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Northampton test scores improve

JACKSON – Dr. Kathi Gibson was brought to Northampton County Schools for a reason.

The Northampton County Board of Education wanted an increase in test scores and student achievement.

Preliminary numbers for the 2005-2006 academic year indicate her first year on the job has produced the desired results.

&uot;It is time to celebrate a stellar year in Northampton County Schools,&uot; Dr. Gibson told her board and the gathered crowd Monday evening. &uot;The unofficial test scores in reading and writing are definitely moving in the right direction. That direction is up!&uot;

Dr. Gibson said at the end of her first year, she felt a sense of pride in the accomplishments of students, teachers, principals and the entire instructional team.

&uot;Our students have shown that a lot of hard work took place in 2005-2006,&uot; Dr. Gibson continued. &uot;In analyzing the reading scores, the majority of our elementary and middle schools showed vast improvements, ranging from as high as plus 10.2 points.&uot;

She also indicated writing scores in the county were among the highest in the region, ranking sixth behind such counties as Camden, Currituck, Dare, Gates and Hyde.

&uot;Northampton County’s fourth and seventh grade writing scores are the highest of all the Roanoke Valley schools,&uot; the superintendent added. &uot;The tenth grade scores came in fourteenth in the region. Overall, the improvement in writing ranged from plus-three points at Northampton High School East to plus 42.5 at Willis Hare Elementary School.&uot;

Dr. Gibson added that customarily in the county school system, math scores far exceed reading scores. Unfortunately for the district, math scores will not be released by the state until October.

Dr. Gibson said she was pleased with the hard work that went into seeing the scores improve.

&uot;Congratulations to all of our teachers for their hard work,&uot; she said. &uot;The accomplishments of students in Northampton County rival, if not surpass, those of other students throughout the state.

&uot;On behalf of the Northampton County Schools Board of Education, I say thank you to our employees, to our parents and community,&uot; she added.

For her part, Northampton County Board of Education Chairwoman Catherine Moody was happy with the preliminary reports.

&uot;I am elated,&uot; Moody said. &uot;Our test scores are good and that’s what happens when everybody works together.&uot;

Moody, who was one of the board members who specifically referenced test scores during her support for Gibson’s choice as superintendent, said she was pleased with the result.

&uot;I am especially pleased that we were able to focus enough to hire someone who could head us in the right direction and who had worked hard for our children so they could excel and our test scores could go up,&uot; she added.

Moody also said this year’s test scores were just the beginning of the success the district would see.

&uot;Next year will be even better because we’ll get results from Reading First,&uot; Moody said. &uot;Next year will be the first group that started with the program.

&uot;If we stay focused and keep the people we have doing what they’re doing, next year we’ll continue our improvement and be number one in the region,&uot; Moody closed.