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Vance Co. Schools Surpass State Graduation Rate for First Time

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-Press Release, Vance County Schools

The performance of the Vance County Public Schools ticked up last year in several areas and revealed areas needing continued focus on the state’s annual School Performance Grade accountability measurements. This year more schools met or exceeded expectations for student gains and more schools earned grades of C or better than in previous years. VCS also posted the highest graduation rate in the history of the district.

At the end of our first year with our newly consolidated schools, while improvements were made at both schools, these data reveal mixed reviews. Vance County High School, while improving its biology scores by 26 points from 23% in 2018 to 49.4% in 2019, earned a school performance grade of D, missing improving their overall grade to a C, by less than one percentage point.

Additionally, Vance County Middle School, while making tremendous progress including increases in grade level proficiency by 6.2 pointin reading from 30% in 2018 to 36.2% in 201912 points in math, from 13.9% in 2018 to 26.4% in 2019 and 20.5 points in science from 34% in 2018 to 54.7% in 2019, earned a school performance grade of F. This was extremely disappointing, as they missed earning the next letter grade of D, by less than .04 of a percent.

The district also had several other bright spots in the report – 9 of 15 schools (60%) earned a letter grade of C or better.

Two schools – STEM Early High Middle School and Vance County Early College High School – earned the School Performance Grade of A.

Seven schools – Aycock, Carver, Clarke, Dabney, LB Yancey, Pinkston, and Zeb Vance – earned the School Performance Grade of C.

Four schools – EM Rollins, EO Young, New Hope and VCHS – earned the School Performance Grade of D and one school – VCMS earned the School Performance Grade of F.

8 of 15 schools (54%) met or exceeded growth – VCECHS, STEM-EH, Aycock, Carver, Dabney, EO Young, New Hope, and Pinkston Street.

Additionally, we are extremely proud of our STEM Early High Middle School and Vance County Early College students who posted perfect scores of 100% on the 8th grade science end-of-grade test and the Biology end-of-course exam.

We are also pleased to report that our 2018-2019 graduation rate is 86.7%, compared to the states graduation rate of 86.4.  This represents an increase of four-points over last year’s four-year graduation rate and a 21.8 point increase in six years.  This is the highest graduation rate in the district’s history and the first time VCS has ever surpassed the state average.

Superintendent, Dr. Anthony Jackson said, “This is a tremendous accomplishment and credit must be given to our entire team. We have worked diligently to implement strategies over the last few years to address the graduation rate and we are pleased to see a return on these efforts.”

Six years ago, Vance County Schools’ posted a graduation rate of 64.9% – the lowest in the state. “The graduation rate this year is a huge jump and we certainly are proud of that,” said Jackson. “The high school diploma gives our students options after graduation to pursue higher education, enlist in the military or to join the workforce prepared to be successful. We will not be satisfied until all of our students graduate on time, the stakes are too high to accept otherwise.”

The district is already working to address areas of deficit, train staff and implement new structures to support students. The district invites the community to its annual State of OUR Schools address on Wednesday, September 25, 2019, at 6 p.m. at Vance County High School to hear both our challenges and accomplishments as well as our plans for continuous improvement.

VCS Bus Drivers Wanted; Next Training Scheduled for Sept.

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-Information courtesy Vance County Schools

Want to be a child’s hero? Greet students every morning and see them home in the afternoon as a Vance County School’s bus driver. VCS is looking for folks who have a class B license with P and S endorsements.

Please contact VCS transportation at (252) 438-5012 ext. 1, or stop by the transportation department to complete an application. Make sure you bring your license.

Don’t delay…. the next bus driver training class is September 23-25, 2019.

VCS: Traditional Calendar Schools to Hold Open House Aug. 22

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-Information courtesy Vance County Schools

Vance County Schools will hold Open House sessions for schools on the traditional calendar on Thursday, August 22, 2019.

Vance County Middle School’s Open House will be held from 3 until 7 p.m.; all other traditional schools will be held from 2 until 7 p.m.

All students who attend Vance County Middle School, AdVance Academy, STEM Early High School and all Vance County elementary schools except E.M. Rollins will begin school on Monday, August 26, 2019.

All parents and students are invited to attend open house events.

