While the test numbers remain unofficial until they are confirmed and released by the state Board of Education, a preliminary look at the numbers show Elkin City Schools appears to be on track for another banner year.
In end-of-grade testing, Elkin Elementary School saw a 2.1 percent increase in its composite score, which combines 355 students’ test scores in reading, math and fifth-grade science, reported Shelia Settle, reminding those attending the July 25 meeting of the Elkin School Board that the results are unofficial.
Settle also reminded the school board that it difficult to compare one year to the next, because it isn’t the same group of students testing, as students move up a grade level each year the students being tested change. She added that when a small group of students is tested, one score can make a big difference in the final outcome as well.
At Elkin Middle School, the composite score decreased just slightly to 65.2 from 66.2 in 2014. Those scores are derived from 185 students who were tested in reading, math and eighth-grade science.
For Elkin High School, 190 students were tested in biology, English 2 and math 1, for a total of 209 tests given. The composite also includes the ACT for 11th grade, the WorkKeys results and the graduation rate. For 2015, the composite was 64, which is a decrease from 71.1 in 2014 and down just slightly from 2013’s 66.1.
She reported that the high school’s ACT results, jumped 5.8 for 2015-16 to 79.8, and the school’s cohort graduation rate, which follows a student who entered the school as a freshman until graduation, was 95.2 percent. “Our goal for a long time has been to reach 95 percent,” Settle said. In 2014, the rate was 92.
With the No Child Left Behind Act abandoned for a new set of standards by federal legislators, Settle said the schools no longer will monitor the assessments given by subcategories such as race, economic status, or academic status. But if they had for 2015-16, she said all of those subcategories would have shown growth over previous years. Elkin City Schools, she reminded everyone, was number one in the state last year for those targets reported.
Scores for the WorkKeys test, which are given to students who are taking at least four Career Technical Education courses, increased by 12.5 percent in 2015-16 to 86.5 percent, reported Barbara Long, CTE director, of the unofficial results of that testing.
Out of about 100 seniors at Elkin High School, she said 52 of those were concentrators in CTE.
A total of 542 WorkKeys tests were given to those in CTE courses in the fall and spring semesters combined, Long said. Of those, 502 were proficient and 40 were not.
Last year, Elkin City Schools was third in the state in traditional schools with 91 percent proficient, and for 2015-16, Long said the school system is 92.6 percent proficient. “I feel we’ll be in the top five percent,” she said.
In industry recognized credentials, such as CPR, Nurse Aide, ServSafe, EverFi, Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and PhotoShop, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Access, Long reported 241 credentials had been earned in 2015-16 by CTE students.
“What those credentials are for is to take to their employers to say ‘I have this so I’m ready to work for you,’” Long explained.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.