NEWS RELEASES 2016-17 :: SEPTEMBER 21, 2016


State Board of Education Chairman Bill Cobey and State Superintendent June Atkinson this month sent a letter to the Halifax County Schools’ Board of Education and Superintendent Dr. Eric Cunningham congratulating the school district for moving out of low-performing status.

North Carolina’s accountability model identifies a district as low performing if the majority of its schools are low performing. In 2015-16, four of Halifax County’s 10 schools were identified as low performing. In 2013-14, the first year of the state’s A-F school performance grades, seven schools were identified as low performing.

This steady success follows more than six years of partnership with the NC Department of Public Instruction’s District and School Transformation division designed to turn around the district’s low-performing schools. Staff members from NCDPI serve as instructional coaches and provide central office coaching and other capacity-building services.

“The work of turning around low-performing schools is usually a gradual process of professional development, coaching and the implementation of local policies to improve district support for teaching and learning,” said State Superintendent June Atkinson. “I commend the educators and students in Halifax County as well as the Department of Public Instruction’s District and School Transformation team for working closely together over the past six years on behalf of students. There is still much to do, but a strong foundation is in place to continue improving student achievement in Halifax schools.”

The State Board of Education formally kicked off this partnership in 2010 when it held a planning session, public hearing and meeting in the school district. Board members continue to receive regular briefings about the work there and in other schools and districts that are low performing.

State Board of Education Chairman Bill Cobey notes that the Board’s ongoing commitment bridges changes in State Board leadership and membership. “Lifting up the school districts with long-term performance concerns and finding ways to intervene and partner with the educators and leaders in those communities remain important goals for us.”

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.