Administrators and educational directors from Sampson County Schools had a lot to smile about for the 2015-2016 academic year.
During a recent work session, the Board of Education received a thorough review of test results. Col. Tommy Macon, assistant superintendent for curriculum and student services, presented along with the district’s Curriculum and Instruction Team.
Macon presented comparisons to nearby school systems and the state of North Carolina overall. Macon called it a “sea of red.”
“In this case, red is a really good thing,” Macon said about the data of 20 regional districts. “Everything in red means that we outperformed that school in that particular subject area.”
The ocean of information featured testing for End-of-Grade (EOG) and End-of-Course (EOC); scores for grades third through eighth; and high school success in math, English and biology. It showed that Sampson County had a performance composite score of 61.4 percent, which was higher than the state’s total of 58.3 percent.
Only two school systems, Carteret and New Hanover counties, outperformed Sampson, but Macon pointed out how third graders outperformed all of the schools on the chart at 71.8 percent of students proficient.
With the exception of the previously mentioned counties, sixth graders had a composite score of 57.2 proficiency and did better than others in school districts such as Jones County, Cumberland County and Duplin.
In the high school section, Sampson County was only beat by four school systems. It rose from 60.6 to 64.3 percent.
“It was a tremendous performance here at all the grade levels in all of our 18 schools,” Macon said.
Fifteen of the 18 schools met or exceeded expectations for growth, finishing at 83.3 percent. In terms of letter grades, 17 out of 18 schools either received a C or higher.
Prior to the comparisons, Macon also presented EOC results for Sampson County high schools. Together, all of the high schools in the district had a proficiency score of 58 percent for the 2015-2016 school year, a 6.3 percent increase. The previous result was 51.7 percent.
Four out of five increased in overall proficiency. The subjects tested include biology, English II and Math I, which all increased as well.
Hobbton High School increased its math scores from 51.5 percent (2014-2015) to 64.8 percent (2015-2016). That is a 13.3 percent in proficiency. Overall, the EOCs decreased a little in the previous school year at 51.2 percent, but Macon said the school met expected growth.
Although biology and math scores decreased at Lakewood High School, one of the highlights was an English score of 54.4 percent, which jumped by 18.5 percent. In all subjects, proficiency increased to 44.3 percent, an improvement of 1.7 percent, but growth was not met.
At Midway High School, an impressive score was biology at 70.1, a 34.2 percent increase. English and math improved slightly. Overall, the composite from the previous school year was 63.3 percent, a growth of 10.4 percent. Midway also reached the growth requirement.
Sampson Early College High School decreased slightly in biology, but surged in English (75.8 percent proficient) and Math (95.2 percent). Collectively in all subjects, the school improved from 69.5 percent to 77.6 percent.
Like other schools, Union High School also reached success in testing areas, with biology leading the way at 60.4 percent, a boost of more than 30 percent.
“If that’s not outstanding or something to shout about, I don’t know what is,” Macon said. “That’s a tremendous increase in that subject matter.”
Macon was also impressed how the overall student proficiency increased by 11.1 percent, which resulted in a 48 percent score. At Union, English and math scores improved too.
In addition to EOC testing, Macon presented progress through Common Core, a set of academic standards. The purpose is to teach what students should know at the end of each grade level. During the 2012-2013 school year, the EOC score was 37.5 percent, but leaped to 58 percent in the following school year.
While addressing the board about the scores and testing achievements, Macon said it was tremendous effort by a lot of people involved.
“It speaks to the fact that our teachers can connect with our students and parents to get this kind of performance,” Macon said. “Otherwise, you wouldn’t see this on the chart. That does not happen by accident. That is intentional.”
Board Chair Telfair Simpson said the central office, administrators, directors and teachers did an outstanding job with the results.
“We outperformed the state average by almost three percentage points and were number three out of 20 (districts) in our region, I think that’s fantastic,” Simpson said. “That’s a lot of good news, we just got to keep it going.”
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.