Note:

E.M. Rollins Elementary School, Vance County Early College and Vance County High School began school on Monday, August 5, 2019.

Vance Co. Board of Education Approves Strategic Plan – FORWARD TOGETHER 2025

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-Press Release, Vance County Schools

After a full calendar year of staff and stakeholder engagement, the Vance County Board of Education at its regular monthly meeting approved the district strategic plan, FORWARD TOGETHER 2025, which redefines the mission, vision and goals that will guide the work of the district through the year 2025.

The plan includes input from the Board of Education members, parents, students, staff, administrators and school supporters and represents a consensus of over 500 individual voices that engaged in this process.

The FORWARD TOGETHER 2025 plan asks stakeholders to “Reform,” “Re-imagine,” “Rethink” and “Renew” what they believe, think, and do every day in classrooms across the district. The FORWARD TOGETHER 2025 plan is a call to action for our community to critically evaluate daily instructional and operational practices and ensure that all are aligned to provide excellent instruction in the classroom and high student achievement as our outcome.

Included in the FORWARD TOGETHER 2025 Strategic Plan is the approved Vision and Mission Statement. The new Vision Statement is, “To provide an adaptable educational setting where learning is a catalyst to the pursuit of dreams in an evolving society.”

The board also approved the new Mission Statement which reads, “Vance County Schools is committed to providing broad experiences and opportunities to students that enable them to compete globally.”

Over the next five years, district staff will work collaboratively with the board of education, schools and other key stakeholders to implement the FORWARD TOGETHER 2025 plan district-wide. Annually, the board of education will formally evaluate the district’s progress towards meeting the five strategic priorities and their corresponding objectives, and this information will be shared publicly with the community.

Priorities identified in the FORWARD TOGETHER 2025 include improving our progress in areas associated with school performance grades earned by each school, improving discipline and civility in our schools, increasing staff retention, implementation of innovative practices and engaging the community to reach parents and attract students.

The FORWARD TOGETHER 2025 plan will allow both our internal and external stakeholder a means by which to hold us accountable for making progress on each of our stated priorities over the next five years against baseline performance data.

The overarching theme of FORWARD TOGETHER 2025 is to ensure that every student has ample opportunity to reach his/her full potential while pursuing their personalized pathway to graduation and their high school diploma.

The redesign of the district’s instructional model in the FORWARD TOGETHER 2025 plan outlines a focus on providing authentic experiences, modern learning environments, a learner-centered culture and modern curriculum.

By integrating these key change levers into our delivery of instruction, Vance County Schools firmly believes that FORWARD TOGETHER 2025 will allow us to become that true catalyst for student success and future prosperity that every student needs and deserves.

New Principal Named at STEM Early High School

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-Information courtesy Vance County Schools

The Vance County Board of Education approved Gradesa Lockhart as Principal of Vance County’s STEM Early High Middle School. The approval came during Monday night’s board meeting.

Superintendent, Dr. Anthony Jackson, said “Ms. Lockhart clearly distinguished herself as the best and most prepared candidate for STEM. [She] is an experienced principal, serving most recently [at] the Bluford STEM Academy in Guilford County.”

Ms. Lockhart comes to Vance County with 15 years of administrative experience in different schools within North Carolina and was instrumental in transforming Bluford into a STEM magnet school. Prior to that, she served as a teacher for a little over seven years.

Gradesa Lockhart received her Master’s in School Administration from North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro. Her bachelor’s degree in Middle School Math and Science was earned at North Carolina Central University in Durham. Ms. Lockhart is also currently in pursuit of her doctorate degree in Educational Leadership.

Ms. Lockhart’s first day is Wednesday, August 14.

Vance Co. Schools Announces Start Dates for 2019-20 Year

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-Information courtesy Vance County Schools

All students who attend Vance County Middle School, AdVance Academy, STEM Early High School and all Vance County elementary schools except E.M. Rollins will begin school on Monday, August 26, 2019. Open house will be held on Thursday, August 22, 2019. Information on times will be made available as soon as possible.

E.M. Rollins Elementary School will begin school on Monday, August 5, 2019. Open house will be held on Thursday, August 1, 2019, from 2 until 7 p.m.

Vance County Early College and Vance County High School will begin school on Monday, August 5, 2019. Open house will be held on Thursday, August 1, 2019, from 1 until 7 p.m.

