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The Roanoke Rapids Graded School District said the system experienced “tremendous growth” in the 2022-23 school year, according to accountability data presented to the state board of education Wednesday. 

RRGSD experienced notable increases across several schools, the district said, including two schools moving up a school performance grade level. 

Four out of five schools exceeded or met expected growth and all five schools increased growth scores, which helped the district move out of a low-performance designation. 

Out of 29 low-performing districts in 2021-2022, RRGSD is one of only four school districts to exit low-performing district status this year. 

“I am so proud of the perseverance and dedication that our students, educators, and families have shown,” Superintendent Julie Thompson said. “We will continue to focus our energy and efforts to work smart together across the district to keep the momentum going. Together, we succeed.”

Thompson and other district administrators joined school administrators and board members, Vice Chair Valencia Davis, Tammy Colston, and Carol Dean at all of the district schools Wednesday to deliver the news. 

The school system said that staff “were excited to learn of this news and are enthusiastic about continuing the work they've already begun in the 2023-2024 school year.”

Belmont Elementary earned a grade of 52/D but grew in all tested areas, increased 15 points in its school performance grade, and missed exceeding growth by two-tenths of a point.

Manning Elementary earned a grade of 63/C, increased seven points in its school performance grade and also met growth. 

Chaloner Middle earned a grade of 55/C, increased six points in its school performance grade and exceeded expected growth. 

Roanoke Rapids High School maintained the same school performance grade of 53/D, but increased four points in growth, and Roanoke Rapids Early College increased three points in its school performance grade, exceeded expected growth with high proficiency in all tested areas, and earned a grade of 80/B.

“It’s hard to overstate the impact of the pandemic, but teachers across North Carolina are working harder than ever to help students recover, and more importantly, advance in their learning,” said state Superintendent  Catherine Truitt. “We owe them our gratitude for meeting this challenge to improve outcomes for students.”

Truitt said, “We’ve now seen two consecutive years of gains that were greater than any of the several years preceding the pandemic losses, when year-to-year changes in average scores were generally flat, or in some cases, declining.”

The state superintendent said students and schools still have a way to go to catch up, but there is reason to believe that progress will continue. “As more early-grades teachers adopt literacy instruction grounded in the science of reading, students will be stronger readers as they progress through elementary school and into middle school. We’re going to see continued improvement in those test scores and others.”