- Union County Public Schools
UCPS sets five-year record under state’s School Performance Grade Model
On Sept. 5, the Union County Board of Education received an update on the 2018-19 UCPS Accoutability Data. This presentation can be viewed HERE. To watch the accountability presentation delivered to the Board of Education on September 5, 2018 click here: https://youtu.be/XEjSy4ypW3w
Union County Public Schools (UCPS) is pleased to announce significant gains and an increase in schools that earned an A or B for the 2018-19 school year under the state’s School Performance Grade model. The results were approved by the State Board of Education Thursday, Sept. 5 with the release of the Student Performance Data, Growth and School Performance Grades report.
One of the biggest gains for the 2018-19 school year was School Performance Grades (SPGs). Results show that 45 out of 50, or 90 percent, of schools earned a grade of C or higher. Seventeen schools received an A, which is an all-time high for UCPS.
In addition, 18 schools received a B, bringing the 2018-19 total to 70 percent of schools. This eclipses the mark of 68 percent of schools that earned an A or B in 2017-18. Three schools, South Providence, Wolfe School and Walter Bickett Education Center participate in the Alternative Accountability Model.
It is also noteworthy to mention that eight elementary schools increased a letter grade from the 2017-18 school year. Benton Heights (D to C), Hemby Bridge (C to B), Kensington (B to A), Marvin (B to A), Shiloh (C to B), Union (C to B), Unionville (B to A) and Wesley Chapel (B to A). In addition, two middle schools increased a letter grade, with Cuthbertson moving from a B to an A and Porter Ridge earning B from a C status in 2017-18. The final grade is based on a 15-point scale, with 80 percent for the school’s achievement score and 20 percent for academic growth.
For the second consecutive year, UCPS does not have any schools that received an F letter grade. Five schools decreased a letter grade, with four of the schools still earning a B or C.
“This data is showing that academic excellence is a priority in UCPS,” said Dr. Andrew Houlihan, Superintendent. “The gains and growth we made at schools such as Benton Heights Elementary, East Elementary, Walter Bickett Elementary, Indian Trail Elementary, Weddington Middle and Cuthbertson High is incredible and our principals, teachers and support staff should be commended. We are implementing instructional practices that are solid and prove that all students can learn and grow.”
Growth scores are an indication of the rate at which students learned over the past school year. Overall, 23 schools or 45 percent of schools exceeded growth—the highest number of schools to exceed growth in the last five years. Eight of 11 high schools exceeded growth and four elementary schools exceeded growth for two consecutive years. Twenty schools met growth and seven schools did not meet growth status.
Benton Heights Elementary and East Elementary are to be applauded for their 2018-19 achievements. The two schools exceeded growth and exited low-performing status. Wingate Elementary, East Union Middle and the Health Sciences Academy at Monroe Middle are identified as low-performing schools.
“I am very proud of the work we have done to support our low-performing schools,” Houlihan said. “We are moving the needle on student growth and performance and raising expectations in these schools. In-school tutoring, a renewed focus on literacy, math and science and additional resources to help teachers are making a difference and helping students to succeed. While these results are encouraging, we are not there yet. We must stay on a path of continuous improvement.”
Grade Level Proficiency (GLP) has also improved in several areas for UCPS. The district’s overall proficiency on state administered assessments increased from 71.9 percent in 2017-18 to 73.6 percent in 2018-19. The most notable increase was shown in fifth and eighth-grade science, with the district posting eight and five-point gains, respectively.
Additionally, UCPS Focus Schools experienced sustained improvement in fourth and seventh-grade math, as a result of targeted tutoring strategies. Since 2017-18, UCPS has provided in-school tutoring at East, Benton Heights, Marshville, Walter Bickett elementary schools and East Union and Monroe middle schools.
The state also released four-year cohort graduation rates in its report. The district’s 2019 rate is 93 percent, up from 92.6 percent in 2018. This marks the sixth consecutive year that the UCPS graduation rate exceeds 92 percent. Nine of the 12 comprehensive high schools earned a graduation rate of 90 percent or higher. Central Academy of Technology and Arts maintained a 100 percent graduation rate. Union County Early College earned a 100 percent graduation rate, which is up from 98.3 percent in 2018.
UCPS Accountability Data Snapshot and additional accomplishments:
- No school received a School Performance Grade (SPG) of F
- Nine elementary schools earned a SPG of an A in 2018-19 as compared to five in 2017-18
- 17 schools earn a SPG of an A, which is the most since schools have earned performance grades
- 10 schools improved one letter grade when compared to the previous year
- 43 schools met or exceeded growth for the 2018-19 school year
- 45 of the 50 schools receiving a SPG received a designation of C or higher
- 5th grade science proficiency rates increased 8.2 percentage points while 8th grade science proficiency rates increased 4.8 percentage points
- Five out of six elementary Focus schools witnessed an increase in Math Grade Level Proficiency (GLP)
- UCPS witnessed an all-time high for the number of Advanced Placement exams administered while also increasing the district-wide passing rate
- In 2019, more than 3,000 students took one or more Advanced Placement exams. This is the highest number of AP exams taken in UCPS history
- For the second consecutive year, 8th and 11th grade students participated, at no cost, in the school day administrations of the PSAT 8 and SAT, respectively
For additional information, visit http://www.ncpublicschools.org/