First Posted: 1/7/2009
DOBSON The 2007-08 school year was one of great accomplishment for Surry County Schools.
As detailed in the systems annual report, the schools received many honors, placed higher than the state average in test scores and continued to increase the availability of technology in the classrooms. Despite all of these accomplishments, administrators have still found room for improvement during this school year and in the future.
Dobson Elementary, East Surry High and Shoals Elementary schools were all honored as Schools of Distinction. Eleven of the remaining 14 schools were named Schools of Progress. Both of these distinctions are awarded by the North Carolina Department of Public Instructions ABCs accountability model. To be named a School of Distinction, the school must have met at least expected growth and have at least 80 percent of their student test scores at or above grade level. Schools of Progress made at least expected growth and had at least 60 percent of their student test score at or above achievement level III.
East Surry and Surry Central high schools were named among the nations top high schools in 2008 by the US News and World Report.
The senior class of 2008 at the three high schools graduated 555 students who maintained an average grade-point average of 3.10. They also received $2,285,091 in scholarships. Of those graduates, 86 percent attended college, two percent entered the military and 12 percent entered the workforce.
When taking the End-of-Grade tests from third through 12th grade, Surry County students consistently scored above the state average, even with the introduction of a new reading test last year.
Surry County now has 3,278 computers in the schools, 3,197 of which are Internet accessible. This brings the student-to-computer ratio to 2.98 to 1. There are 331 classrooms equipped with interactive technology, including SmartBoards, digital cameras and document cameras. These serve a total of 8,888 students and 1,300 employees.
Throughout the 2007-08 school year, child nutrition served 566,047 breakfasts and 1,352,848 lunches. It also achieved an average inspection rating of 100.4 percent.
A total of 125 school buses traveled 1,061,500 miles during the year.
The school system also forged 227 business partnerships in the county. Community members stepped up to help out the schools with 667 volunteers donating 16,883 hours of time. More than 4,000 parents are members of Parent Teacher Organizations and booster groups.
Surry County Schools also takes advantage of numerous grant programs, encouraging teachers to apply for as many as possible. During the 2007-08 school year, employees wrote proposals for and received $413,953 in grants.
The school system spent a total of $67,629,117 during the year. Of that amount, $55,787,881 was spent on instructional services, $11,503,855 was spent on system-wide support services, $56,821 was spent on ancillary services and $280,560 was spent on non-programmed charges.
The annual report gives Surry County Schools an opportunity to highlight all the many things we are doing well, and it also gives us the opportunity to let the public have a chance to see the things we are striving to improve, said Dr. Terri Mosley, assistant superintendent.
One of the areas in which the school system hopes to continue to improve is in the dropout rate. The results for the 2007-08 school year are not yet available, but for the 2006-07 school year, Surry Countys dropout rate was above that of the state average. The state had a five-percent dropout rate and the county had a six and one-half percent dropout rate.
The 07-08 dropout rate is down by about 50, said Mosley at the school board meeting Monday night. We made considerable progress during the year. We have also implemented programs in the middle school as well.
Dr. Ashley Hinson, superintendent, also noted that there have been no dropouts from the Early College High School yet. He praised the Early College and the North Star Academy at North Surry High School, which began this fall, for their work in helping to prevent dropouts.
The benefits from those two programs are not short-term. They will have long lasting effects, he said.
During the 2008-09 school year, the school system has implemented the use of the Rosetta Stone language software in third through fifth grade. Students are required to take either Spanish or Mandarin Chinese. The program will continue in middle school next year.
A 1:1 laptop initiative is also underway in the schools, beginning with seventh-grade teachers. The teachers have received training about implementing laptops into their lesson plans. The final goal is to provide a laptop for every student in grades three through 12.
The school system is also undertaking two new construction projects, a new elementary school in Dobson and a new middle school in Pilot Mountain. Both schools are scheduled to open in fall 2010.
The full annual report will be released to parents soon.
Contact Morgan Wall at [email protected] or 719-1929.