Sampson students make significant gains on state tests for 2016-17

By: By Chase Jordan -

At Clement Elementary School, Principal James Mullins was proud that teachers volunteered their time to work beyond regular hours to help struggling students.

The outcome for the school in Autryville was an A+ grade from state education officials.

“We’re proud of our students and teachers for the extra work they put in,” Mullins said.

State test results and grades for the 2016-2017 school year showed that work paid off for Clement and Sampson County Schools. The district was the 18th highest performing school system in North Carolina. Data shows students making significant gains with an overall composite score on End-of-Grade (EOG) and End-of-Course (EOC) tests increasing to 65.9 percent. During the 2015-2016 school year, it was 61.4 percent and 57.4 percent in 2014-2015.

According to a news release from the district, a greater number of schools also exceeded growth on state tests. Six schools exceeded expectations for academic growth in 2015-16. For 2016-17, a total of 11 schools accomplished this goal. Four schools met growth while three schools did not meet growth. In 2014-15, eight schools exceeded growth while that number dipped to six in 2015-16. Also for 2016-17, Roseboro-Salemburg Middle School was removed from the Low-Performing list since it met its state goal.

Superintendent Dr. Eric Bracy said the teachers and the district are proud of the accomplishment. He also stated that the success of the 11 schools is a cause of celebration.

“Parents and this community can be very proud of the fact that end-of-grade and end-of-course test results are increasing for Sampson County Schools,” Bracy said. “I want to commend the teachers of this district, the school and district leaders, and all the support staff members who are contributing to this success. We truly believe that our students can succeed at the highest levels and we are determined to help them reach their goals. I also want to thank this community for supporting the important work that takes place in our schools every day.”

In addition to Clement, the schools that exceeded are Hargrove, Midway, Plain View, Salemburg, and Union Elementary schools; Midway Middle; and Hobbton, Midway, Union, and Sampson Early College High schools.

Clement had an 85.7 performance composite for proficiency. The year before, it was 75.1 percent. Some of the actions taken at Clement included after-school remediation for students not performing at grade level. Transportation was also provided to make sure they participated. A lot of them never made the proficient standard on the end-of-grade test. Mullins expressed how there was a positive change because of the efforts.

To achieve the goal at Clement, Mullins said there was no interruptions during the school day and technology was also used to help students. High achieving students were also challenged.

“We didn’t just focus on our struggling kids, we focused on our high achievers too,” he said. “That’s how we were able to exceed growth because we’re trying to make sure that we grow all of our kids — the ones at grade level and the ones who are not on grade level.”

There was also a lot of community support as well through fundraisers.

Clement Elementary was the first school in the district to receive an A+ and was one of 87 schools in the state to receive the grade. Mullins said it puts them in the top 3.5 percent of more than 2,400 school eligible to receive a grade. The grade is based on student growth and other achievements such as not having significant differences for subgroups of students.

“That’s a great achievement for the staff here at Clement,” he said about the high grade. “It’s something that’s never been done before in the county.”

Sampson Early College High School followed Clement with an A grade. Principal Susan Westerbeek also showed pride for the improvement, which was previously a B.

“I’m really proud of our students and staff for their hard work and dedication that they put into the 16-17 school year,” she said. “We had our biggest jump with the proficiency level. We are ecstatic to say the least.”

The 2016-2017 school year was the state’s fifth year using the READY accountability model. Data approved by the state’s board includes student performance on EOGs and EOCs. Assessment is based on five achievement levels: Achievement Level I, Limited Command, to Achievement Level 5, Superior Command. The data also includes overall student proficiency on end-of-grade and end-of-course assessments, academic growth, School Performance Grades, and graduation rates.

The graduation rate for schools in Sampson decreased slightly from 80.9 percent to 79.8 percent. On the ACT, Sampson students scored 50.7 percent for 2016-17, down from 53.5 in 2015-16. This signifies the percentage of students who meet the UNC system admissions minimum composite score requirement.

For grades third through eighth, the state offers reading and mathematics EOG assessments and science assessments in fifth and eighth grades. The high school accountability model is based on end-of-course tests in English II, Biology, and Math I; the ACT; graduation rates; math course rigor; and ACT WorkKeys.

Performance Accountability Measures

The overall performance composite for Sampson County Schools in 2016-17 is 65.9 percent, up from 61.4 percent in 2015-16. In Sampson County Schools, the performance composite for end-of-grade test results is 66.7 percent, a significant increase from 62.2 percent for 2015-16. Reading in grades 3-8 improved from 58.0 percent in 2015-16 to 62.3 percent in 2016-17. Math also had another significant increase from 61.5 percent in 2015-16 to 65.4 percent in 2016-17. Science results also improved at a high level from 76.3 percent in 2015-16 to 83.4 percent in 2016-17.

At the high school level, Algebra I/math results increased from 64.3 percent to 73.8 percent. EOC English II also increased from 55 percent to 59.9 percent. Biology dropped slightly from 51.6 percent to 49.4 percent.

Sampson Early College had the highest performance composite for Sampson County Schools at 94.2 percent, followed by Clement Elementary School at 85.7 percent.

The greatest improvements in performance composite came from Sampson Early College, moving from 77.6 to 94.2 percent, Clement Elementary, moving from 75.1 to 85.7 percent and Midway Middle School, boosting its performance from 64.4 percent to 74.5 percent.

State Growth Measure

In Sampson County Schools, 83 percent of the schools met or exceeded growth expectations. The state considers growth to be an indication of the rate at which students in the school learned over the past year. The standard is roughly equivalent to a year’s worth of growth for a year of instruction.

For more information about results, visit


Media Specialist Eddy Zigmont educates students at Salemburg Elementary School. Specialist Eddy Zigmont educates students at Salemburg Elementary School.
Sampson ranked 18th in performance

By Chase Jordan

Performance Composite Results 2016-17

Sampson County Schools—District Performance Composite: 65.9 percent (up from 61.4 percent)


Performance Composite%

Growth Status


Roseboro ES




Clement ES




Hargrove ES 72 Exceeded B

Hobbton ES 75.4

Not Met


Midway ES




Plain View ES 79.5 Exceeded B

Salemburg ES

59.6 Exceeded C

Union ES 72.3

Exceeded B

Union Intermediate 62.6

Not Met


Hobbton MS


Not Met


Midway MS




Roseboro-Salemburg MS




Union MS




Hobbton HS




Lakewood HS




Midway HS




Sampson Early College HS




Union HS