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Cohort Graduation Rates and Student Growth continue to be high in Catawba County Schools
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September 1, 2016
According to school accountability data released today, Catawba County Schools’ students continued to make gains on most measures of student learning, with approximately 89 percent of schools earning grades of C or better in the third year of the state’s A-F grading system. Almost half (44.4 percent) of Catawba County Schools’ 27 eligible schools earned a school rating of B with Challenger Early College earning an A+NG designation, indicating an A school with no significant achievement and/or graduation gaps.
Elementary and middle schools' performance grades are based only on test scores in reading and math (grades 3-8), science (grades 5 and 8) and Math I (if applicable). High school grades are based on results from end-of-course exams in English II and Math I in addition to Biology and include other performance indicators as well. The other indicators are the percentage of 11th graders meeting the UNC System’s minimum admission requirement of a composite score of 17 on the ACT college readiness exam, the cohort graduation rate, the percentage of students taking and passing Math III and the percentage of graduates who are Career and Technical Education concentrators who earn a Silver Certificate or higher on the ACT WorkKeys assessment. Growth is included for all school performance grades unless it hurts the grade overall.

The district’s four-year high school cohort graduation rate remained steady at 89.7 percent and continues to be above the state average of 85.8 percent. On state exams, the percentage of students proficient in math and science improved overall across elementary and middle grades while high school End-of-Course assessment performance fluctuated slightly.

In grades 3-8, student grade-level proficiency in reading remained at 57.8 percent as compared to the state at 56.9 percent. In math, the overall proficiency rate increased to 56.8 percent up from 55.6 percent in 2015. Grade-level proficiency in science, tested in fifth and eighth grades, reached 72.8 percent, an increase of 2.0 percentage points from the previous year. High School performance experienced increases in the measurement of Math Rigor and WorkKeys proficiency. Challenger Early College had a Cohort Graduation Rate of 100 percent.

In terms of growth achieved by schools in the district this past year, twenty-two of the twenty-seven eligible schools (81.5%) met their expected growth performance. Eight of those twenty-two schools exceeded expected growth.

Fourteen schools saw an overall increase in their performance composite percentage rates. Elementary schools with the largest increases in proficiency were: Maiden Elementary, up 6.8 percentage points; Murray Elementary, up 6.6 percentage points; and Campbell Elementary, up 6.4 percentage points. At the middle school level, River Bend Middle School’s proficiency climbed 6.8 percentage points while Arndt Middle School’s proficiency increased 6.0 percentage points. Bandys High School’s proficiency climbed 1.2 percentage points.

“The results of our state-wide assessments continue to show growth in several key areas, “stated Dan Moore, Interim-Superintendent for Catawba County Schools. “We will continue to focus on areas in need of improvement in order to ensure success for all students. The mission of the Catawba County School system remains clear – we will teach, learn, and lead for the future,” added Moore.

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