06/22/06 — District has sent Goldsboro High proposal to state

View Archive

District has sent Goldsboro High proposal to state

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on June 22, 2006 1:50 PM

Officials in Wayne County Public Schools say they have sent the state a list of specific steps and strategies designed to improve student performance at Goldsboro High School.

The announcement comes on the heels of Gov. Mike Easley's recommendations last week to revamp the state's lowest performing schools. Goldsboro High School was on the list of 44 schools facing stricter rules and shake-up options to redesign schools where less than 60 percent of students did not meet proficiency on end-of-grade tests for the past two years.

Superintendent Dr. Steven Taylor joined several superintendents from around the state in Raleigh on June 13 to support the governor's comprehensive plan to improve low-performing high schools.

In a press release from the school district, Taylor said the system continues to stand behind the Goldsboro High and its principal, Patricia Burden. Support from the state is also welcome, he added. 

"We have had positive experiences in the past and present dealing with both teams and individual consultants sent from the Department of Public Instruction. We feel recommendations that have been given from the state over the past couple of years have helped us develop a solid plan for continuing to improve test scores at Goldsboro High School," he said.

The report sent to the Department of Public Instruction contains strategies to improve test scores at Goldsboro High School, said Taylor, expressing optimism that recommendations will fall in line with Easley's new comprehensive plan.

The local plan includes 13 programs that have been put in place in recent years, along with a detailed account of a program designed to strengthen staff development efforts.

According to the report, school officials have utilized the Effective Schools Model for school improvement for the past 11 years. In the last two years, the school system has followed the state Board of Education's lead to study high school reform, with support programs also being introduced in the feeder schools.

Programs introduced, some of which are ongoing, include academic assistance during school breaks with bonuses given to students who attend; Saturday Academy, a remediation of end-of-course objectives; before and after school tutorials; 10th grade comprehensive continual remediation; tutoring in the Wade Edwards Learning Lab; Freshman Academy; Freshman Seminar designed to transition students from middle to high school; a year-round program designed to help students regain lost credits; the Comprehensive Reform Program, focusing on all aspects of school improvement; Bench Mark testing, with tests administered five weeks prior to end-of-course tests; an outside testing service contracted to assess student progress in writing; and updated computer software purchased to assist 10th grade students with the writing test.

The staff development efforts have included hiring presenters to work with educators on classroom models and testing techniques.

Two additions expected to provide special opportunities to the students of Goldsboro High are the grade reorganization of the central attendance area and a recently received six-year GEARUP grant.

The grade reorganization was approved by the Board of Education in March. In the fall, Goldsboro Middle School will be converted to a school for fifth- and sixth-graders and be renamed Goldsboro Elementary School. Dillard Middle School will house all seventh- and eighth-graders. North Drive, School Street and Carver Heights elementary schools will drop one grade and become schools for kindergarten through fourth grades.

The GEARUP grant provides $100,000 per year toward developing college access for the current seventh graders. Summer enrichment/remediation opportunities will be provided to students as well as visits to college campuses and goal-setting activities.

There is also a component to increase end-of-grade and end-of-course test scores at the high school with a total of 100 percent college access for the students upon reaching their senior year.

Officials said they are also exploring all avenues of funding toward offering a musical strings program, dance, and an International Baccalaureate high school program.