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More schools achieve growth, report says

By Staff
11 of 14 schools achieve expected growth or better
By DAN PARSONS
Staff Writer
Beaufort County Schools has climbed a rung higher on the ladder to federally outlined progress goals during the 2006-2007 school year, according to a recently released ABCs of Public Education report.
As a system, Beaufort County Schools came closer to meeting Adequate Yearly Progress — a measuring tool of No Child Left Behind legislation. For 2006-2007, the system satisfied 44 of 54 AYP goals — two more than it achieved the previous year. Superintendent Jeff Moss said he was pleased with the report, but said there were certain areas where the system could still use improvement.
The ABCs accountability program sets growth and performance standards for each elementary, middle, and high school in the state. End-of-grade and End-of-course test results and other selected components are used to measure a school’s growth and performance according to the N.C. Public Schools Web site. Schools that attain the standards are eligible for incentive awards or other recognition, according to the Web site.
Many Beaufort County schools moved up in standing according to AYP guidelines. The Beaufort County Board of Education will meet to formally discuss those improvements and the rest of the report in a special meeting Thursday.
Among the improvements, Bath Elementary and Chocowinity Middle School and Chocowinity Primary School were labeled Schools of Distinction with Expected Growth.
Five schools achieved “School of Progress with High Growth,” with 60 to 79.9 percent of student at or above proficiency. They are Eastern Elementary, Aurora Middle — now consolidated with S.W. Snowden — John Cotten Tayloe, Northside High School and P.S. Jones Middle School.
Northeast Elementary and Southside High School were named Schools of Progress with Expected Growth. They also had between 60 and 79.9 percent of students at or above proficiency and grew as expected from the 2005-2006 school year.
Although labeled a priority school, Washington High School achieved high Growth. Priority-school status means less than 60 percent of student scores were at or above proficiency.
S.W. Snowden School was also listed as a priority school. John Small Elementary did not receive recognition during this assessment. Schools in this category did not make expected growth standards but have at least 60 percent of their students scores at or above proficiency on the achievement scale.
The Beaufort County Ed Tech Center was one of only 17 alternative schools in the state to earn a “high growth” classification, having exceeded expectations for development.
For the 2005-2006 term, Aurora Middle School was the only school in the county to achieve high growth. Under the new guidelines for determining high growth, seven additional schools were labeled as such, based on last year’s performance.
The Beaufort County Board of Education will hold an open meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday to discuss test score data and mental-health care providers.