Again this year, Elkin City Schools came out ranked among the top in the state in several areas when the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction released its school accountability data for 2015-16 Thursday in Raleigh. Schools in all the area school systems fared well overall among others in the state.
Elkin High School ranked third in the state for its four-year cohort graduation rate, which tracks a student from freshman year through graduation, with only three school districts in the state — Elkin, Avery and Dare — having a rate higher than 95 percent. The school also ranked second in the state for its percent of students who scored at the minimum level of 17 and higher to qualify for entry to a state-run university on the ACT. In addition, the high school ranked fifth in the state for percent of students who took the ACT WorkKeys exam and earned a silver certification or higher.
The school system as a whole ranked seventh in the state for its performance composite, which is the score of all students who took end-of-grade and end-of-course tests and tested proficient.
While three of the four rankings came from the high school level, Shelia Settle, director of accountability, said those numbers are reflections of the team work that begins at the elementary school and continues through the middle and high schools.
Interim Superintendent Dr. Don Martin explained that all students in the 11th grade took the ACT, and 46 percent of the seniors were Career and Technical Education “completers,” meaning they completed four courses in a CTE field, with one being a second level course, to qualify for their WorkKeys exams.
“The state test score release provides an overall district composite score for every district,” said Martin. “This score is the percent of all tests taken by the students in a district that are proficient. On this district composite score, Elkin City Schools ranks No. 7 in the state.”
Elkin City Schools had two schools, the elementary and high schools, graded at Bs, while Elkin Middle School graded a C, missing a B by just .8, reported Martin. The high school’s graduation rate was greater than 95; the ACT percentage was 79.8; and the WorkKeys exam was 85.7. The district composite score was 69.2.
In some cases, school grades from one year to the next are based on a different set of students, rather than following the performance of students as they progress through grades. At the elementary school, composite scores for reading and math for 2016 include the same students as 2015 except the sixth-graders have advanced and the third-graders are new. Similarly, at the middle school, the composite math and reading scores for 2016 include the seventh-graders from 2015. The high school grades are based on testing in Math 1, Biology and English II.
The grading system for schools is on a 15-point system, and are calculated using a formula of 80 percent by the percent of students who scored proficient, and 20 percent of the student growth from one year to the next.
In Yadkin County Schools, the system had a graduation rate of 86.9, with Forbush High School having greater than 95, Starmount having 81 and Yadkin Early College High School having greater than 95.
As a district, Yadkin’s ACT composite was 60.1, and the school breakdown was Forbush with 58.3, Starmount with 51.9 and Early College with 91.5. For the WorkKeys exam, the system score was 66 with the breakdown of 66.4 for Forbush and 65.3 for Starmount.
The Yadkin system-wide performance composite was 61. Individual elementary schools had performance composite scores of 62.1 for Boonville and met growth, which graded C; 74.5 for Courtney and met growth, with B grade; 61.2 for East Bend and exceeded growth, with C grade; 67 for Fall Creek and exceeded growth, with B grade; 72.1 for Forbush and exceeded growth, with B grade; 57.6 for Jonesville and met growth, with C grade; 53.6 for West Yadkin and did not meet growth, with C grade; 56.2 for Yadkinville and met growth, with C grade. At Starmount Middle, performance composite was 61.7, growth was met, and the school received a C; and for Forbush Middle, performance was 65, growth was not met and school performance grade was a C grade. At the high schools, Forbush had a composite of 56.4 and exceeded growth, with a B grade; and Starmount had 52.5 and met growth, with a C. The Yadkin Early College received an A grade, and had a performance composite of 84.6 and exceeded growth.
Among the Surry County Schools, which had a district composite score of 66.1, a graduation rate of 90.1, ACT composite of 63.3 and WorkKeys composite of 72, two schools received school performance grades of A+NG, the highest grade in the state. Those schools were Shoals Elementary, which had a performance composite of 84.5 and met expected growth; and Surry Early College High School, which had a performance score of 92.4, a graduation rate of greater than 95, an ACT composite of 85.2 and exceeded growth.
