While the 2011-2012 ABCs of Public Education Accountability Report showed some local schools in Lincoln County struggled on the assessment that was released last week, that wasn’t the case for Lincoln Charter School.
LCS received the Honor School of Excellence level of recognition for the third consecutive year — the highest ranking possible on the assessment.
To receive the title, the school must score highly on the criteria on which it’s graded — Annual Measurable Objectives, whether it improved from the previous year’s scores and how the students performed on the tests they took within the allotted school year.
Lincoln Charter met all of its objectives, or targets, had high growth from last year and 93.3 percent of its students performed at or above their grade level, 3 percent higher than the required 90 percent to be included in the highest rank. Only seven other K-12 establishments in the state were recognized at the highest level, according to Lincoln Charter officials.
The school’s 100 percent graduation rate helped bump the county up to 86.4 percent, from last year’s 81.5, and surpassing the state rate of 80.2 percent of North Carolina students who graduate from high school.
Sixty LCS seniors graduated last school year, and received more than $7.7 million in scholarships.
LCS Elementary Denver Principal Christy Hutchinson believes the diverse and large amount of programs the school offers contributed to the high success of the students, while also helping them develop character and community commitment, she said.
In grades K-8, students are taught from the North Carolina Standard Course of Study and Core Knowledge from a national curriculum plan, Hutchinson said. Core Knowledge focuses literature, music, the arts and critical thinking skills, to broaden the students’ knowledge beyond the basic subjects.
Another aspect that separates charter children from other county students is the Learn, Serve and Engage Program, Hutchinson said. Students are required to give back to the community through service-learning projects.
The use of technology in every classroom and the funding to make that possible are among the factors LCS Chief Administrator Dave Machado credits to the school’s high performance the last few years.
All high school students at Lincoln Charter have personal laptop computers that they transport from home to their classrooms — a technology tool to, school officials hope, help students become more technologically literate.
An environment of supportive parents, teachers and students keeps the school successful, Hutchinson said, and helps educate the students to become active members of society after they leave LCS.