The Transylvania Times -

Brevard Academy's Test Scores Improving - Brevard, NC


June 19, 2017

School director Ted Duncan informed the Brevard Academy: A Challenge Foundation Academy Board of Directors Wednesday evening that the school’s test scores are improving.

Duncan said 100 percent of the school’s 23 eighth graders passed the Math I end-of-course test, which is a high school level test. Last year 85 percent of the students passed the Math I test.

He said 100 percent of the eighth grade students also passed the science end of grade test (EOG). The science EOG is given in eighth and fifth grade.

For all of the grades tested, which includes third through eighth grade, the passing rate on the math EOG last year was 53 percent. This year it increased to 54 percent.

“Although it’s not the number that we want to see, it is an improvement over last year,” said Duncan.

Last year 73 percent of the students in third through eighth grade passed the reading EOG. This year that percentage increased to 77 percent.

When all of the tests are configured, Duncan said the school had a passing rate of 69 percent.

Duncan said he had contacted administrators at other charter and traditional schools to see how their test scores fared.

“I think that we are on par with math test scores,” said Duncan, adding that the school was ahead of others with reading test scores.

He said the state still has to compute the school’s overall grade. The state annually issues a school grade from A to F. The grade is based on numerous variables, including test scores.

“I don’t want to make any predications at this point, but we’re very close to getting back to being a ‘B’ school,” said Duncan.

Duncan said as the number of students in the school increases, the percentages of students passing EOG tests would change because new students will enter at different grade levels.

In addition to reporting on test scores, Duncan said the school ended the year with 300 students enrolled and is projecting to have 404 students when school opens for the next year in August.

There are 26 students on the waiting list.

“We are still enrolling students,” said Duncan.

Next year the sixth grade will be split between two teachers and the seventh and eighth grade will be split between four teachers. He said that would reduce the amount of transition time between classes and increase instructional time.

Board Actions

•The board officers for next school year were selected. They are Nick Iosue, chair; Adrienne Casteen, vice chair, Warren Alston, treasurer; and Zia McConnell, secretary.

•The board voted unanimously to allocate $7,000 for the purchase of used buses. Duncan said two of the school’s buses need to be replaced.

When asked about the market for used buses, which Brevard Academy purchases, Duncan said, “There are buses that come up all the time.”

He said charter schools receive a discount if they purchase two or more buses.

•The board voted unanimously to allocate $25,000 for a part-time exceptional children teacher. Duncan said that as school enrollment increases, so does the need to provide additional services for exceptional children.

•The board voted unanimously to allocate $1,500 to purchase MobyMax, a math program.

•The board voted unanimously to change its employee vision and dental insurance to NC Flex.

The change should allow for more options in selecting individual plans as well as providing lower costs.

•Upon a recommendation by Leigh Danner, account executive for Acadia NorthStar, which handles the school’s finances, the board voted unanimously to approve to reduce revenues by $21,000 and to reduce expenditures by $5,600.

•After meeting in closed session, the board unanimously approved transferring $30,000 from unencumbered cash to L-bonds held at GWG Holdings. The interest earned will be put back into school funds.

Other News

•The board has received four applications from people wanting to be board members. The board will vote on new board members in August.

•Another school uniform vendor has been added. McConnell said epluno can provide school uniforms that are less expensive than Land’s End, the current vendor for school uniforms.

McConnell said once the current inventory of uniforms at the school is depleted, all remaining orders would be done online.

•Iosue said a number of teachers and parents have made “glowing remarks” about Duncan’s work as director.

“My success is a shared success and it can only happen with the support of the board, our amazing staff, our amazing PTO and all of our volunteers,” said Duncan. “It is a group effort. It is a wonderful team that we have here at Brevard Academy. I’m honored to be serving as the director.”

•Charlotte Shackleford, outgoing president of the PTO, reported that the organization would have about $4,000 left in its account for the beginning of the 2017-18 school year.

Board members congratulated Shackleford for doing an excellent job as PTO president.

The PTO officers for next year are Aimee Bush, president; Joan Barham, vice president; Katherine Galvagni, secretary; and Priscilla Brackett, treasurer.

•The board will hold its annual retreat on July 14 at a place and time to be determined. The next regularly scheduled meeting of the board will be Monday, Aug. 16.


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