The RSSS 2016-2017 Report Card Posted Here! 44% of Rowan-Salisbury Schools Received D or F School Performance Grades in 2016-2017

Posted on September 10, 2017

RFP Staff

♦ 2016-17 Rowan-Salisbury School District’s School Performance Grade, School Performance Score, and Growth Status:

Rowan-Salisbury Schools received School Performance Grades from the NC Department of Instruction (NCDPI) last week. Fifteen of the thirty-four Rowan-Salisbury schools that sent data received D’s and F’s. That’s 44%. In addition, 29% of RSSS schools did not meet growth, including Rowan County Early College, and 38% have been identified as low-performing schools.

School Performance Grades (SPG) are figured with the use of a formula located on the NC DPI website, here. NCDPI calculates School Performance Grades to be 80 percent school achievement and 20 percent academic growth, rated on a 15 point grading scale.

All four schools located within the City of Salisbury received SPG letter grades of D or F:

  • Overton Elementary – D
  • Isenberg Elementary – D
  • Knox Middle School – F
  • Salisbury High School – D

Henderson High School, the alternative high school did not send any data. That means the growth and achievement of students attending the alternative high school are not going to be factored into the district’s performance grade when it is released in November. This type of strategic withholding of student data will result in a higher SPG than the school system would receive if Henderson’s data were factored in.

How the “SPG” is Calculated

The state grades the schools and districts with a more liberal fifteen-point scale than students are graded, which is on a ten-point scale. To calculate the final score and grade for a school, the School Achievement Score (80%) is combined with the Growth Score (20%). Achievement is 80% of the SPG, and growth is 20%. After combining these values, the score is placed on a 15-point scale:

15 POINT SCALE (Schools and Districts) 10 POINT SCALE (Students)
A: 85-100 points A: 90-100 points
B: 70-84 points B: 80-89 points
C: 55-69 points C: 70-79 points (required to pass exams)
D: 40-54 points D: 60-69 points
F: Less than 40 points F: Less than 60 points


An SPG of 40 Is Passing?

Yes. Knox Middle School’s SPG was 38 (an F), and it’s growth was “not met”. Had Knox’s SPG been 40, it would have had an SPG that was a D. What is considered a typical statistic “bell curve” would mean that the majority of schools would have C scores. However, that statistical model does not apply as well when a C is 55-69% instead of 70-79 points. Less than half of Rowan-Salisbury schools reached an SPG of C, even with the lenient grading by the state. As many schools received D’s or F’s as received C’s.


Additional Ratings From NCDPI (See the source data)

2016-17 Consistently Low Participating School: (the consequence for not meeting participation rate requirement for 2 consecutive years in the same student group)

  • Henderson High School (in Salisbury)

2016-17 Missing Participation Goal Focus School (Year 3): (the consequence for not meeting participation rate requirement for 3 consecutive years and beyond in the same student group)

  • Henderson High School

2016-17 Recurring Low Performing Schools and Low Performing Schools

In order to be identified as a recurring low-performing school, a school must be identified as low-performing in any two (2) of the last three (3) years. A school must have received a ‘D’ or ‘F’ School Performance Grade and did not exceed growth.  Eleven of the schools already identified as low-performing remained so in 2016-17:

2015-2016 2016-2017
China Grove Elementary China Grove Elementary
Corriher Lipe Middle Corriher Lipe Middle
Hurley Elementary Hurley Elementary
Isenberg Elementary (in Salisbury) Isenberg Elementary (in Salisbury)
Koontz Elementary Koontz Elementary
North Rowan Elementary North Rowan Elementary
Overton Elementary (in Salisbury) Overton Elementary (in Salisbury)

Dole Elementary
Landis Elementary
Knollwood Elementary
West Rowan Middle West Rowan Middle
Erwin Middle Erwin Middle
Southeast Middle
Knox Middle (in Salisbury)
North Rowan High North Rowan High
Salisbury High (in Salisbury) Salisbury High (in Salisbury)



2016-17 School Performance Grade, School Performance Score, and Growth Status 

2016-2017 RSSS School Performance Grades

Schools with an A+NG  have sufficient data for achievement and/or graduation gap analysis and did not have a gap. N/A or I (Insufficient data) or a blank cell indicates a school does not have tested grades or does not have sufficient data for reporting. High School test scores can be downloaded from the original source, here:


Is RSSS Properly Informing Parents as Mandated by NC State Statues?

Each low-performing school must notify parents in writing within 30 days of the school’s identification as per G.S. 115C-105.37 on Parental Notice of Low-Performing School Status. The following is from the North Carolina General Statutes:

Each school that the State Board identifies as low-performing shall provide written notification to the parents and guardians of students attending that school within 30 days of the identification that includes the following information:

(1) A statement that the State Board of Education has found that the school has ‘received a school performance grade of D or F and a school growth score of “met expected growth” or “not met expected growth” and has been identified as a low-performing school as defined by G.S. 115C-105.37.” The statement shall include an explanation of the school performance grades and growth scores.

(2) The school performance grade and growth score received.

(3) Information about the preliminary plan developed under subsection (a1) of this section and the availability of the final plan on the local school administrative unit’s Web site.

(4) The meeting date for when the preliminary plan will be considered by the local board of education. G.S. 115C-105.37 Page 2.

(5) A description of any additional steps the school is taking to improve student performance.


Rather than providing a webpage to easily inform parents on the district (“local school administrative unit”) website, as required by the state statutes, RSSS has posted low-performing schools’ improvement plans on individual school websites as “school improvement plans”. The district’s SPG report describes only positive growth,and low-performing schools are not easily identified by parents/guardians or prospective parents/guardians visiting the district or school sites. Upon searching the internet, parents may find  a general description of district goals can be seen at this link on a page created by the State for the purpose of easy access to improvement plans for low-performing school — but RSSS does not actually describe the specific school plans in the document.

For more information on low-performing schools, including a letter template many schools send parents, visit the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s District and School Transformation website at

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