The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) released the Moore County Schools School Performance Grades and other accountability measurements for the 2021-22 school year.
The 2021-22 school year was the first year NCDPI has given School Performance Grades since the 2018-19 school year, and the second year accountability measurements have been assessed since the first year of the pandemic in 2019-2020 when no End-of-Grade (EOG) or End-of-Course (EOC) tests were administered.
Prior to releasing statewide results, NCDPI cautioned the public to consider the context for the 2021-22 school year in evaluating results. Testing data for 2020-21 continued to reflect the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the form of instructional practices, quarantines, absences, social emotional welfare of staff and students, and more. The NCDPI Background Brief: 2021-22 Accountability Framework states, “During the 2021-22 school year, the COVID pandemic continued to disrupt teaching and learning in many schools. As a result, one-to-one comparisons to pre-pandemic data are discouraged because of these potential impacts on student learning.”
The NCDPI Office of Learning Recovery has stated that the process of regaining lost ground on proficiency due to the two years of the pandemic could be a four-year-long process.
However, even with these challenges, MCS saw an increase in proficiency over 2020-21 in almost every single testing category; the few exceptions showed nominal declines. Moore County Schools outperformed the state of North Carolina in 29 of the 30 testing categories.
“In 2018-19, the year before the pandemic, our overall proficiency score was 61.1 percent, which was 2.3 percentage points above the state average,” said MCS Chief Officer for Academics and Student Support Services Dr. Mike Metcalf. “Between the pre-pandemic year and 2020-21, our overall proficiency score dropped by 9.2 percentage points, but between 2020-21 and 2021-22 we were able to cut that loss in half to just 4.5 percentage points below where we were pre-pandemic.”
School Performance Grades are letter grades based on a school’s achievement score (80 percent) and students’ academic growth over one year (20 percent).
Overall, of the 21 schools within Moore County Schools that are assessed, six received a B grade, two fewer than 2018-19; nine schools received a C grade, one more than 2018-19; four schools received a D grade, the same as in 2018-19; and for the first time in MCS’s history, two schools received an F grade.
MCS had five schools categorized as low-performing schools, which are schools that have a grade of a D or F and a growth status of Met or Not Met. Those schools are: Aberdeen Elementary, Cameron Elementary, Robbins Elementary, Southern Pines Elementary, and Westmoore Elementary. While previously classified as low-performing, Elise Middle dropped the designation because it exceeded growth last year.
Recurring low-performing schools are those schools categorized as low performing in any two of the last three consecutive years of grades reported. Recurring low-performing schools are Aberdeen Elementary, Robbins Elementary and Southern Middle. Southern Middle was not designated a low-performing school this year due to receiving a C grade and meeting growth, but because it had been designated low-performing in two of the previous three years, it remained on the list of recurring low-performing schools.
Elementary and middle schools’ performance grades are based on proficiency scores in reading and math in grades 3 through 8, and in science in grades 5 and 8 in what are referred to as End-of-Grade (EOG) exams. High school grades are based on results from End-of-Course (EOC) exams in English II, Math I, Math III and Biology, as well as other performance indicators such as the cohort graduation rate, and the percentage of career and technical education graduates who earn a Silver Certificate or higher on the ACT WorkKeys assessment.
*Schools receiving a B performance grade are: McDeeds Creek Elementary, Pinehurst Elementary, West End Elementary, West Pine Elementary, Pinecrest High School and Union Pines High School.
*Schools receiving a C performance grade are: Carthage Elementary, Highfalls Elementary, Sandhills Farm Life Elementary, Vass-Lakeview Elementary, Crain’s Creek Middle, New Century Middle, Southern Middle, West Pine Middle and North Moore High.
*Schools receiving a D performance grade are: Cameron Elementary, Elise Middle, Southern Pines Elementary and Westmoore Elementary.
*Schools receiving a F performance grade are: Aberdeen Elementary and Robbins Elementary.
Moore County Schools’ four-year high school cohort graduation rate for the class of 2021 was 92.2 percent and continued to remain above the state average of 86.2 percent.
This past year was the first year the ACT composite score benchmark of 19 was implemented. In previous years, the minimum composite score was 17. This is due to action by the UNC Board of Governors in March of 2020 to change the minimum composite score for admission. The percentage of 11th graders who had a composite score of at least 19 was 45.4. MCS exceeded the state ACT composite score average of 41.7 percent.
While the EOGs and EOCs measure student proficiency on curriculum standards, the tests also generate a student lexile score. While not included in the state accountability release, the lexile bands measure how many students are reading below, at or above grade level in grades 3-8 and at the end of English II in high school, most often a sophomore level course. Those results showed the percentage of students reading at or above grade level in 3rd grade at 89 percent, 4th and 5th grades at 76 percent, 6th through 8th grades at 74 percent, and 10th grade at 81 percent.
“Although we still have a lot of work to do, being able to regain so much ground in just one year is a testament to the hard work of our teachers, staff and students who continued to persevere under the continuing effects of the pandemic,” said MCS Superintendent Dr. Tim Locklair. “This makes me even more excited and encouraged about the 2022-2023 school year, and the incredible efforts of our staff to continue to engage, inspire and support our students’ successes.”
*Four-year graduation rate has remained above 91 percent since 2018-19:
*Moore County Schools out-performed the state of North Carolina in its four-year graduation rate 92.2 percent to 86.2 percent.
*14 of 21 schools met or exceeded expected growth.
*Southern Middle School came off of Low Performing Status by meeting expected growth and earning a C School Performance Grade; Elise Middle School came off of Low Performing Status by exceeding expected growth.
*Moore County Schools out-performed the state of North Carolina in proficiency in 29 of the 30 reported categories.
*Grade Level Proficiency rose 4.7 percentage points over the 2020-2021 school year.
*Grade Level Proficiency is 4.5 percentage points lower than pre-pandemic performance.
Moore County students demonstrated gains in 28 of the 30 reported categories, performance gains ranged from .3 percentage point to 13.3 percentage points.
~Black students demonstrated gains in 22 of the 30 reported categories.
~Hispanic students demonstrated gains in 24 of the 30 reported categories.
~Economically Disadvantaged Students demonstrated gains in 25 of the 30 reported testing categories.
~Students with Disabilities demonstrated gains in of the 30 reported testing categories.
*89 percent of 3rd graders are reading at or above grade level as measured by the End-of-Grade Lexile reading level.
*81 percent of students who took the 10th grade English II EOC are reading at or above grade level as measured by the End-of-Course Lexile reading level.
Photo by Sandhills Sentinel Photographer Melissa Schaub.