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Majority of Jackson County Public Schools received a “C” or below according to state standards; Superintendent says there is room for improvement

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction released testing and accountability data for the 2022-2023 school year on Wednesday, September 6. Jackson County Public Schools is pleased to announce that eight schools earned “Met” or “Exceeded Growth” status last school year. Blue Ridge School exceeded growth. Our remaining schools, Blue Ridge Early College, Cullowhee Valley School, Jackson Community, Jackson County Early College, Scotts Creek, Smokey Mountain Elementary and Smoky Mountain High each met growth. Fairview did not meet or exceed growth status this year.


Each school also receives a letter grade that is based on an 80/20 calculation of proficiency and growth. While our growth scores are very strong, we have room for improvement across the district. Three schools received a School Performance Grade (SPG) of D: Blue Ridge Early College, Cullowhee Valley, and Scotts Creek. Three schools received a School Performance Grade of C: Blue Ridge School, Fairview and Smoky Mountain High School while Jackson County Early College earned a grade A. Smokey Mountain Elementary School received a School Performance Grade of F. Jackson Community School received a Maintaining Rating based on the State Alternative Accountability School Model.

State Superintendent Catherine Truitt writes, “The A-F school performance grades that schools received for 2021-22 and in 2022-23 were affected by the formula used to determine those grades because student performance on the state tests far outweighs the credit schools earn for the progress students make on the same tests from one year to the next. Eighty percent of the grade is for the percentage of tests earning a score of at least grade-level proficient; 20 percent is for growth, measured by a statistical model that compares each student’s predicted test score, based on past performance, against his or her actual result.”

Also of importance to note is the Jackson County Public Schools Graduation Rate of 87.8%. Our graduation rate ranking is 50th in the entire state out of 115 districts. The state graduation rate is 86.4%. All elementary/middle Jackson County Public Schools met or exceeded growth on Reading and math EOG at grades 3-8. As a district, Jackson County Public Schools increased our Math and Reading EOG Grade Level Proficiency rate by at least 1.5 percentage points in each area. All NC 11th grade students complete the ACT in March each year. The UNC System minimum college entrance requirement is an ACT Composite score of 19. Jackson County Early College had 87.0% of students to meet this requirement of ACT composite of 19 or above, this is in the top 3% of schools in NC. Jackson County Public Schools ranks 37th in the state out of 115 districts in percentage of students meeting the ACT composite of 19 or higher.

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