Special to Iredell Free News

Iredell-Statesville Schools showed improvement during the 2022-2023 school year with 19 of 37 schools meeting or exceeding year-to-year academic growth expectations and 25 schools increasing their overall growth score.

The N.C. Department of Public Instruction release the latest performance data on Wednesday.

Superintendent Jeff James

These gains are a clear indication of the great work happening at schools around the district, I-SS officials said in a news release.

“Every time I walk into one of our schools I witness our teachers, students, and staff members working incredibly hard to offer individualized instruction to each of our 20,000 students,” I-SS Superintendent Jeff James said.  “I am excited to celebrate the accomplishments both in performance and growth.”

The district is committed to leading, learning, and winning together. The theme comes in response to Administrative Day held in the summer where the school and district leaders embraced the idea of working together as Team I-SS.

“It is so important that we refocus the way we are leading, join together to learn how to make more gains in our academic and growth performance of our students, and celebrate our successes every chance we get,” James said.


For the second year in a row, the Collaborative College for Technology & Leadership, Crossroads Arts & Science Early College, and Woodland Heights Middle School exceeded academic growth.

Nearly 70% of all schools in Iredell-Statesville increased their overall growth scores from the 2021-2022 school year to the 2022-2023 school year.

In response to the release of the performance data, Chief Elementary Academic Officer Jonathan Ribbeck celebrated the success but recognized the work ahead.

“I’m happy about our growth,” Ribbeck said. “However, we know there is still work to be done, but we are up for the challenge.”


The number of schools meeting or exceeding growth expectations is up from the previous year by five schools. While this is an improvement, the district will continue to put strategies in place to meet the learning achievement gaps.

The Curriculum and Instruction Division is focused on rigor, relevance, and relationships. This implementation is in conjunction with the partnerships with Bill Daggett and Baruti Kafele.

“It always starts with relationships,” Ribbeck said. “Research shows that if students are challenged, if the students find value in what they are learning, and the teacher builds a relationship with the student, then they will improve.”

These relationships are not limited to those in the classroom. Teachers and school leaders use professional learning communities to share their successes and plans with their peers.

“We are refocusing on our PLC processes to ensure what we are teaching matches the depths of the North Carolina State Standards,” explained Kelly Cooper, chief secondary academic officer.

In addition to this focus, all schools will continue to follow the Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) processes that create individualized improvement plans for each student and implement
their school improvement plan to address raising achievement and closing gaps. Elementary schools have placed LETRS practices into place in K-2, which showed significant progress made on
K-3 reading in Iredell-Statesville Schools. This success was recognized at a recent North Carolina Board of Education meeting by Superintendent Catherine Truitt. Secondary schools will move
forward with the school-wide implementation of Lexia Learning. This reading intervention program meets students where they are based on the science of reading.

“Last year we piloted Lexia Learning with small groups in several of our middle schools. After seeing some really good gains, we are excited to implement this strategy school-wide,” Cooper said.


● The Iredell-Statesville Schools 4-year cohort graduation rate for the 2022-2023 school year was 87.8%, which is higher than the state average of 86.4%. The district’s 5-year cohort graduation rate was 90.1%. This 5-year rate includes second-year seniors from the early colleges.

● Two schools in Iredell-Statesville Schools were removed from the underperforming list according to the 2022-2023 data. Scotts Elementary School moved from a growth index for
the 2021-2022 school year of -4.11 and not meeting growth to a growth index for the 2022-2023 school year of .90 and meeting growth. Union Grove Elementary moved from a
growth index for the 2021-2022 school year of -2.06 and not meeting growth to a growth index for the 2022-2023 school year of .43 and meeting growth.

● Six schools in Iredell-Statesville increased their Letter Grade.
–  Agriculture & Science Early College moved from a B to an A.
– Coddle Creek Elementary moved from a C to a B.
– Cool Spring Elementary moved from a C to a B.
– Lake Norman Elementary moved from a C to a B.
– Scotts Elementary moved from a D to a C.
– Union Grove Elementary moved from a D to a C.

● Iredell-Statesville Schools made great gains in End-of-Grade Tests. Fourth-grade reading made the highest gain going from 54.6% proficiency in 2021-2022 to 57.9% proficiency in 2022-2023. Fifth-grade math made notable gains to 57.8% proficiency, up 2.7% proficiency from the year before at 55.1%. NC Math 3 made a 3.1% proficiency gain going from 56.2% proficiency in 2021-2022 to 59.3% proficiency for the 2022-2023 school year.

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