Stanly County Schools releases 2022-23 school performance grades

Only five of 22 schools scored an A or B grade based on state guidelines

ALBEMARLE — At the Stanly County Board of Commissioners meeting on Nov. 20, representatives from Stanly County Schools gave a data presentation on the 2022-23 school performance scores and grade level proficiency for the county.

For school performance grades (SPG), the state values each school’s achievement score with a weight of 80% and each school’s student’s academic growth with a weight of 20%.

Of the 22 schools scored, the data showed that just two schools received an A (Stanly Early College and Stanly STEM Early College) and three schools received a B (Locust Elementary, Millingport Elementary and Oakboro Choice STEM).

Six schools (Badin Elementary, North Stanly High, Richfield Elementary, West Stanly Middle, South Stanly High and West Stanly High) scored a C.

There were also nine D grades, belonging to Albemarle High, Central Elementary, Endy Elementary, North Stanly Middle, Norwood Elementary, South Stanly Middle, Stanfield Elementary and Stanly County Virtual Education.

Albemarle Middle and East Albemarle Elementary each received an F grade.

Tim Hatley, SCS director of testing and accountability, provided his perspective on the county’s SPG average that has dropped the past two calendar years, assessing that it could be a residual effect from the pandemic-related school shutdowns a few years ago.

“In 2018-19, we had a very good year, and in 2019-20, we went home for COVID-19 but we were having a banner year,” Hatley said. “All of our early assessments, first-semester testing at our high schools, and all of our interim assessments were showing we’d have a great year in 2019-20. But of course we lost that, so school districts in the state are still trying to recover that cohort graduation rate.”

On a district level ranging from third grade to eighth grade, the presentation showed a slight increase in grade level proficiency (GLP) from 47.4 in 2021-22 to 48.3 for 2022-23 when accounting for all end of grade and course subjects.

For the county’s high schools, the GLP indicates a jump from 43.4 to 46.1, although the average ACT composite score dropped from 33.7 to 28.5.

The presentation then showed a breakdown of the county’s GLP on all end of grade and course subjects dating back to 2013-14, demonstrating that the past three years are ticking up back to the 55-plus levels that made up a strong five year span that ended in 2019.

“We are glad to see that starting with 2021 and moving forward, we are making steady increases each year — maybe not quite as significant as what we would like — but still increases from year to year,” Hatley said.

When looking at the GLP of the 11 elementary schools in the district, Locust (73.9), Oakboro (70.9) and Millingport (70.5) ranked as the top three in the county, while East Albemarle (31), Central (31.9) and Norwood (39.1) ranked as the bottom three.

Of the county’s six middle schools, Oakboro and West Stanly each topped the list with 63.8 as Albemarle posted the lowest score at 27.4.

With GLP scores placing them in the top 3% on a statewide level, Stanly STEM Early College (93.5) and Stanly Early College (89.8) each led the pack of the district’s eight high schools; Stanly Academy Learning Center (11.1) and Albemarle (27) were the bottom two.

“Performance achievement was that 40-yard dash,” Hatley said. “We’re still in a race with growth and we’re still trying to get to that finish mark, but it changes from student to student. Growth takes in consideration your testing history, where you’ve been, where you are now, and that adjusts to where you need to be.”

While there is not a composite district-wide growth status, the individual growth status for 2022-23 showed that a majority — 12 out of 22 schools in the county — did not meet expected growth levels based on state guidelines.

The seven schools that exceeded expected growth are Badin Elementary, Locust Elementary, Millingport Elementary, Richfield Elementary, West Stanly Middle, Stanly Early College and Stanly STEM Early College. Norwood Elementary, Oakboro Choice STEM and South Stanly Middle each met expected growth.

The SCS data presentation for the current 2023-24 school year will be released next fall.