It doesn’t become official until today, but the cat’s out of the bag now.
During the regular meeting of the Mount Airy Board of Education, Superintendent Dr. Greg Little told the board that the state superintendent of Public Instruction is set to recognize the district during a luncheon for its graduation rate.
“Mount Airy City Schools were named the second-highest system in the state for graduation rates,” he told the board.
The district will be recognized during a luncheon in Durham.
But the good news didn’t stop there.
During his report to the board, Jesse Hiatt, the district’s coordinator for student services, said last year’s results of the ACT test, which is replacing the Scholastic Aptitude Test, showed the district is excelling in testing as well.
“ACT is a predictor of how well students will do in college,” he told the board. “Last year, 20 percent of our seniors took the ACT test, and this year the state is requiring that every junior take the test. It will be a part of the school district’s report card.”
The Mount Airy district reported the highest average of any district participating in the test in the region, and fared similarly well in the state, Hiatt said.
With a required composite score of 17, the Mount Airy district scored a 19.4, Hiatt said.
In the region, the Mount Airy district’s score of 19.4 beat out the state average of 18.2, and was one of the highest-scoring public school districts in the state.
Hiatt said he is pleased with the students’ performance.
“In our region, there aren’t very many districts who had a higher composite score, but those who did were early colleges and specialized schools,” he said.
The district fared similarly well on the Work Keys Test, which measures how well a student is expected to perform in the workforce after graduation.
With a state average of 53.2 percent of students taking the test meeting the standards, the Mount Airy district boasted 83 percent of students meeting, or surpassing, the standards, Hiatt said.
Little said he is pleased with the results, but they only indicate what could be possible.
“We want to be successful on a national level,” he said. “We want to be national leaders in education, so looking at our performance on these very rigorous standards gives us even more incentive to improve.”
Reach Keith Strange at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1929.