According to the N.C. Department of Instruction’s 2019 state accountability results, 19 out of 23 Henderson County Public Schools (83 percent) have met or exceeded growth in academic performance expected by the state.
And with a proficiency composite of 66.5%, HCPS 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,” explains Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Services Dr. Jan King. “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 is joined by 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, Dr. John Shepard, attributes his school’s growth success story to his staff’s priority on “developing the whole student.” He says, “We focus our efforts on helping each student realize their potential and feel empowered to take control of their future. 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 NCDPI 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. Principal Kerry Stewart says, “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.”
Other schools earning school grades of “A” are 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 September 4 accountability results. Data on academic performance by grade level and subject will be released along with the School Report Cards in November.