Local News

Hoke County High School Cites Academic Progress

Posted August 3, 2007 8:35 p.m. EDT
Updated August 3, 2007 8:49 p.m. EDT

— For years, Hoke County High School battled poor grades, a lack of certified teachers and not enough funding.

It’s on the state's Turnaround List and is identified as a school that needs improvement. But Hoke school officials said significant changes are underway, and staff members said they are already seeing results.

The percentage of students who scored at or above grade level on the state's End of Course exams tripled in biology and doubled in both history and economics.

One of the things teachers did was offer tutoring sessions after hours to the kids who needed it most.

“For my class, it was 72. If they made below a 72 on a test, then they had to stay for a week of tutoring,” said math teacher Chad Hunt.

The school hired curriculum specialists and coaches to help teachers develop lessons and strategies. And the change isn't just academic. Students have had a change of heart, some say.

“I see a lot of changes in the way the students carry themselves, how they influence others,” said physical education teacher Beth Schmitt.

Success in some areas doesn't mean the school’s fight is, though. Hoke High is still on the state list, and scores for math and English have dropped.

School officials said Disadvantaged Student Supplemental Funding has helped them make some gains this year. Last year, Hoke County's share was $1.7 million, and the system used most of the money to hire 25 new teachers to reduce class size, officials said.