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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 points in reading from 30% in 2018 to 36.2% in 2019; 12 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.