Area schools get graded

Special to the Tribune

Buncombe County – Last week, Stacia Harris, Director of Communications with Buncombe County Schools sent out a press release about Buncombe County’s latest school performance grades in which she highlighted schools across the county.

According to the press release, “Buncombe County Schools four-year cohort graduation rate is 86.9% which is slightly above the state average. Thirty-two Buncombe County schools met or exceeded growth, and thirty-nine schools earned a ‘C’ or higher; 19 schools earned ‘A’ or ‘B’ grades; three received ‘D’ grades and one obtained an ‘F’ designation.”

Most of the North Buncombe and Leicester schools performed average or better, with only two schools (Johnston Elementary, an “F” and Erwin Middle, a “D”) getting below a “C.” Six schools earned a “C” grade, while another six earned a “B” grade. None of the schools in our area received an “A” grade (see complete details in the accompanying chart).

“Our 2018-19 school performance results represent a mix of success and disappointment in both the measures of our schools’ growth and performances,” said Buncombe County Superintendent Dr. Tony Baldwin. “We are pleased that 76% of our 42 schools met or exceeded growth, along with the 44% of schools that achieved an ‘A’ or ‘B’ grade for performance. Likewise, we share disappointment for our four schools that were designated low performing. Our performance grades are only a part of how we evaluate the effectiveness of educators. We continue to focus on the unique learning opportunities that we provide students; from STEM labs to engaging extra-curricular activities to our dual-language programs.”

In the press release, she also pointed out several notable schools of accomplishments in this year’s performance grades including North Buncombe Elementary, which she pointed out exceeding growth for three years in a row; and North Windy Ridge Intermediate, also having exceeded growth for the past four out of five years.

“Within classrooms this new school year, our dynamic educators will focus on a ‘back-to-basics’ approach to teaching and learning,” said Dr. Baldwin. “We will emphasize high-impact literacy instruction. We will focus on honing speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. Also, we’ll remain focused on fundamental concepts of mathematical and scientific logic.”

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Clint Parker

Publisher & Editor Weaverville Tribune

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