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No longer in last place

JACKSON – There are 115 school districts in North Carolina, and Northampton County Schools used to occupy that 115th spot in terms of academics.

But the local district proudly announced this week that recent data results from North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) show that they’ve improved three spots up to 112.

“Despite the disruption caused by the pandemic, it was imperative that we remained focused and committed to closing learning gaps and to improving student skill deficits,” said Northampton County Schools Superintendent Dr. Pamela Chamblee in a press release provided to the News Herald.

Chamblee commended students, teachers, staff, and parents for working hard throughout the pandemic to ensure access to education continued. Teachers, for example, had time for tutoring and one-on-one sessions during office hours.

“The research-based strategies really paid off in a major way for our students,” Chamblee continued.

The superintendent credited getting students back in the classrooms and individually tailoring learning to student needs as part of the district’s improvement.

“Some of our students returned to the building in March and were eager to learn as they were greeted with open arms and smiles,” she said.

While acknowledging the achievement of improving, Chamblee also emphasized that there’s still “a lot of room to grow” and they remain dedicated to providing the education that each child deserves.

She noted that federal grant money received by the district, totaling $14 million, will be used to provide more learning experiences and a safe learning environment. The new career and college academy program being developed at the former NCHS-East site in Creeksville will be one of those new opportunities for students. It’s scheduled to open next semester.

“I am so proud of the care and focus that our staff and teachers have given to students to help with their academic success. I am also proud of our parents who stepped up and ensured their child was available for learning. It is an awesome feeling to work along with amazing people who can show grace even during a pandemic,” Chamblee concluded.