Chatham County, North Carolina:Chatham County, founded in 1771, is in the geographic center of the state. The county’s population of roughly 71,000 people live in an area of more than 707 square miles amid multiple rural communities and four incorporated towns (Goldston, Pittsboro, Siler City and a small portion of Cary). Residents may reach major universities and North Carolina cities (Raleigh, Durham, Greensboro, etc.) within less than an hour. Additional county information is located at www.chathamnc.org.
School District Quick Facts:Chatham County Schools has 18 schools: one early college, four high schools (three traditional and one alternative), three middle schools, five K-8 schools, and five elementary schools. Slightly more than 8,900 students enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grades. Drivers of 97 yellow school buses travel well over a million miles each school year transporting approximately 4,000 students to and from school. Multiple schools have pre-kindergarten and after-school programs. The district employs around 1,200 people and is the largest employer in Chatham County. The teacher retention rate in 2016-17 was 86.73 percent.District mailing Address: P.O. Box 128, Pittsboro, NC 27312District physical address: 369 West Street, Pittsboro, NC 27312District website: www.chatham.k12.nc.usTelephone: (919) 542-3626
Fax: (919) 542-1980
The district's newest school with a student capacity of 650 students, Margaret B. Pollard Middle School opened in January 2011. The school has many eco-friendly features and has earned LEED Gold certification. In fact, the school was the first LEED Gold certified middle school in North Carolina. As Chatham County continues to grow, so does the district. Chatham Grove Elementary School and Seaforth High School will open their doors to students in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
The State Board of Education has released accountability data for the 2018-2019 school year. The test scores reveal that 14 of the district’s schools met or exceeded growth expectations. Ten schools met growth, and four exceeded growth. Progress toward achieving growth is based on the federally required Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs) for English Language Arts/reading, mathematics and science in grades 3-8 and English II, biology, Math I, cohort graduation, attendance, ACT and WorkKeys in grades 9-12.
Chatham County Schools also outperformed North Carolina composites in reading and math in grades 3-8. In addition, our district outperformed North Carolina results on composite scores for the ACT and WorkKeys. Three out of four Chatham County high schools exceeded the state's four-year graduation rate, and three out of four high schools exceeded the five-year graduation rate.
Chatham County Schools is strongly committed to innovation and digital-learning initiatives. One of the first districts in the state to boast a high school 1-to-1 student laptop program, Chatham has issued a laptop to every high school student since the 2008-09 school year. Since that time, digital-learning opportunities have grown across all schools. Many schools now boast a nearly 1-to-1 student-to-device ratio across all grade levels including some middle school programs that have completely converted to the 1-to-1 digital-learning model.
Central Carolina Works is a joint initiative with Lee and Harnett counties and Central Carolina Community College (CCCC). This partnership will place additional resources and personnel in each of our high schools to help students with post-graduation planning. Additionally, students will be able to attend CCCC for college credits while enrolled in high school.
For the size of the school district, Chatham County Schools offers many honors and advanced-placement courses. Additionally, online and college-level courses, as well as award-winning arts and Career Technical Education programs, are available to high school students.
Science exploration is ongoing through four kit rotations for each class in kindergarten through fifth grade each year, giving students hands-on experience. Students in grades 6-8 participate in another hands-on science program through CIBL (Center for Inquiry-Based Learning). Middle school teachers receive specialized training to help them teach the varied kits that include energy transfer transformation, chemistry in eighth grade, and a seventh-grade thrill ride that studies motion and forces.
All three traditional high schools have the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program. The voluntary program targets middle-performing students and those who will be first-generation college students who have the desire, academic potential and determination to succeed in a rigorous high school curriculum. High school staff work with more than 325 students across the district in the AVID program. Chatham Central High School is designated as an AVID National Demonstration School. In addition to the high schools, Chatham Middle School has schoolwide implementation of the program and Virginia Cross Elementary has recently introduced AVID schoolwide. Due to its success, AVID strategies are now being used with other high school and middle school students.
High school students can take courses at one of our other high schools if they are not offered at their home schools.
- Chatham County Schools 2018-2019 graduation rate: 88.5%
- North Carolina 2018-2019 graduation rate: 86.5%
- Chatham County Schools 2018-2019 dropout rate: 1.20%
- North Carolina 2018-2019 dropout rate: 2.01%