and security upgrades, big changes are underway on the academic side as well. All of the current Biomedical Science courses offered through JFW HLS will continue, with plans for expanded offerings in Career and Technical courses, as well as college level courses offered through VGCC.

As part of the overall redesign of the school, Principal Rice looks forward to rolling out the new Warrior look, explaining, “I’m a proud graduate of J.F. Webb, and I hope that our new mascot and logo will help all of our students hold dear to the phrase ‘Warrior Pride.’ JF Webb High School is on the move!  If you haven’t stopped by recently, come give us a visit and I will be happy to give you a personal tour of the NEW and IMPROVED Warrior Country.”

GCPS: Summer Book Bus 2019

— cover photo and press release courtesy of Granville County Public Schools

Did You Know….

Granville County Public Schools – We’re Going Mobile Again this Summer! Look for the Book Bus in a neighborhood near you.

Did you know?

Reading for pleasure makes a big difference to children’s educational performance. Evidence suggests that children who read for enjoyment every day not only perform better in reading tests than those who don’t, but also develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures. In fact, reading for pleasure is more likely to determine whether a child does well at school than their social or economic background.1

Did you also know?

Regardless of ethnicity, socioeconomic level, or previous achievement, children who read four or more books over the summer fare better on reading comprehension tests in the fall than their peers who read one or no books over the summer.2

The lack of reading books over the summer often results in what is commonly called “summer slide”. No, “summer slide” is not referring to a piece of playground equipment kids will play on at the park this summer. “Summer slide” is a decline in reading ability and other academic skills that can occur over the summer months when school isn’t in session.3 When students experience “summer slide”, it usually means that teachers will have to back-up at the beginning of the school year and reteach skills and strategies that children have lost over the summer.

Did you know?

GCPS is doing something to combat “summer slide” and to build early literacy skills?

The Granville County Public School System is keenly aware of the importance of developing early literacy skills and the gaps that occur when children enter school without having encountered many books. We also are aware of the dreaded “summer slide” that happens when students are not engaged with texts while on summer break. In order to maintain and increase those early literacy skills and to help children develop a love of reading, GCPS is operating the mobile Book Bus for a second year. Families can expect a visit from the Book Bus at a variety of sites around the county on a regular schedule. Once parked at each site, children and families will have an opportunity to board the bus and choose a book! Staff and volunteers will be on hand to help and provide snacks and encouragement. Books are also available to ‘check out’ for families to share and exchange.

What a wonderful opportunity we have here in Granville County to help kids participate in reading books they choose and enjoy. The payoff is huge. Round up the kids! Join us for a summer snack and a bus load of good books. Look for the GCPS mobile Book Bus in a neighborhood near you beginning in July.

1 “Why is Reading so Important?” Pearson UK, Retrieved from https://www.pearson.com/uk/learners/primary-parents/learn-at-home/help-your-child-to-enjoy-reading/why-is-reading-so-important.html

2 Kim, J.S. (2004). Summer reading and the ethnic achievement gap. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 9(2), 169-188

3 Rippel, M. “How to Beat Summer Slide”. All About Learning Press, Retrieved from https://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/summer-slide/

Granville Board of Ed. to Hold Interviews for Vacant District 1 Seat

-Press Release, Granville County Public Schools

NOTICE TO PUBLIC AND PRESS

The Granville County Board of Education will hold a special meeting to interview candidates for the vacant District 1 seat on the Board of Education on Wednesday, June 19, 2019, at the Granville County Public Schools Central Office, 101 Delacroix Street, Oxford, North Carolina.

Leadership Changes Announced for Granville Co. Public Schools

-Press Release, Granville County Public Schools

At their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, June 3, 2019, the Granville County Board of Education approved recommended changes to numerous leadership positions at the school and district levels. These positions will become effective July 1, 2019, and will be in effect for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Superintendent McLean offered these remarks regarding these changes, saying, “We have made tremendous progress in the past two years. I am so proud of the amazing opportunities our staff provide for our students day in and day out. With these new appointments, it is my hope we will continue our trajectory of excellence and be poised for an even brighter future for our pupils.”

New Principal Assignments:

Billy Moore – Mt Energy Elementary School

Bethany Bonnemere – West Oxford Elementary School

Ashley Clark – Butner Stem Middle School

David Hackney – JF Webb School of Health and Life Sciences

 

New Assistant Principal Assignments:

Sophelia McMannon – Butner Stem Elementary School

Donald Johnson – CG Credle Elementary School

Benjy Downing – Wilton Elementary School

Charmain Day-Heggie – Butner Stem Middle School

Nancy Russell – GC Hawley Middle School

Sherria Grubbs – Northern Granville Middle School

Ashley Lloyd – Northern Granville Middle School

 

District Assignments:

Bill Graham – Principal of Granville Academy & District Disciplinary Coordinator

Angie Salisbury – CTE IMC & Secondary Coordinator

Shelby Hunt – Title I Instructional & Grants Coordinator (Elementary MTSS)

Gwen Loftin – Interim Technology Director

Vickie Hines – PK & Early Childhood Day Coordinator

Lauren Curtis – STEAM and Code Coordinator (Secondary MTSS)

All district-level staffing represent placements or re-assignments of pre-existing positions and duties that were previously held by other individuals.

Granville County Principal Named N.C. School Hero

-Press Release, NC Education Lottery

Michael Allen, principal at Joe Toler-Oak Hill Elementary School in Oxford, is known for always going above and beyond for his students. He helps to create a safe, nurturing school environment where every single child feels special.

