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NC Innovative School District narrows list of initial schools under consideration

Editor’s Note: The following is a press release from the Department of Public Instruction.


The newly created North Carolina Innovative School District (NCISD), led by Superintendent Eric Hall, announced today the updated list of schools that qualify for inclusion in this new statewide school district. Based on the data criteria noted below, the list was narrowed to six schools still under consideration. The NCISD will now begin the task of further evaluating the schools that will ultimately join the new school district, beginning in the 2018-2019 school year.

Since Sept. 7, the ISD reviewed and analyzed the data from the initial list of 48 schools, including data from last school year and trend data from the most recent three years. Based on the analysis of this data, the ISD implemented the following step-by-step criteria for narrowing the list of qualifying schools:

  1. Schools currently receiving funding through federal School Improvement Grants were removed from consideration
  2. All “D” rated schools in 2016-2017 school year were removed from the list of qualifying schools
  3. Then all “F” rated schools that met growth in the 2016-2017 school year were removed
  4. All schools that met academic growth in both 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 and earned a “D” school performance grade in both 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 (must meet both) were removed
  5. Finally, all schools were removed that are in a district that has less than 35 percent of its schools designated as low performing. The districts with 35 percent or more of its schools designated as low performing would remain on the list for consideration after adjusting the list for all other criteria in steps one through four above. (These criteria would allow a local district, per statute, to benefit from the same flexibilities offered to charter schools across all of its low-performing schools if the district chooses to request to establish an Innovation Zone under the local school district’s control.)

After applying these criteria to the list of 48 qualifying schools, the schools and districts remaining at this time for consideration and additional evaluation are:

Durham Public Schools — Glenn Elementary
Durham Public Schools — Lakewood Elementary
Nash-Rocky Mount Schools — Williford Elementary
Northampton County Schools — Willis Hare Elementary
Robeson County Schools — R B Dean Elementary
Robeson County Schools — Southside Ashpole Elementary

The next step in the process is to engage each of the schools represented in this selection, organize school visits and conduct a comprehensive needs assessment for each site. Once these assessments are completed over the next few weeks, the ISD will meet with local representatives to present the evaluation findings, share information about the process and collect input. Using the results of the evaluation and the feedback from the engagement with the local district and community, the ISD superintendent will identify at least two schools to recommend to the State Board of Education for selection at its November meeting. Per the state statute, each district can have only one school included in the ISD for a five-year period. This means that a local school district could not have more than one school selected to operate as a part of the ISD, unless the local school board requests other schools for consideration.

The next step in the process is to engage each of the schools represented in this selection, organize school visits and conduct a comprehensive needs assessment for each site. Once these assessments are completed over the next few weeks, the ISD will meet with local representatives to present the evaluation findings, share information about the process and collect input. Using the results of the evaluation and the feedback from the engagement with the local district and community, the ISD superintendent will identify at least two schools to recommend to the State Board of Education for selection at its November meeting. Per the state statute, each district can have only one school included in the ISD for a five-year period. This means that a local school district could not have more than one school selected to operate as a part of the ISD, unless the local school board requests other schools for consideration.

“Our approach to narrowing this list of schools is entirely data-driven, and we’re confident we have the right list of schools for this final phase of evaluation. Now is the point where we marry the data with local insights from the people who are with the students day-in and day-out to develop the best possible recommendations for the State Board of Education to consider,” Hall said. “We truly view this as a partnership and look forward to thoughtful discussions and collaboration with education leaders and community members about this new and innovative approach.”

About the NC Innovative School District

Created in 2017, the North Carolina Innovative School District (NCISD) will partner with local communities to design and implement strategies for school improvement, creating innovative conditions and accelerating student achievement. The NCISD is led by Eric Hall, District Superintendent. For more information, visit www.innovativeschooldistrict.org.

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