See story on Duplin results inside
DUNN — At Plain View Elementary School, Cristy Purvis enjoyed watching third-graders use their imaginations to build things inside her classroom.
She called it “creativity in progress” during the activity related to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math). Purvis is just one of many teachers across Sampson County Schools celebrating news related to the academic improvements of students. The district ranked 15th in performance, according to report cards and data released by the State Board of Education. Plain View made history with an A ranking.
“I’m proud to be a part of it,” Purvis said about the school earning the grade for the first time. “I got on social media and spread it everywhere that I could.”
The grades for schools across the state are assigned using a weighted model of student achievement and growth expectations. More schools exceeded state growth expectations on state tests and all the high schools saw increases in graduation rates for the 2017-18 school year. The overall composite score on end-of-grade and end-of-course tests for Sampson students increased for the 2017-18 school year to 66.8 percent up from 65.9 percent in 2016-17. Sampson School officials also noted that numbers have steadily increased from 61.4 percent in 2015-16 and 57.4 percent in 2014-15.
“I’m extremely excited for our school district as a whole,” Purvis said. “There’s been a lot of growth all over the county.”
In SCS, 13 of 18 schools exceeded growth for the 2017-2018 academic period. During the previous school year, 11 schools met that achievement. Results also showed that 17 of the 18 Sampson schools met or exceeded growth expectations. This is an improvement from 2016-17 when three schools did not meet growth.
Plain View Elementary School exceeded growth and improved its rating on the state’s A-F grading system from a B rating to an A rating. Principal Nicole Peterson said it’s an honor to be one of the few in North Carolina to have the ranking. She also said it’s one of her best moments as a principal.
“Above all, I’m so proud of the students, teachers and our community is so excited,” Peterson said.
She attributed the success to having great teachers and having high expectations for students and doing what’s best for them.
“We know every single child in this building,” Peterson said. “The good thing about Plain View is that we’re so small, we can know every child, and know what needs they have so we can meet them.”
During the last school year, Peterson emphasized the school’s theme of “Team Work makes the Dream Work.”
“It takes every single one of us,” she said. “It takes a village to raise a child and it takes a village to get an A.”
Plain View Elementary was one of two elementary schools in the district to earn an A ranking. Clement Elementary School earned it for a second consecutive year. Like Peterson, Principal James Mullins is proud.
“A climate and culture has been established at Clement Elementary School where our students and staff expect to not only meet state goals but exceed those goals,” Mullins said. “Education is the greatest tool we have to help our students grow up to be productive citizens and we take our calling as educators very serious every day. Because of the commitment of our students, teachers, staff, and community, Clement Elementary Schools is recognized as one of the best public schools in North Carolina.”
Mullins added that it’s wonderful to have a staff that loves students committed to making sure all of them are successful, academically and socially.
“We are not just a school but a family that cares about our community and the children we serve,” Mullins said. “I look forward to our school achieving even greater results. It’s going to be exciting watching our students grow to even greater heights during the 2018-2019 school year.”
Sampson Early College High School was the only high school to earn an A ranking during the 2017-2018 period and exceeded growth expectations. Along with the district as whole, Dr. Eric Bracy applauded the work of the schools.
“We are proud of the performance of Plain View Elementary School,” Bracy said. “It is a great accomplishment that they earned an A. The performance of Plain View confirms my belief that it is vital that teachers and administrators consistently work to address the needs of every student. We are thankful that Clement and Sampson Early College High School maintained their A grade. I commend the leadership and staff from both of those schools.”
District officials also pointed out that Salemburg Elementary School and Union intermediate School improved their rating on the A-F scale from C to B. For 13 schools to exceed growth for the 2017-2018 school year, it’s a record for the district. Bracy attributed the results to extensive work by teachers and administrators to delve into data on each student and to target areas for improvement. The schools that exceeded growth are: Clement, Hargrove, Midway, Plain View, Roseboro, Salemburg, and Union elementary schools; Midway and Roseboro-Salemburg middle schools; and Hobbton, Lakewood, Union and Sampson Early College high schools.
Bracy said a key component in the success is training provided to administrators to ensure that every student receives equal access to a quality education.
“Educators in Sampson County Schools are taking very seriously our commitment to ensuring that each and every student has the teaching and support needed to succeed,” Bracy stated in a news release. “These results are a tribute to the dedication of our entire staff to preparing students for their next level of learning. I am extremely proud of the work that is underway.”
In addition to test score performance, all high schools in the district increased the rate of students graduating in four years. Thus, the district graduation rate rose from 79.8 in 2016-17 to 83.3 percent in 2017-18. Hobbton High in particular saw a significant increase in its rate up to 86.6 percent, from 76.8 percent the previous year.
On the ACT, Sampson students scored 52.6 percent for 2017-18, up from 50.7 percent for 2016-17. Hobbton High and Sampson Early College High School students improved their ACT performance. ACT performance signifies the percentage of students who meet the UNC system admissions minimum composite score requirement.
The state’s READY accountability model includes student performance on end-of-grade and end-of-course assessments based on five achievement levels (from 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.
For grades 3-8, the state offers reading and mathematics end-of-grade assessments and science assessments in grades 5 and 8. 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.
State Growth Measure
In SCS, 94.4 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. Across the state, 72.7 percent of schools met those levels.
Performance Accountability Measures
The overall performance composite for SCS in 2017-18 is 66.8 percent, an increase from 2016-17 when the composite was 65.9 percent. In SCS, the performance composite for end-of-grade test results is 67.9 percent, an increase from 2016-17 when the composite was 66.7 percent. Reading in grades 3-8 improved from 62.5 percent in 2016-17 to 63.6 percent in 2017-18. Math also increased from 65.4 percent in 2016-17 to 67.3 percent in 2017-18. Science results declined slightly from 83.4 percent in 2016-17 to 82.9 percent in 2017-18 (for grades 5 and 8).
At the high school level, Math I results declined from 73.8 percent in 2016-17 to 70.6 percent in 2016-17. EOC English II also declined from 59.9 percent to 56.4 percent. Biology improved significantly to 58.5 percent in 2017-18, up from 49.4 percent the previous year.
“Being the highest performing district in the state is our goal, and we will work to empower all students to be successful in college and career,” Bracy said. “We will collaborate with home and community to prepare and graduate all students to become productive citizens in a globally competitive and digital world. We will accomplish these things with the help of our supportive community.”