Recently released details of state testing scores show Surry County Schools among the top 20 school systems in the state in several categories, while Mount Airy City Schools is touting widespread improvement in its scores.
The county school system also recorded its highest graduation rate ever, at 93%, putting the system in the top 10 in North Carolina, while the city’s rate ticked up from 88% to 89%.
Surry County Schools ranked 20th of 115 school systems in the state in Overall Academic Performance with 64.9% of all tests in all subjects at Achievement Level 3 or higher, according to information released by Dr. Tracey Lewis, director of communications/teacher recruitment and retention. Achievement Level 3 is considered grade-level proficiency.
This is the fourth-consecutive year Surry County Schools has ranked in the top 20 school systems in the state, according to Lewis.
Across grades three through eight on the reading, mathematics, and science end-of-grade assessments, 67.6% of Surry County students scored at Achievement Level 3 and above compared to 60.4% across the state.
Surry County Schools had seven end-of-grade subject areas ranked in the top 20 in the state: third-, fourth-, and sixth-grade reading, as well as eighth-grade science, fifth-, sixth- and seventh-grade mathematics. Additionally, math results for sixth and seventh grades ranked 10th in the state.
For several years the Surry County Schools system has experienced a steady climb in graduation rates, noted Lewis, with the 2018-19 year seeing a record 93% of students from the 2015-16 ninth grade cohort graduating in the spring of 2019, with the 10th-highest district graduation rate in the state. The state graduation rate for the cohort was 86.5%.
The Surry Early College graduated more than 95% of all students; East Surry’s graduation rate was 92.4%; Surry Central’s rate was more than 95%, and North Surry graduated 88.5% of all students, which was an all-time school high for the school. Surry County high schools also continued to outperform the state in N.C. End-of-Course assessments.
Six schools across the district, in addition to high performance, also had high academic growth. Cedar Ridge Elementary, Copeland Elementary, Dobson Elementary, Franklin Elementary, Pilot Mountain Middle, and White Plains Elementary exceeded state academic growth targets for the 2018-19 school year. Surry County Schools had an additional 10 schools meet growth targets.
North Carolina also released the sixth-annual School Performance Grades to the State Board of Education, showing that about 74% of traditional public schools earned grades of C or better. In Surry County Schools, 100% of schools received grades of C or better.
The Surry Early College received a School Performance Grade of A; one of 31 schools to receive an A out of 451 schools in the Piedmont/Triad.
Nine Surry County Schools received a School Performance Grade of B: Copeland Elementary, Dobson Elementary, East Surry, Flat Rock Elementary, Gentry Middle, Mountain Park Elementary, Pilot Mountain Middle, Shoals Elementary, and White Plains Elementary. Nine schools received a C: Cedar Ridge Elementary, Central Middle, Franklin Elementary, Meadowview Magnet Middle, North Surry, Pilot Mountain Elementary Rockford Elementary, Surry Central and Westfield Elementary.
“We are extremely pleased with the results of the 2018-19 school year and will continue to work diligently in each of our schools and in our community to ensure students are well-prepared for college, to enter the workforce or the military,” said Dr. Travis Reeves, county school superintendent.
“Our team are hard at work and are focused on ensuring each student has the tools to not just design their dreams but to achieve them.”
Mount Airy City Schools is celebrating its leap in overall achievement, while at the same time noting that it believes that measuring a child’s success goes beyond looking at standardized tests.
“MACS is celebrating a jump in ranking from 54th in the state to 35th in the state for overall achievement, with Mount Airy Middle School in the top 12% and Mount Airy High School among the top 24%,” stated Carrie Venable, Mount Airy City Schools public information officer and special projects facilitator.
“Mount Airy City Schools has a tremendous amount to celebrate,” said Venable. “The partnership between staff, parents and community members continues to positively impact students and the district’s success.
“Recently released data showed that in most areas of End of Grade/End of Course, WorkKeys, ACT, Advanced Placement (AP), and Career and Technical Education (CTE), Mount Airy City Schools outpaced the state. 61.4% of all students in thirrd-twelth grade scored a 3 or higher on EOG/EOCs.”
“We are excited about the great progress and being in the top ten in many areas,” said Dr. Kim Morrison, city schools superintendent.
“Mount Airy City Schools has prided itself on academics and innovation, so while academic accountability scores are important, our innovative programs are also important,” said Morrison.
“Many of our students are learning two languages, participating in paid internships, taking college classes, participating in the arts and athletics as well as starting their own businesses. We are proud of the academic performance of our students, but we are also proud of our students for their hard work, effort and accomplishments outside of the classroom to prepare for their future.”
Venable pointed out some of the areas where the city schools shined in the results: Mount Airy City Schools was first in the state for seventh grade math and ninth for sixth grade math; eighth for seventh grade reading; fourth for English II; and fifth in the state for ACT WorkKeys. Science in grades three through eight improved an average of 10%; reading in those same grades was above the state average; and the graduation rate improved from 88% to 89% with a 100% graduation rate for all Career and Technical Education.
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