For the third year in a row, Newton-Conover City Schools was honored by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction in Durham for being one of the top ten school districts in the state with a 2016 cohort graduation rate of 93.5%. Mrs. Judy McLaughlin, N-CCS Dropout Prevention Specialist and Mrs. Julia Styers, N-CCS Career and Technical Education/Student Services Director attended the Awards Luncheon on October 25, 2016 to receive the award from State Superintendent Dr. June Atkinson.
During the event, Dr. Atkinson shared that North Carolina was, for the first time, above the national average and was recognized as one of the top twenty one states in the nation having increased the graduation rate from 68.3% in 2010 to 85.8% in 2016. The state average has increased steadily for 11 consecutive years. Dr. Atkinson attributes the success to the great teachers and administrators in our schools. She stated that during a recent interview about the state’s graduation rate she was asked, “Does the diploma really mean anything?” Dr. Atkinson’s response was yes – now more than ever. She went on to say that since 2000, not only have standards increased but the requirements for graduation have increased as well. Last year, 35% of graduating seniors earned college credit while still in high school and through Career and Technical Education, students earned 140,097 industry credentials. In addition, the remediation rate in math for students entering community college from high school has reduced from 55% in 2010 to 25% in 2014. The remediation rate for English has decreased from 44% in 2010 to 22% in 2014.
Representatives from 11 districts and 62 high schools were honored and received plaques at the ceremony in Durham. To receive an award, schools must have been open for at least four years. According to data reports provided by NCDPI the top ten school districts were:
Avery County Schools – 95.7%
Dare County Schools – 95.4%
Elkin City Schools – 95.3%
Newton Conover City Schools – 93.5%
Greene County Schools – 93.3%
Jones County Schools – 93.2%
Union County Public Schools – 92.8%
Macon County Schools – 92.6%
Asheboro City Schools – 92.6%
Yancey County Schools – 91.8%