Compared to the state, however, RCS has an experienced pool of teachers and small or average class sizes, according to the district report card.
The data released by the state in its district and schools report cards this week also revealed that a higher percentage of Richmond County high school level students choose a curriculum geared toward technical fields, and fewer take the SAT, as well.
The RCS district report card examines demographics concerning the average number of students in schools, class size, course size, percentage of specialized course enrollments and funding per student and use of the funding.
RCS officials said they are preparing a response to the district report card, to be given early next week.
Parts of this data are used to determine the yearly progress of a given school.
There is a disparity between the average student scores in the county and the state on standardized tests in grades 3-8. The combined percentage of students performing at or above grade level on this testing in the district is 77.6 percent in reading and 53.1 percent in math. Statewide, 85.5 percent students perform at or above grade level in reading, and 66.4 percent in math.
That’s a gap of 8 percent in reading and 13 percent in math.
Algebra I and Geometry scores stand out at the high school level. Only 43 percent of students score at or above grade level in the district in Algebra I, while the state average is two-thirds, or 67 percent. The state average in Geometry is 63 percent, while RCS has 42 percent of its students scoring at or above grade level.
None of the other numbers on high school level courses exceeded the state average, but there was less of a gap in the percentage.
Teacher Qualification and Experience
Slightly fewer teachers are fully licensed in the district than the state average, but RCS has a higher percentage of classes being taught by highly qualified teachers.
RCS also has more experienced teachers than the state average. At the elementary and the middle school levels, 55 percent of RCS teachers have 10 or more years of experience, as compared to 48 and 46 percent statewide.
At the high school level, 63 percent of RCS teachers have 10 or more years of experience, while 53 percent do statewide.
RCS principals are in line with the state averages when compared for experience.
In grades K-8, RCS class sizes are nominally in line with the state average, and at high school courses are much the same.
The exceptions with high school course enrollment are Algebra II, Biology, Civics classes and U.S. History.
Algebra II classes have an average of 22 students in Richmond schools, while the state average is 17. The average course size for the other three at the state level is 15, while RCS has an average class size of 10 or under for these.
Special Course Enrollment and SAT Performance
RCS has 2 percent of its high school level students enrolled in advanced college prep courses, while there is 4 percent of high school students enrolled statewide.
Nearly a quarter of high school students in the district are enrolled in career and technical courses. The state average is 16 percent.
Less than one-third of RCS students take the SAT, and their average score is 945.
In North Carolina, 71 percent of students take the test, and their average score is about 1,000. Nationally, about half the students take the test and score slightly above the North Carolina average.
About 67 percent of students at RCS graduate in four years. Statewide, that number is 69.5 percent.
RCS schools are better funded at the state level than the North Carolina average on a per student basis, but less funded on the same basis at the local level.
Nearly $6,000 of state funding is spent on education per student in the county district, while the state average is less than $5,300. Local funding is limited to less than $1,200, however, while the state average is nearly $2,000 per student.
Federal funding is roughly in line with the state average.
Of this funding, roughly two-thirds goes toward salaries. Another 16 percent is used to provide benefits, while 11 percent goes toward supplies and material and 6 percent goes toward purchased services.
School Attendance and Technology
School attendance in the district is in line with the state average.
RCS fares well when compared to the state averages in computer based learning and library resources.
In the district, there just over 3.5 students per instructional computer and per internet-connected computer, and there are just 22 students per library book. Also, nearly all classrooms are connected to the Internet, 99.8 percent.
All of these numbers are in line with the state average, but those library books are a bit older than the state average. The average book in the library at RCS schools was acquired in 1988, while it is 1991 at the state level.
Adequate Yearly Progress
All RCS high schools are recognized as high growth schools on the district’s report card, meaning their student bodies exceeded expected growth in their testing performances by at least 10 percent.
All of these schools are also listed as priority schools, however, meaning they have one-half to 60 percent of their students performing at grade level, or less than 50 percent at grade level, but made expected growth.
Half of the district’s middle schools were recognized as schools of recognition, which means that 60 percent or more of their students are at grade level, but did not make expected growth. A quarter were listed as making progress and a quarter made expected growth.
Half the middle schools statewide made expected growth.
At the elementary level, the state lists 27 percent as high growth and 27 percent as expected growth.
Over a third of the elementary were recognized as schools of progress, and another 27 percent were listed as schools of recognition. And 27 percent of the elementary schools were listed as priority schools.
The public can access this information in its entirety at www.ncreportcards.org/src/.