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Academic growth continues upward trend in Chatham County Schools 


PITTSBORO, N.C. — Students in Chatham County Schools (CCS) are graduating at a rate of 88.4 percent, and every one of the district's high schools either met or exceeded the state’s expectations for academic growth, according to data for the 2018-19 school year released by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. 

That growth, in part, means even solidly performing schools showed improvement, such as the Chatham School of Science & Engineering, which moved from a B to an A. Science & Engineering is an early college that in June 2020 will graduate its first class of students who will have earned both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree.

Across the state, the graduation rate is 86.5 percent. In 2017-18, the graduation rate for CCS was 85.9 percent, marking improvement in the district. 

The state uses another set of metrics to evaluate SAGE Academy, which provides alternative programming in CCS. According to the state, SAGE maintained its overall performance this past school year. SAGE stands for Students Achieving Greater Education.

Seventeen of the district’s 18 schools receive letter grades from the state. Nine of those schools earned Bs, six earned Cs and one earned a D. 

While three of the district’s schools did not meet the state’s expectations for academic growth, four of them exceeded growth expectations, and 10 met that standard. 

Grades for North Carolina’s school districts take into account, for example, the ability of students in middle and elementary school to read, do math and understand science proficiently at their proper grade levels. The measurements also track the preparedness of high school students to begin college or enter the workforce. Numerous testing categories such as those break down school performance, and CCS outperformed the state average in every one of them.   

Published Sept. 16, 2019