September 1, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Focus on Promotion Standards Help Move Nash County Schools in the Right Direction
Nashville, North Carolina – September 1, 2022 – Nash County Public Schools is seeing some momentum in student test scores since focusing on promotion standards. Promotion standards are key indicators that let an administrator know if a student is able to advance to the next grade or not. The standards include end of grade and end of course testing, as well as attendance requirements. In high school, a certain number of units is required to move to the next grade and to graduate.
Dr. Steve Ellis began a focus on promotion standards when he became Superintendent of Nash County Public Schools. Dr. Ellis says, “Everyone needs to be held accountable. In order for this district to move to a high performing district, everyone has to understand our measures of success: the students, parents, teachers and administrators.”
During the 2021-2022 academic year, 14 of the district’s schools met or exceeded growth, as compared to the previous year. Growth is one factor that the Department of Public Instruction uses to determine school performance. School grades are based on an 80/20 formula. 20 percent of the grade is based on student growth. 80 percent of the mark comes from proficiency in end-of-year tests.
The end-of-year tests help contribute to an overall composite score. The composites vary based on grade level. Some include the end of grade (EOG) English, math and science tests in elementary and middle school and the English, biology and math end of course (EOC) tests in high school. There are other composites, like the ACT WorkKeys assessment, graduation percentage and the measurement of rigor for math courses. All of those different areas in combination with others help measure student success and predict positive outcomes after graduation.
Nash County Public Schools increased in nearly two-thirds of its composite scores; with gains made across each school level. Dr. Ellis believes those numbers are a clear indication of the work being done through the entire district, “Our school leaders are putting the necessary framework in place for teachers to be more successful in the classroom. And, we all know it is the teacher who has the most impact on our students.”
When it comes to individual school performance, the Early College High School earned an “A” and the Center for Industry, Technology and Innovation (CITI) High School scored one point away from a “B”. Both the Early College High School, CITI High School and additional high school opportunities through the Career and Technology Education (CTE) Department allow students to earn an associate’s degree and/or certificate at the same time as their high school diploma.
This means Nash County graduates leave the district prepared for many different pathways of success.
Dr. Ellis plans to review and make adjustments to the district’s strategic plan. The five year roadmap lays out specific cross-departmental goals and assigns metrics or values to measure the success of those goals year over year. The superintendent explains the strategic plan is the district’s way to remain accountable to the public. “The community should hold us to high expectations, just as I expect results from our leaders, teachers and students. I want the strategic plan to be something our parents and citizens can follow along with and understand. As our students continue to make progress in the classroom, we plan to make measurable gains on our district blueprint for success.”