HAMLET — Teachers and administrators erupted in applause during a special celebration Thursday, after hearing that end-of-year Math 1 test scores for Richmond County Schools averaged 81.4 percent proficiency.
That put the district at No. 1 of all public school districts in North Carolina for performance in basic high school math.
“I’m proud of the math team and kids,” Superintendent Cindy Goodman said. “They worked hard to accomplish this.”
The news came with suspense, as a last-minute email sent out districtwide on Thursday told no one what the 3 p.m. meeting at the school district’s central office would be about.
At the gathering, Kelly DeLong, director of K-12 math and science, passed out papers face down as if distributing a timed test, and staff couldn’t wait to flip them over.
“Turn your papers back down,” Goodman announced. “How many times have you had to say that to a group of students?”
In 2013, district Math 1 scores averaged 22.3 percent in proficiency.
The following school year, they more than doubled, to 47.5 percent.
Scores continued to trend upward, rising from 61.4 percent in 2014-15, to 67.1 percent in 2015-16, to 80.2 percent during 2016-17.
“All of you that were here last year believe in the kids in Richmond County,” DeLong said. “We beat them,” she said of every other district in the state.
“We’re No. 1.”
Students labeled “proficient” on state tests demonstrate command of a subject and the ability to move into more rigorous coursework.
“We have worked diligently over the last five years in order to make sure that we work collaboratively (so) students can increase achievement,” DeLong said. “And today (Thursday) was the fruits of the labor for some very hard-working teachers and some great kids we have in Richmond County.”
Goodman said she couldn’t wait to see what the future held.
“Guys, congratulations,” she said. “We’re so proud and thankful for all that you do. Now go home and relax, and let’s do it all over again.”
The nine schools rounding out the top 10 in end-of-course Math 1 proficiency were Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools, 79.2 percent; Carteret County Public Schools, 76.9 percent; Polk County Schools, 76.7 percent; Union County Public Schools, 75.7 percent; Transylvania County Schools, 73.5 percent; Mount Airy City Schools, 70.8 percent; Mitchell County Schools, 70.6 percent; Sampson County Schools, 70.6 percent; Watauga County Schools, 69.9 percent; Henderson County Schools, 69.0 percent.
Reach Jasmine Hager at 910-817-2675 or [email protected]