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WSFCS: How our Schools are Performing and Improving

Chamber staff were present for an announcement by Dr. Bev Emory, WSFCS Superintendent, on the results of the School Performance Grades for the 2017-18 school year. These grades, ranging from A to F, reflect a combination of student proficiency (80%) and student growth (20%). The grades are designed to provide a brief snapshot of student academic performance.

For 2017-18, 8 (11%) traditional schools in WS/FCS received an SPG of A, 13 (18%) received a B, 19 (26%) received a C, 21 (29%) received a D, and 11 (15%) received an F. These results are similar to last year’s distribution of grades for WS/FCS.

New this year, the state changed its calculation of the 4-year cohort graduation rate. The rate now includes the graduation status of students who transfer into a district behind in credits, so a decrease is to be expected. In 2017-18, seniors in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools graduated at a rate of 84.4%, down slightly from 86.5% in 2016-17.  Over time, the district has improved its graduation rate by almost 14 percent, up from 70.8% in 2008. Comparatively, North Carolina recorded a graduation rate of 86.3% in 2017-18.

While the district hoped to meet its goal of a 90% graduation rate by 2018, several high schools already have graduation rates above 90%: Atkins A&T, Early College of Forsyth, Middle College of Forsyth, Mount Tabor, J. F. Kennedy, Reagan, and West Forsyth.  Given the unexpected changes in rate calculation, the district is looking to extend the districtwide goal of a 90% graduation rate. 

The district recognizes the efforts of community partners to help improve the student success rate. The United Way of Forsyth County, the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce, Graduate. It Pays, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and The Forsyth Promise each continue to support programs to help students graduate.

For additional NC ESSA Accountability results, visit

Improving Results – What’s Next?

“We are not satisfied with these district results. We feel a strong sense of urgency to improve support for schools so that we can address student outcomes,” stated Emory.

District leadership recognizes many of these scores require a sense of resolve to address support and monitoring services to help schools improve student outcomes. Using the successful schools as role models, the district hopes to replicate and scale up the approach taken by schools with proven track records or recent improvement.

Inspire340 provides support to schools within Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools that have the federal designation of being a Priority or Focus school. Inspire340 schools participate in additional professional development, and principals receive focused coaching leadership support. This initiative has become a model for enhanced and targeted support for all schools. In 2017-18, 13 of 15 Inspire340 schools either met or exceeded expected growth.

For more information regarding Inspire340 schools, please visit //

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools is announcing the launch of three targeted design teams to examine how the district provides support and holds schools accountable for imperative initiatives. The design teams will make recommendations for changes to processes, personnel, and organizational structure to enhance student opportunities for success. Some of the recommendations will be for immediate implementation, while others may have more long-term implications. Each design team has a unique focus expected to result in targeted, differentiated support for all schools:

  • Monitoring, Support, and Accountability: Develop a new system for monitoring schools’ implementation of imperative initiatives
  • Instruction and Innovation: Develop a new Central Office organizational structure encompassing Instructional Services and Instructional Technology
  • Equity, Access, and Acceleration: Develop an improved structure for increased access and acceleration opportunities for all students with a focus on underperforming subgroups

Design Teams will include central office staff, principals, teachers, other school-based personnel, and community members. They will have 60 days to complete their recommendations, which will be shared publically in early November.

To provide input on the future direction of district goals and initiatives, please complete the survey found at //

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