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Test scores rank county schools 11th in state

Nineteen out of 23 Henderson County public schools met or exceeded growth in academic performance expected by the state, state accountability results released Wednesday showed.


And with a proficiency composite of 66.5%, the school system ranked 11th out of 115 public school districts in North Carolina in overall proficiency, meaning that 66.5% of K-12 students demonstrated proficiency in their grade-level subjects.

“Growth reflects meeting students where they are and working to help them move forward with academic achievement,” Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Services Jan King said. “While some students may not reach a certain proficiency benchmark in a given year, we want them to advance in their learning and celebrate that progress.”

“We pay a great deal of attention to growth targets,” said King. “We are pleased that more than 80% of our schools met or exceeded growth targets set by the state.”

Boasting the highest 2018-19 growth index in HCPS (13.3), North Henderson High is also one of three in the system to have exceeded growth four years in a row. North joined Edneyville Elementary and Henderson County Early College in surpassing state growth expectations in the 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19 school years.

North Henderson High’s principal John Shepard attributes his school’s growth success story to his staff’s priority on “developing the whole student.”

“We focus our efforts on helping each student realize their potential and feel empowered to take control of their future," he added. "Through a collaborative planning process, our teachers work to create strategic lessons that help students build upon their strengths and fill the gaps in their learning.”

In addition to measuring academic proficiency and growth, the state accountability results assign school grades. This year, HCPS is home to three “A” schools (up from two in 2018), 11 “B” schools (compared to 12 in 2018), and eight “C” schools.

An “A” school this year, Hendersonville Elementary also achieved the highest growth index (5.14) among HCPS elementary schools.

“We attribute our ‘exceeding growth’ and ‘A’ rating to a visionary staff who goes above and beyond to build positive relationships, personalize learning, and integrate strategies that engage minds," Principal Kerry Stewart said.

Other schools earning school grades of “A” were Henderson County Early College and Glenn C. Marlow Elementary.

As of the 2013-14 school year, the N.C. General Assembly requires that schools receive individual letter grades, which are comprised of student achievement (80 percent) and growth (20 percent) on state standardized assessments. Though the state’s detailed School Report Cards are not released by NCDPI until November, each school’s letter grade is included in the Sept. 4 accountability results. Data on academic performance by grade level and subject will be released along with the School Report Cards in November.