9/8/18 Hawfields’ growth No. 1 among middle schools

Hawfields’ growth No. 1 among middle schools
By Jessica Williams, The Times-News 9/8/18    
Reprinted with permission.      

Hawfields Middle School is being celebrated for good teaching.

The school has been ranked No. 2 in the state — No. 1 in the middle school category — for growth in 2017–2018.

What does that mean?

Growth measures teachers’ effectiveness by comparing students’ actual performance on end-of-grade and end-of-course assessments to their expected performance, allowing schools to earn “points” with the state for surpassing expected test scores, even if the students are not meeting grade-level expectations. The measurement aims to give teachers credit by eliminating the factors that are out of their control (e.g., language barriers, not having books at home, etc.), which impede students from reaching grade-level proficiency.

Still, growth accounts for only 20 percent of the school’s performance grade, which was a B this year. The other 80 percent is calculated based on the number of students who are performing at grade-level.

Hawfields has surpassed its expected test scores for the last four years, which Principal Greg Hook says is a huge accomplishment that comes down to “what the teachers are doing in the classroom.”

Addressing the wellbeing of students each day and making sure they have what they need to be successful is an important component, he said, of sustaining that growth from year to year.

South Mebane Elementary School and Williams High School also have sustained growth over the last four years, Hook said.

“We’re really excited for the Hawfields community and for our staff and for our students,” Hook said. “I think the result is due to the collaborative efforts to execute the strategies in our school improvement plan in the classrooms every day, and the hard work of staff and students.”