All parents and students are invited to attend open house events.

Vance County Schools Announces Leadership Changes

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-Press Release, Vance County Schools

The following administrative changes have been announced for the 2019-2020 school year.

Mrs. Letitia Fields – Principal, New Hope Elementary School

Mrs. Fields was born and raised in Henderson, North Carolina. Mrs. Fields has served as a Special Education teacher and a Social Studies and Writing teacher. Her most recent assignment was Assistant Principal at Zeb Vance Elementary School.

Mrs. Field attended New Hope and grew up in the Townsville community.

Mrs. Fields will begin as Principal at New Hope on July 17, 2019.

Ms. Michelle Fiscus – Public Information Officer

Ms. Fiscus brings a distinguished background in marketing and television network reporting to us.

Most recently she has served as the Public Information Officer in the Franklin County Public Schools and at Louisburg College.

We are excited about having her join us. Ms.Fiscus will begin working in the district on August 1, 2019.

 

Mrs. Gail Powers – Director of Career and Technical Education and Secondary Education

Mrs. Powers currently serves as the Executive Director of CTE in Halifax County and has previously served as an elementary, middle and high school principal in Nash-Rocky Mount and Randolph Counties.

We were extremely fortunate to find a professional with her unique set of skills and background experiences to join us. We anticipate her starting work with us on or about August 1, 2019.

Vance County Schools on the Air 06/12/19

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Vance Co. Schools Educators Participate in Summer Summit

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-Press Release, Vance County Schools

More than 75 educators with Vance County Schools joined together to participate in the school system’s Summer Summit held on June 21, 2019, at Zeb Vance Elementary School.

Curriculum specialists and school administrators led most of the at least dozen breakout sessions or workshops provided at the summit. The sessions were designed to provide educators with valuable, up-to-date information and strategies they can use in the classroom and throughout the schools to provide quality educational instruction to students. Participating teachers and others received education training credits for attending the sessions.

The Summer Summit offered opportunities for educators in the school system’s 15 schools to collaborate and network with their peers.

Breakout sessions or workshops focused on areas including blended learning; building math fluency; student motivation; teaching students with attention deficit disorder; understanding poverty; student motivation; whole group instruction; and working with students with special needs.

The Summer Summit proved to be an ideal way for key educators to receive additional professional development at the beginning of their summer break before taking time to relax and begin preparing for the 2019-2020 school year.

Destiny Ross, a technology instruction curriculum specialist with Vance County Schools, leads a session with local educators involving blended learning to use strategies for the effective use of different types of technology to support and enhance classroom instruction. (VCS photo)

Dr. Donna Blakebrough, a secondary curriculum specialist with Vance County Schools, stands at right as she discusses strategies for motivating students in the classroom during a workshop session. (VCS photo)

Vance Co. Schools’ Student Spotlight Winners Tour Washington, D.C.

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-Press Release, Vance County Schools

Twelve of the 16 Student Spotlight award winners from Vance County schools this school year participated in a  trip to Washington, D.C., on June 20.

The trip was part of their award recognition. The award recipients were each honored with surprise visits to the classrooms in their respective schools during the year. In those surprise visits, they were presented with several gifts. Later, all of the Student Spotlight winners were recognized during Vance County Board of Education meetings and were presented with framed certificates commemorating their awards.

During the trip to our nation’s capital, they visited with U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield in his offices and U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis in the U.S. Capitol. Both Butterfield and Tillis are from North Carolina and represent Vance County in the U.S. Congress. The students, who were accompanied on the trip by their parents and some younger siblings, also visited several of the Smithsonian Institution Museums located along the National Mall. Everyone also had special guided tours of the U.S. Capitol building.

The students’ trip was made possible by sponsors of the award program including the Vance County Public School Foundation. Other major sponsors of the Student Spotlight program are The Daily Dispatch, Prim Residential Properties and Rentals, Mako Medical Laboratories, Maria Parham Health and Vance County Schools.

Student Spotlight award winners from Vance County Schools are shown with U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield outside his office in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C. (VCS photo)

U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis stands in front of the Student Spotlight award winners in the U.S. Capitol as he visited with them during their trip to Washington, D.C. (VCS photo)