Skip to content Skip to navigation

Orange County Schools Makes Improvement in Growth and Achievement

HILLSBOROUGH, NC 2 SEPTEMBER 2016- On Thursday September 1, 2016, the North Carolina State Board of Education officially released achievement data for North Carolina school districts. The achievement outcomes are a result of the continued efforts by the staff and students of Orange County Schools. Efforts to improve the quality of the learning experience for all students are producing results over the first year of implementation of the district’s new strategic plan.

Growth occurred in the overall number of students who are grade level proficient and gains were made in math and science at all levels. In addition, the district experienced improvements in overall school performance grades.

“I am very proud of our students and staff for their hard work and dedication as well as their openness to change. While we are encouraged by the gains we have made, we are more focused than ever on improving academic achievement for all of our students and working toward closing of achievement gaps that have persisted for too long,” commented Superintendent Dr. Todd Wirt.

Notable improvements experienced by the district include:

The overall number of grade level proficient students increased from 59% in 2014-15 to 62%, which is above state average of 58%. The district jumped in the overall state rankings from 36th to 27th, out of all the 115 public school districts.  Math scores for third through eighth grade students showed growth in proficiency among all student groups. The largest gains in math were experienced by minority students: African-American +7%, Hispanic/Latino by +8%, White +4%, Limited English Proficient +7%, Students with Disabilities +4%, and Economically Disadvantaged +8%. Other important points of improvement are:

  • Math I proficiency grew by 7%, moving OCS from 46th to 14th in Math I state rankings
  • Math proficiency in grades 3-8 grew by 5% and OCS moved from 27th to 16th in End-Of-Grade math state rankings.
  • 11 of 12 schools increased their number of proficient students in math
  • 9 of 12 schools increased their number of proficient students in science
  • Biology proficiency grew by 7%
  • Overall  ACT proficiency grew by 7%, with African American students realizing a 18% gain and Hispanic/Latino students realizing a 10% gain in ACT performance

Orange County Schools is very pleased to announce it has no “Low Performing Schools” as identified by the state guidelines. All Orange County Schools earned a School Performance Grade of C or higher.

Efland-Cheeks Global Elementary School (ECGES) raised its school performance score by 12 points, moving from a D in 2014-15 to a C in 2015-16. ECGES is no longer labeled as low performing by the state. Large gains were experienced at  Efland-Cheeks Global in all areas: reading proficiency increased by 7%, math by 17%,  and science by 24%. “Our staff, our community, and our students are committed to being successful; I’m so proud of the work our school community has done,” said ECGES Principal Kiley Brown.

All schools maintained or increased their letter grade on the school performance grade. Three schools grew by a letter grade. Each of the comprehensive high schools in the district rose from a grade of C to B. Cedar Ridge High School increased its school performance grade by 9 points, and Orange High increased its school performance grade by 6 points.




School Performance Grade


Cameron Park Elementary




Central Elementary




Efland‑Cheeks Global Elementary




Grady A Brown Elementary




Hillsborough Elementary




New Hope Elementary




Pathways Elementary




AL Stanback Middle




CW Stanford Middle




Gravelly Hill Middle




Cedar Ridge High




Orange High




Eleven of twelve schools (91%) met or exceeded growth, compared to 73% state-wide. This is a marked increase over the past 3 years. In 2013-14 only 6 schools met this standard, and in 2014-15 only 10 schools met or exceeded growth.

“The success we experienced this year is a result of the focus and effort of our Board of Education, teachers, administrators, and support staff. We are just in the beginning phases of implementing our strategic plan,” said Dr. Jake Henry, Chief Academic Officer of Orange County Schools. “We know we have more work to do, but we are encouraged by the results so far,” added Dr. Henry.


Seth Stephens, Chief Communications Officcer

200 E. King St. Hillsborough, NC 27278


orange county schools news logo