School performance grades released

By Amanda Dodson -
Stokes Early College earned an A grade based on the State Board of Education data released for the 2016-2017 school year. - Amanda Dodson | The Stokes News

The State Board of Education released data for the 2016-2017 school year and once again Stokes County Schools had the distinction of being in the top third of districts in the state.

“When you look at the numbers, I am proud of what our students and teachers accomplished. This confirms what I have believed since I arrived, that students can get an above average education in Stokes County,” said Stokes Superintendent Dr. Brad Rice.

Beginning with the 2013–14 school year data, schools in North Carolina were given a designation of performance using School Performance Grades (SPG) of A–F based on test scores, and high schools’ additional indicators that measure college-and career-readiness. This provides a measure for comparisons among districts.

Stokes County Early College High School received a grade of A. The district had nine schools that received a letter grade of B for the 2016-2017 school year, which was an increase from seven during the previous year. The B schools include: King Elementary, Lawsonville Elementary, Mount Olive Elementary, Nancy Reynolds Elementary, North Stokes High School, Pinnacle Elementary, Sandy Ridge Elementary, South Stokes High School and Walnut Cove Elementary.

Rice said he’s encouraged the county’s teachers and administration are challenging themselves and their students to continually improve.

“Our staff is not content to be good. They are constantly seeking and participating in professional development. They are looking at individual students and determining how to help each child learn,” he said.

Rice cited Stokes Early College High School as an example.

In the 2015-2016 school year, the school was given a B and Rice said the principal and staff knew it wasn’t an accurate representation of the school.

“They analyzed the data, their teaching and scheduling practices to make the necessary changes to be labeled an A school in the 2016-2017 school year. It’s that kind of dedication and professionalism that makes me proud to be the superintendent of Stokes County Schools,” Rice said.

The remaining eight schools received the grade of a C: Chestnut Grove Middle School, Germanton Elementary, London Elementary, Pine Hall Elementary, Piney Grove Middle, Poplar Springs Elementary, Southeastern Middle and West Stokes High.

As an alternative school, Meadowbrook Academy is not given a letter grade but rather a designation. For the 2016-2017 school year, Meadowbrook was designated as maintaining.

Rice said of course, he’d like to see every school in the district an A school, but not because of the label.

“We want each student to graduate with a quality education that gives them an advantage over students from other schools. To get there, we need to make sure we are teaching the curriculum in an engaging way, with caring adults, to each student, each day.”

As part of the data release, results from EOG and EOC assessments were also made available to the public through the Department of Public Instruction’s website.

The data also reveals that elementary schools in Stokes County continue to perform above the state average. Looking at the overall results of EOG and EOC, Stokes had a proficiency of 60.2 percent overall compared to the state’s average of 59.2 percent. Third grade students met a proficiency rate of 77.3 percent in mathematics compared to the state average of 63.6 percent. Third grade faired similarly well in reading with 64.6 percent proficiency compared to the state’s 57.8 percent. Fourth and fifth grade results were similar with both results exceeding the state average. Reading and math in the middle schools showed a slight decline as compared to the state although the district middle schools still performed within a 2 percent proficiency rating as compared to the state average in all subject areas. Science in both the elementary and middle schools continue to be a strength exceeding the state average in elementary by 6.6 percent and 3.4 percent in middle school science.

The high school data revealed the district is near the state average with the data associated with English II with Math I and Biology scores being below the state average. The high schools are also measured against other schools in the state with regards to the percent of students passing the ACT and WorkKeys assessment. The district pass rate for the ACT is 66.1 percent compared to the state average of 58.8 percent. The data from the WorkKeys assessment which measures a student’s readiness to enter the workforce reveals that 76.1 percent of students in the Stokes Career and Technical Education programs that took the assessment are prepared to enter their chosen career pathway.

The full data reports can be viewed at the website for the NC Department of Public Instruction –

Amanda Dodson may be reached at 336-813-2426.

Stokes Early College earned an A grade based on the State Board of Education data released for the 2016-2017 school year. Early College earned an A grade based on the State Board of Education data released for the 2016-2017 school year. Amanda Dodson | The Stokes News

By Amanda Dodson