Friends of Wilkes County Schools,
From March of 2020 until the present, public education and our entire world have faced numerous challenges brought on by a worldwide pandemic. As we reflect on those challenges, theories are developing on how school systems should have handled this situation. While I would never say that things were perfect, I believe the students, staff, teachers, and administrators of Wilkes County Schools were a model for our state and many others on how to do what was best for students during times like those we faced. I think the 2021-2022 NC School Report Card for Wilkes County Schools reflects those efforts. While we still have room for improvement, there are many areas identified on this report card that should be sources of pride for our entire county.
This report card will help you to better understand how your child's school compares statewide in multiple measures. Much as you do with your child's report card, our system utilizes the NC School Report Card to reflect on our strengths and to identify areas for improvement. I hope this report card serves as a resource for you to learn more about our school system as well as our individual schools.
Our system report card reflects several areas of success. The percentage of students achieving proficiency on End of Grade tests in grades 3 thru 7 exceeded the average for the state of North Carolina. Our reading and math proficiency in grades 5 thru 7 also exceeded the state average accompanied by Science scores in grades 5 thru 8. Our English Language Learners' progress also exceeded the state average in Wilkes County Schools as a result of the great work of our staff and students.
Overall, the percentage of students achieving proficiency on End of Course or End of Grade tests exceeded the state average by more than 6%! As a result of the hard work put forth by students and teaching staff, Wilkes County Schools ranked 20th out of 115 traditional school districts based on grade level proficiency. It is my hope that this can help you see why I am so proud of our students, teachers, and staff.
Our system also acknowledges room for improvement in areas reflected on this report card. Eighth-grade math and reading are two areas in which we can show improvement in our middle schools, and our high schools have room for improvement in ACT results, Math Ill, and English II. I feel comfortable that our teachers and administrators have plans in place to address these areas in 2022-2023.
Perhaps our greatest source of pride reflected on this report card is the fact that our graduation rate not only exceeds the state average but also exceeds the majority of districts in our region. While many think of the graduation rate as a high school measure, it actually reflects the work of teachers over the entire period of time that a student is in school. Therefore, while most measures reflect our teachers' hard work through the pandemic, this result reflects their efforts over the past thirteen years. This data to me shows that our teachers in all grade levels have prepared students for success at that next grade level as well as beyond high school. This too
should be a great source of pride for our students.
While the NC School Report Card reflects numerous areas that we are proud of, our students are excelling in numerous areas that are not listed. Our athletic teams are experiencing success, our student-led clubs continue to serve our community through numerous community and school-focused projects while also learning leadership skills, and our arts programs continue to grow and flourish. Overall, students and staff in Wilkes County Schools do a great job of ensuring a successful school experience both in and out of the classroom. Our goal is for this to continue for years to come.
In closing, the NC School Report Card is a resource designed to help our families better understand their child's school and our district. We hope that you take great pride in both and should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.
Thank you for your continued support of Wilkes County Schools.
D. Mark Byrd, Superintendent
Wilkes County Schools