WBS students rank high on North Carolina report card

by Kelly Corbett
Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Staff photo by Allison Potter 

Wrightsville Beach School teacher Janice Williams works with her fifth grade class on Tuesday, Oct. 23.

Wrightsville Beach School students in grades 3-5 have ranked significantly higher than the percentage of students at or above the grade level for reading and math at the district and state level.

The 2011-12 North Carolina school report cards were released last month on Oct. 25  with WBS percentiles ranging from 88 to more than 95 percent compared to state levels of 68.8 to 85.5 percent and district levels of 74.9 to 86.3 percent.

WBS Principal Mary Paul Beall said the administration takes the information and data from the test results and the report cards, which have been released for the past 11 years, to drive instruction for the following school year.

“We need to work on our growth to make sure every child is growing,” Beall said, adding that they also need to make sure teachers are on target.

Dale Pelsey-Becton, New Hanover County Schools assistant superintendent of instruction and academic accountability, said it is harder to compare results from previous years since the annual measurable objectives were added this year.

“It kind of gives you an overview,” Pelsey-Becton said. “Of course, Wrightsville Beach is one of our high performing schools.”

She said the report card is more for public use.

“Assessment is a big piece, but it’s not the only piece, “ Pelsey-Becton said. “A parent as an individual needs to go into the school to feel that climate, to see how well their child is adjusting and work with the teachers and the administration to make it the best place for all children. These are some things that of course we are judged by, but it’s not the only thing that a parent should look at when they’re making the decision of what’s best for their children.”

Beall said WBS has a family atmosphere with tremendous parental involvement.

WBS was smaller in size than other schools with similar grade levels, with 318 students compared to 486 at the district-level and 499 at the state-level.

The amount of classroom teachers was also lower, with 19 employed at WBS and 33-35 at district and state levels.

Class sizes ranged from 19-21 in the district and state, but WBS surpassed those numbers with 25-27 enrolled on average in fourth and fifth-grade classes.

Currently, the school has 350 students and 16 homeroom teachers, among other positions, including a new assistant principal and reading coach position added for the 2012-13 school year.

A teaching assistant and long-term substitute teaching position were added after two fifth grade classes recently moved to Wrightsville Beach Baptist Church.

“We’ve got a lot of extra support this year,” Beall said.

Next year, the school report cards will include A to F rankings.

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