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Compiled by Gina Smith
Improved graduation rate: The graduation rate for the 2014-2015 school year for students in Cabarrus County Schools reached an all-time high of 90 percent, according to data released recently in the READY Accountability Report by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction. The statewide graduation rate for the same time period was 85.4 percent. According to the data, the district’s graduation rate has risen steadily since the 2008-2009 school year when it was 72.9 percent compared with a statewide rate of 71.8 percent. Other results released in the report for the 2014-2015 school year include student proficiency ratings for end-of-grade and end-of-course tests, ACT, ACT WorkKeys, academic growth, teacher effectiveness and School Performance Grades. To view details from the report, visit www.cabarrus.k12.nc.us. For more on the N.C. School Report Cards and the School Performance Grades, visit the N.C. Department of Public Instruction’s website at www.ncpublicschools.org.
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Attendance Awareness Month: September is Attendance Awareness Month; Cabarrus County Schools is running a communitywide campaign promoting the benefits of regular and consistent school attendance for all students. The campaign is funded by a grant received by United Way Central Carolinas. Through the grant, United Way is working with Cabarrus County Schools, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and Kannapolis City Schools to highlight the importance of school attendance.
Throughout September, the district will share information and statistics about school attendance through social media and at school sites through fliers and other materials provided by United Way Central Carolinas. For details, visit www.facebook.com/pages/Cabarrus-County-Schools/334952846530106?fref=ts.
Fall Festival: The PTA will host its annual Fall Festival fundraiser 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 7 at the school. The event is open to the public and will feature games, food, basket auctions and entertainment. Local businesses, organizations and individuals are also needed to sponsor the festival. Sponsorship levels range from $10-$150 and up. Vendors are also needed. For details, visit www.cabarrus.k12.nc.us/Page/20941.
Cox Mill High
Volleyball tournament: As part of the PinkOut fundraising and awareness month in October, school leadership will host a six-by-six volleyball tournament 5:30-8 p.m. Sept. 23. Admission is $2.
Hickory Ridge High
Senior Parent Night: Parents of seniors may attend an informational session on college planning, applications, scholarships, financial aid and more at 7 p.m. Sept. 16 in the auditorium immediately following Curriculum Night.
Northwest Cabarrus High
Major League baseball player: Corey Seager, a 2012 Northwest Cabarrus High School graduate, made his Major League baseball debut on Sept. 3 as shortstop for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He had two hits and two RBIs in that game. His first hit was a double, and his second hit was a two RBI single. For details about Seager’s debut with the Dodgers, visit http://m.dodgers.mlb.com/news/article/147144322/dodgers-promote-shortstop-corey-seager.
Kannapolis City Schools
Test results: The N.C. Board of Education’s recently released report for the 2014-2015 school year shows that Kannapolis City Schools increased its four-year graduation rate and surpassed the state average in the number of accountability targets it met. The district’s 2014-2015 graduation rate of 85.3 percent is nearly equal to the state average of 85.4 percent, and it is the fifth time in the last seven years that the district has raised its percentage of graduates. Since 2008, the district has improved its graduation rate by 23 percent.
The report also included the percentage of schools that met or exceeded their academic growth goals and the percentage of students who scored proficient on standardized state tests. Five schools met or exceeded academic growth targets in 2014-2015: Forest Park Elementary, exceeded; Fred L. Wilson, met; Jackson Park Elementary, met; Shady Brook Elementary, exceeds; Woodrow Wilson, met. The state also reported on whether school districts met accountability targets called Annual Measureable Objectives, including performance on state standardized tests, the ACT college entrance exam, ACT WorkKeys test, four- and five-year cohort graduation rates and the percentage of 2015 graduates who passed higher level math courses. In nearly all categories, Kannapolis City Schools met or exceeded the state average.
A final measure included in the data was School Performance Grades for the 2014-2015 school year, which are based on standardized test scores. The School Performance Grades are required by the state and give every school a letter grade from A to F. Seventy percent of North Carolina schools received Cs, Ds or Fs. Grades for Kannapolis City Schools were: C – A.L. Brown High, Forest Park Elementary, Shady Brook Elementary; D – Fred L. Wilson Elementary, Jackson Park Elementary, Kannapolis Intermediate, Kannapolis Middle, Woodrow Wilson Elementary. The information from the report will be included in the North Carolina School Report Card, which will be sent to all parents in October. To view KCS data from the report, visit www.kannapolis.k12.nc.us/cms/One.aspx?portalId=1025449&pageId=7688697.
Bell schedules: Kannapolis City Schools has made minor adjustments to its bell schedules to help buses arrive at schools on time. Increased bus ridership this school year has demanded extra time for pick up and deliver of students resulting in many delayed buses. As of Sept. 8, Kannapolis Intermediate School and Kannapolis Middle School dismiss 10 minutes earlier each afternoon, meaning school begins at 7:15 a.m. and ends at 1:55 p.m. Elementary schools begin and end their schedules five minutes earlier each day – at 8:05 a.m. and 2:55 p.m., respectively. A.L. Brown High School dismisses five minutes later at 3:30 p.m. Kannapolis City Schools has 33 buses and about 3,000 bus riders.
Jackson Park Elementary
Plant study: Students from Jackson Park Elementary School are working with scientists from the N.C. Research Campus to learn more about the tomato plants the students are growing in the school’s educational garden. Chen Jiang, a scientist from N.C. State University’s Plants for Human Health Institute, visited recently with students to explain the biology of tomato plants. Doug Vernon, who works with Jiang at the Plants for Human Health Institute, is also working with the students and their STEM teacher, Jacki Lane. Lane is a certified STEM Fellow and teaches all students at Jackson Park. Kannapolis City Schools has multiple partnerships with the N.C. Research Campus. The students at Jackson Park and their teacher, Jacki Lane, will continue to work with the Plants for Human Health Institute throughout the year.