In the ever-evolving landscape of education, we find moments of celebration and achievement that light our path towards a brighter future. Today, I am delighted to extend my warmest congratulations to New Hanover County Schools (NHCS) students, our Superintendent Dr. Charles Foust, our School Board members, and educators for their exceptional success in exceeding recent academic growth standards. As the CEO of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, I proudly stand alongside our community in applauding NHCS for their commitment to academic excellence, student welfare, teacher support, diversity and inclusion, family engagement, and in developing meaningful community partnerships.
NHCS has embarked on an inspiring journey of academic growth that merits recognition and admiration. Their achievements reflect the collaborative efforts of students, educators, parents, and our entire community, shaping a promising future for New Hanover County’s economic future and the development of a highly skilled workforce.
At the forefront of this success is the remarkable performance of eighteen schools within our county. Notably, Holly Shelter Middle School has secured its place as the fifth-best school for growth in the entire state, holding the distinction of being the number one "Title 1" school. This achievement underscores NHCS educators' dedication to delivering a high-quality education to every student, regardless of their background.
Furthermore, NHCS has made substantial progress in ensuring equitable outcomes for all students. Five schools, including Holly Shelter and Myrtle Grove middle schools, as well as Alderman, Gregory, and Blair elementary schools, have effectively shed their status as low-performing schools. This accomplishment underscores NHCS's commitment to inclusivity and its determination to level the playing field for all students, preparing them for future success in the workforce.
The statewide results for the 2022-23 school year are equally inspiring. Notable improvements in math and reading scores, along with significant reductions in pandemic-related losses, reflect the resilience and adaptability of our students and educators, attributes that will undoubtedly serve them well in the workforce.
In NHCS, the statistics speak volumes. An impressive 36 out of 40 schools met or exceeded growth last year, a substantial increase from the 27 in the previous year. This growth is a testament to NHCS's dedication to ensuring that every student, regardless of their zip code, receives a high-quality, rigorous education, preparing them to become valuable contributors to our local workforce.
As we reflect on these accomplishments, it becomes evident that NHCS is not resting on its laurels. Fourteen schools have raised their letter grades, and eighteen schools have elevated their growth status. NHCS continues to pursue excellence relentlessly, seizing opportunities for improvement with determination.
Amid these accomplishments, we must also celebrate the extension of Superintendent Dr. Charles Foust's contract with NHCS. This decision acknowledges his transformative leadership and dedication to educational excellence. Dr. Foust has rightly acknowledged the pivotal role educators have played in this remarkable achievement. By removing barriers for our teachers, they have been empowered to focus on instruction, leading to these outstanding results. It is heartening to see our educators receive the recognition they genuinely deserve for their dedication and hard work.
In conclusion, the achievements of New Hanover County Schools inspire immense pride within our community. These results demonstrate that when we unite—educators, students, parents, and the business community—we can forge a brighter future for our children and a more prosperous economic future for New Hanover County. I extend my heartfelt congratulations to NHCS for their remarkable achievements and look forward to witnessing even greater successes in the years ahead. The Wilmington Chamber of Commerce remains steadfast in its commitment to supporting our schools on their journey toward excellence, recognizing that an educated and skilled workforce is the bedrock of a thriving community. Together, we will continue building a stronger and more prosperous future for all in New Hanover County.
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