Allen is rarely in his office. He can usually be found in the cafeteria serving food, or at the gym leading a game with the students. Whether he’s giving out gifts as Santa for Christmas or greeting each student at the drop-off area, Allen always finds a way to bring joy to his students.

Michael Allen (shown holding checks), principal at Joe Toler-Oak Hill Elementary School, was selected as one of the 10 winners of the Education Lottery’s School Heroes program. (Photo courtesy GCPS)

“Mr. Allen is an outstanding N.C. School Hero,” said Trina Vaughan, a parent at the school. “He is an unselfish, compassionate individual who cares very deeply about the youth in our community.”

Allen’s dedication to his job and his school led to his selection as one of the 10 winners of the Education Lottery’s School Heroes program.

“I feel honored and humbled. I don’t think I do any more than anyone else,” said Allen. “This is what I do. I’m here for the kids. If we make it hard for the kids to come to school and enjoy school, we’re not doing our jobs. I hope we will continue doing what’s good for the children.”

The North Carolina Education Lottery created the N.C. School Heroes program to showcase the positive impacts teachers, principals, and other school workers have in public schools every day. From 6,000 nominations, ten heroes were chosen with each receiving a $10,000 award and $10,000 for their school.

Students and teachers filled the bleachers in the school’s gym, opening the presentation with the Pledge of Allegiance. Then, they cheered and applauded as their hero received his award.

“There are thousands of heroes like Michael Allen doing amazing work in our public schools,” said Mark Michalko, executive director of the N.C. Education Lottery. “Teachers, cafeteria workers, custodians, school resource officers, all make a big difference for our students every day. We’re glad our School Heroes program shines a spotlight on their great work.”

Money raised by the lottery assists many of those School Heroes, including $386 million this year that supports the work of school support staff such as office assistants and custodians. Additional money will help build and repair schools, support the N.C. Pre-K program for “at-risk” four-year-olds, provide college scholarships and grants based on financial need and help meet school transportation needs.

For details on how funds made a difference in Granville County, click on the “Impact” section of the lottery’s website, www.nclottery.com.

2019 Salute to Student-Athletes Big Success For NCSHOF

-Press Release, Granville County Public Schools

A total of 219 student-athletes from all over North Carolina and their chaperones were among the participants in the 2019 North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame’s Salute To Student-Athlete Program.

The program recognizes students from across the state and exposes them to the many positive lessons to be learned from North Carolina’s outstanding sports heritage.

A total of 31 different schools from 21 different counties across the state were represented by the student-athletes who attended the program. Eight students from JF Webb High School attended the event and were sponsored through the Oxford Rotary Club on behalf of Bart Cleary, DDS and Joe Johnson of Builder’s Services.

Eight students from JF Webb High School attended the 2019 North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame’s Salute To Student-Athlete event. The participants were sponsored through the Oxford Rotary Club on behalf of Bart Cleary, DDS and Joe Johnson of Builder’s Services. (Photo courtesy Granville Co. Public Schools)

The two-day event included a special reception and attendance at ceremonies where the newest class of inductees to the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame was inducted at the Raleigh Convention Center. The following day, the student-athletes toured the state’s hall of fame exhibition at the North Carolina Museum of History and participated in a seminar involving some of North Carolina’s most celebrated sports figures.

Speakers at the seminar included former UNC-Chapel Hill basketball star Phil Ford and current major league baseball umpire Joe West. There was also a special panel discussion featuring several members of the NCSHOF, including Ford, West, Dee Kantner, Eddie Bridges and Paul Miller.

The student-athletes were invited to sign up for Hall Pass, a free program that offers special opportunities. Each Hall Pass member receives interesting information about the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame and the state’s sports heritage, including a monthly newsletter and special features in advance before the general public. Any student-athlete can sign up to become a Hall Pass member by visiting www.ncshof.org and clicking on Hall Pass.

North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame members inducted this year included golfer Davis Love III, NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt, Jr; former pro football player and renowned artist Ernie Barnes, former high school coaches Thell Overman and Willie Bradshaw, hunting and fishing icon Eddie Bridges, college football coach Rod Broadway, athletic administrators Gene Corrigan and Neill McGeachy, high school and college wrestling coach Steve Gabriel, basketball official Dee Kantner and college football standout Paul Miller.

Granville Early College High School Receives 2019 College Success Award

-Press Release, Granville County Public Schools

Granville Early College High School is proud to announce that it has received the College Success Award, which honors schools that excel in ensuring students prepare for college, enroll in college and succeed once they get there.

Launched by GreatSchools.org, the leading nonprofit provider of trusted school information, the 2019 College Success Award recognizes 1,722 schools in 25 states. Award-winning schools have a successful track record of graduating students who later enroll in two or four-year colleges, are ready for college-level coursework, and persist on to their second year, according to available data from each state.

College and career-ready graduates are critical to fueling the U.S. economy, as 65 percent of jobs will require a postsecondary degree by 2020. Granville Early College High School is one of the approximately 20 percent of eligible schools in NC that won the College Success Award.

“We are extremely proud of our talented and hard-working students,” said Principal Jackie Harris.  “Our staff is dedicated to their success and continue to demonstrate excellence in their efforts.”

The College Success Award is possible because NC is leading the nation in collecting and being transparent in sharing information on how students do after high school, which is valuable information for families, educators, and policymakers.

For more information about Granville Early College High School, please visit their website:  https://gech.gcs.k12.nc.us/  Visitors and guests are welcome to visit by appointment!