Last updated: August 27. 2014 6:11AM - 414 Views
By Tanya Chilton tchilton@civitasmedia.com

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The North Carolina General Assembly recently delayed the issuance of the 2013-14 School Report Cards until February 2015, with the 2013-2014 school year to be the first year to report a school performance grade (SPG) for each school.

The new format will include A-F letter grades for academic quality at North Carolina Public Schools in the budget mandate signed by Gov. Pat McCrory.

Elkin City Schools Superintendent Dr. Randy Bledsoe said at Monday’s Board of Education meeting, “It is important to our school system because it is a reflection of our teaching and student learning and will help us for our area as we set goals.”

Historically, the report cards were issued at the end of the summer, said Bledsoe.

ECS Director of Testing and Accountability Shelia Settle explained report cards’ importance from a testing and accountability perspective. Specifically, the school report card covers information for the state-, district- and school-level, in regard to student performance and attendance; class size; school safety; teacher quality and classroom technology, said Settle.

Settle said the 2012-2013 school year was a transitioning year to a new statewide Standard Course of Study, which included new assessments and a new accountability model.

“We no longer report school designations, such as a ‘school of excellence,’” said the director.

Settle said the new READY model will continue to report academic growth rates and the percentage of students who scored proficient on state assessments, but without those designations.

Settle said some may recall when the the annual yearly performance (AYP) results reported in previous years, an “all or nothing effect.”

Settle said the new model reports annual measurable objectives (AMOs) which will continue to identify specific proficiency targets for each student subgroup, such as school as a whole, limited English proficient, white, black, economically disadvantaged, etc. In addition, they will continue to report the graduation rate and attendance, and the participation in the required assessments, she said.

“Our administrators, teachers, custodians, bus drivers and cafeteria staff work hard to provide our students a safe, healthy, clean environment to welcome them and prepare them for the future. The Elkin City School Report Card is a reflection of these efforts,” said the director.

She added, “The North Carolina school report cards have been produced annually since 2001. It is my personal belief that every child can show growth and learn, and the School Report Card is a great resource to see how our schools are doing in comparison to other schools in North Carolina.”

She also noted it being a tool for people moving into the area, and as “a great resource as an indicator of the community and the emphasis placed on education.”

Tanya Chilton may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @TanyaTDC.

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