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Parent Letter for Low Performing Schools

Dear Parent/Guardian: October 25, 2016

I hope the school year has started successfully for all of you. The General Assembly has finalized the budget and the Governor has signed it into law. As a part of the budget bill, the General Assembly has made some changes to the definition of a "Low Performing School", added a new definition and criteria for the "Low Performing District" and has given some specific guidance and direction to these schools and districts. As a parent/guardian of a student in Hunters Creek Middle School, I am writing this letter to let you know that Hunters Creek Middle School, has been designated as a low performing school by the North Carolina State Board of Education. As defined in G.S. 115C-105.37: "The State Board of Education shall design and implement a procedure to identify low-performing schools on an annual basis. Low-performing schools are those that receive a school performance grade of D or F and a school growth score of "met expected growth" or "not met expected growth" as defined by G.S. 115C-83.15."

The School Performance Grades are based on student achievement (80%) and growth (20%). The indicators and the proficiency standard or benchmark used for achievement include:

1. Annual EOG mathematics and reading assessments in grades 3-8 and science assessments in grades 5 and 8 (Level 3 and above)
2. Annual EOC assessments in Math I, Biology, and English II (Level 3 and above)
3. The percentage of graduates who complete Math III, Algebra II, or Integrated Math III with a passing grade
4. The percentage of grade 11 students who achieve the minimum score required for admission into a constituent institution of The University of North Carolina on The ACT (composite score of 17)
5. The percentage of graduates identified as Career and Technical Education concentrators who meet the Silver Certificate or higher on the ACT WorkKeys assessment
6. The percentage of students who graduate within four years of entering high school (Standard [4-Year] Cohort Graduation Rate)

Hunters Creek Middle School received a D for the school performance grade and "Met Growth" in growth status and as a low performing school, is required to develop an improvement plan that specifically addresses how the school will improve both the school performance grade and school growth score. The plan will also include how the superintendent and other central office administrators in the district will work with us and monitor the progress of our school. We are already engaged in the work of refining our plan and will present the plan to our school board at their next meeting, November 1; 1:15-2:00 in the Family Education and Professional Development Center at the Onslow County Schools District Office. After the initial approval by our board of education, we will submit the plan to the State Board of Education for review. The State Board's designee, staff members of NCDPI's District and School Transformation division, will read each plan and provide feedback to the school. After considering the feedback from the state, our local board of education will give final approval to the plan so that the final plan for improvement can be posted on our local district website as well as the NCDPI's website ( ).

Our school is focused on continuous improvement and I look forward to working with each of you as we continue to focus on providing the best education for our children. Please don't hesitate to contact me with any specific questions as we move through this process.

Joycelyn T. Cassidy