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Newton-Conover Schools Have Another Record-Breaking Year for Growth, Achievement, and Retention in 2016-17

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Newton-Conover Schools have another record-breaking year for growth, achievement, and retention in 2016-17

By James Frye

Public Information Officer
graduating student processional

Newton, NC — September 11, 2017 — Despite drastically reduced budgets and decreased resources, Newton-Conover City Schools’ students and staff have had a track record for excellence and continual growth for the past several years — and this year is no different.

This week, the North Carolina State Board of Education authorized the annual Accountability Data Release, where accountability and school performance data for the 2016-17 school year was made available to the general public.  Once again breaking records both locally and across our great state, Newton-Conover City Schools has ranked among the fastest growing, greatest achieving, and highest graduating school districts in the state of North Carolina.

By The Numbers

For the first time in district history in 2016-17, all schools in N-CCS either met or exceeded expected academic growth.  Additionally, no schools in N-CCS received a NC School Performance Grade below a C.  

In NC, there are 116 school districts.  N-CCS is one of only 6 in the state where all schools both met or exceeded growth, and had no schools ranked at a D or F for student performance.  School Performance Grades are based 80 percent on the school’s achievement score and 20 percent on students’ academic growth. The only exception to this is if a school meets expected growth but inclusion of the school’s growth reduces the school’s performance score and grade.

In the 2016-17 school year, students in Newton-Conover City Schools achieved a Cohort Graduation Rate percentage of 96.8%, the second-highest in the history South Newton morning groupof the district.  This places N-CCS in the top three districts in the state for graduating students “College and Career Ready,” according to the standards set forth by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.  N-CCS is one of the only three districts in the state with graduation rates of greater than 95%, and is the largest district in the top three.  Notably, N-CCS has been ranked in the state’s top five since the 2013-14 academic year, breaking the record for highest graduation rate in state history in 2015.

With regard to teachers and staff, N-CCS was ranked the 5th best district in the state for recruiting and retaining experienced teachers, according to the NC Teacher Attrition and Mobility Report.  Moreover, 85% of beginning teachers in their first four years of teaching in Newton-Conover Schools also met or exceeded growth, breaking the state average of 74% for all teachers at any point in their career.

Additionally, data from the state Department of Public Instruction shows Newton-Conover City Schools to be the 9th fastest growing school district out of 115 total districts statewide.  N-CCS is proud to remain a strong and competitive district of schools where all students can and do achieve through a personalized education.

Major Takeaways

Shuford staff at Back to School Bash

The data released for this year proves that not only is N-CCS graduating more students than nearly any other district in North Carolina (96.8%), these students are also graduating prepared, according to their academic proficiency and growth indicators (one of 6 districts in the entire state where all schools met or exceeded expected growth for students, in addition to having no D or F-rated schools).  Teachers and staff are performing better than they have ever performed in district history, and teacher recruitment and retention rates are some of the best in the state.

While there is a correlation between school poverty levels and school performance statewide, Newton-Conover City Schools’ demographics and performance defy the odds of this correlation, where 63% of N-CCS students reside in low-income homes but no School Performance Grade is below a C.  This shows that students from all backgrounds are finding success in Newton-Conover’s schools.

“Now more than ever, we are helping students achieve the goal of graduation from high school, knowing that walking across that stage is not the finish line, but instead the beginning of what lies ahead in life.  We are excited that the data shows our graduates will be well prepared for the future after high school,” said Dr. David Stegall, N-CCS Superintendent.

This is proof that the mission of N-CCS to ensure every student who moves through its schools graduates with the tools needed to excel in either further education or the workforce is working not just in name, but in deed. These achievements are a byproduct of the hard work and dedication of both our teachers and students in persevering despite obstacles, and working without pause to meet the needs of all.

Newton-Conover City Schools plans to continue its aims to unite, strengthen and diversify our community, through a continued dedication to academic and personal success, to an expansion of choices and options for all students to learn in the way that best suits their needs, and a commitment to overall well-being in our schools and our communities as a whole.

ABOUT NEWTON-CONOVER SCHOOLS

Newton Conover is a very diverse school district in Catawba County which serves over 3,100 students.

From winning 13 state athletic team championships in six different sports at our comprehensive high school, to Newton-Conover Middle School being named a National School to Watch by The National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform, N-CCS is a district which prioritizes the continuous growth and success of the Whole Child.  N-CCS has made a demonstrated commitment to personalizing learning and increasing options with all schools having a magnet focus, to better meet the needs of all students as indicated by this model.  Our magnet focuses include:

  • Leader in Me – South Newton Elementary
  • Blended Learning – Shuford Elementary
  • Dual Language and Global Immersion – North Newton Elementary
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) – Newton-Conover Middle
  • Project-based learning – Discovery High
  • Development of Exceptional Children – Conover School
  • College Credit Summit Program – Newton-Conover High and DHS

These achievements are a byproduct of the hard work and dedication of both our teachers and students in persevering despite obstacles, and working without pause to meet the needs of all.

Newton-Conover City Schools plans to continue its aims to unite, strengthen and diversify our community, through a dedication to academic and personal success, to an expansion of choices and options for all students to learn in the way that best suits their needs, and a commitment to overall well-being in our schools and our communities as a whole.

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Press Contact

James Frye

Public Information Officer

828-464-3191

jamie.frye (at) n-ccs.org

About James Frye

James Frye (@mrjamesfrye) serves as Instructional Technology Facilitator and Public Information Officer for Newton-Conover City Schools. Formerly, he was an English and Journalism Teacher at Newton-Conover High School and a Blended/Virtual English Teacher. He is a NC Teaching Fellow and studied education abroad at the Hochschule Magdeburg-Stendal in Germany. James holds a Post-Masters Certificate in Educational Leadership & Cultural Foundations from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, a M.A. in Curriculum & Instruction with a Graduate Certificate in Educational Technology from Michigan State University, and a B.A. in English/Education from Lenoir-Rhyne University, where he serves as an Adjunct Professor. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Law with The University of Kentucky. In addition to modeling technological and leadership innovation and leading various professional learning, Jamie also serves statewide on the NC Digital Learning Initiative Advisory Board/Home Base Design Team, the NC Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development’s Board of Directors, the #NCed Leadership Team, and is co-founder of Edcamp WNC. He is a member of the NC Digital Leadership Coaches’ Network, and was named an international Emerging Leader by ASCD in 2015. He resides in Hickory with his wife and their baby girl.

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