Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools is included in a new study on how school districts across the country are recovering from the pandemic and is among those showing significant gains since 2020. Researchers from Harvard and Stanford Universities released the national data set and overall, WS/FCS was among the fastest recovering districts and among the best in the nation.

Specifically, between 2022 and 2023 WS/FCS was among districts that had nearly half a grade level equivalent or better improvement in math. WS/FCS also saw significant improvement in reading scores. Researchers noted that a third of a grade level increase in achievement is “huge” in a typical year, and WS/FCS far exceeded that.

“We applaud Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools for the remarkable progress their students have made in recovering from the pandemic in both reading and math,” said Council of the Great City Executive Director Ray Hart. “In fact, Winston-Salem is the only Council member district whose students exceeded a half year grade level equivalent recovery in reading and math. In addition, the recovery rates for their students exceeded the state and were among the highest in North Carolina. The hard work and investments the school system has made is bearing fruit, resulting in improved outcomes for students. While there is more work to be done, district leaders, staff, and parents should be commended.”

“These results are a testament to the hard and intentional work happening in our schools every day,” said WS/FCS Superintendent Tricia McManus. “Moving beyond pre-pandemic levels is our goal this year and our Future Ready work which is focused on deeper learning, strong and restorative culture, and inclusionary practices will help us get there.”

Despite the recovery, racial disparities persist. Gaps in scores have increased with white students pulling further ahead. Still, on average, black students are now recovering at a faster pace than white or Hispanic students according to the data. But because they lost more ground than white students, they remain further behind.

A district-level analysis of the first year of pandemic recovery created by The Center for Education Policy at Harvard University can be viewed here.