Other elementary school performance composites were: Cedar Ridge with 71.7 and met growth, B grade; Copeland with 66.2 and met growth, C grade; Dobson with 72 and met growth, B grade; Flat Rock with 74.8 and met growth, B grade; Franklin with 61.2 and met growth, C grade; Mountain Park with 55.2 and met growth, C grade; Pilot Mountain with 74.4 and met growth, B grade; Rockford with 71 and exceeded growth, B grade; Westfield with 68.8 and met growth, B grade; and White Plains with 74.9 and exceeded growth, B grade.
At the middle school level, performance composites were: Central Middle with 64.7 and exceeded growth, C grade; Gentry with 66.7 and met growth, C grade; Meadowview with 58 and did not meet growth, C grade; Pilot Mountain with 70.4 and exceeded growth, B grade.
For Surry’s high schools, the following data was reported: East Surry with ACT of 64.3, WorkKeys of 73, graduation rate of 92.9 and performance composite of 60.8, met growth with B grade; North Surry with ACT of 58.6, WorkKeys of 64.5, graduation rate of 84.3 and performance composite of 50.5, met growth with C grade; and Surry Central with ACT of 57.1, WorkKeys of 78.7 and performance composite of 93.3, did not meet growth with C grade.
In Wilkes County, the district had a performance composite score of 56.8, a graduation rate of 86.9, ACT composite of 59.5 and WorkKeys of 73.6. Five schools had school performance grades of B, 15 had Cs and two had Ds.
Among the elementary schools, data reported was: Boomer-Ferguson with 60 performance composite score, met growth and C; C.B. Eller with 69 performance, met growth and B; C.C. Wright with 47.3 performance, met growth and D; Millers Creek with 59.8 performance, met growth and C; Moravian Falls with 70.4 performance, exceeded growth and B; Mount Pleasant with 60.4 performance, met growth and C; Mountain View with 58.2 performance, met growth and C; Mulberry with 56.3 performance, met growth and C; North Wilkesboro with 48.3 performance, met growth and C; Roaring River with 61.7 performance, exceeded growth and C; Ronda-Clingman with 50.8 performance, met growth and C; Traphill with 57.2 performance, met growth and C; and Wilkesboro with 68.6 performance, met growth and B.
Wilkes County middle schools had the following data: Central Wilkes with 56.1 performance composite, met growth and grade of C; East Wilkes with 56.9 performance, exceeded growth and C; North Wilkes with 50.6 performance, did not meet growth and D; West Wilkes with 59.3 performance, met growth and C.
At the high school level, Wilkes Early College High School had a 77.7 performance composite, graduation rate of 91.3, ACT composite of 71.2, met expected growth and received a B grade. Other high schools’ data was: East Wilkes with a performance of 54, graduation rate of 83.9, WorkKeys composite of 79.4, ACT of 61.2, did not meet growth and grade of C; North Wilkes had 52.7 performance, 90.9 graduation rate, 74.3 WorkKeys, 53.5 ACT, met growth and C grade; West Wilkes had 63.2 performance, 92.3 graduation rate, 71.6 WorkKeys, 66.9 ACT, exceeded growth and B grade; Wilkes Central had 44 performance, 84.8 graduation rate, 70.2 WorkKeys, 53.5 ACT, did not meet growth and C grade.
Bridges Charter Academy in State Road, which enrolls kindergarten through eighth-graders, had a performance composite of 56.5, met expected growth and received a C grade.
In Mount Airy, Millennium Charter Academy, which has expanded to enroll kindergarten through 10th grade, had a performance composite of 68.6, met expected growth and had a B grade.
For Mount Airy’s public schools, B.H. Tharrington Primary does not report test scores since they only teach through second grade, and testing does not begin until third grade. At Jones Intermediate, which enrolls third through fifth grade, the performance composite was 65.8, expected growth was exceeded, and the grade was B. For Mount Airy Middle, performance composite was 62.1, growth was not met and grade was C. At Mount Airy High, performance composite was 58.1, graduation rate was 89.6, WorkKeys was 67.3, ACT was 71.4, growth was met and grade was B.
More statewide data can be accessed on the NC DPI website, ncpublicschools.org.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.