HCPS ranks 4th in state for overall test scores.
The North Carolina State Department of Public Instruction recently announced that the Henderson County Public Schools ranked fourth out of 115 public school districts in the state for an overall score of 70.5 on the 2015-2016 end-of-grade and end-of-course tests.
In the 2014-2015 school year, HCPS students averaged 66.9 for overall test scores. The increase of 3.6 points lifted the county into the top five in the state.
“We are so very proud of the hard work and continued excellence demonstrated by our students and staff,” Superintendent Bo Caldwell said. “Today, we celebrate the achievement of our students, the commitment of our teachers and the support of our parents and families.”
West scored 71.6, North Henderson scored 64.0, Hendersonville scored 73.5 and East Henderson scored a 60.0 percent.
The county’s two nontraditional high schools, Henderson County Early College and Balfour Education Center, scored 95.0 and 15.8 respectively.
The average for school systems in North Carolina was 58.3. HCPS scored 12.2 points above the state average. School officials said they felt the school system’s ranking was an important accomplishment.
Buncombe County achieved a score of 63.4, Haywood County students scored 66.8, Transylvania students scored 66.4 and Polk County students scored 74.6.
“I’m sure the school system leadership in the county is excited,” Instructional Technology Facilitator Cari Kennedy said. “I think that the senior staff and everyone involved is very excited.”
The N.C. School Report Card is based on the Math I, Biology and English II EOC scores at the high school level as well as EOG scores from the middle schools and elementary schools.
Junior Paiton McDonald said she is proud of the school system.
“We should acknowledge the academic achievements of the county, and I am proud of our county because I didn’t expect us to receive that ranking,” McDonald said. “We have done a great job of improving our scores, but we need to strive to do better.”
Support from the teachers, students and community, Kennedy said, was a major factor in the success of the students’ final marks.
“As a school, our teachers are providing great lessons. Our students are putting forth the best effort that they can,” Kennedy said. “As a county, we have initiatives that support teachers, technology coaches, instructional coaches and a lot of support for our students and our teachers to achieve such a ranking.”
School officials said while they are pleased with the ranking, they believe steps can always be taken to improve.
“Everybody wants to improve, which I think we have done in general. We are going to continue to learn the best way possible and teach our students the best ways we know how,” Kennedy said. “We can have our students perform the best that they can and provide an encouraging and engaging environment to continue to help.”
By: Kendall Owens