Bertie ECHS meets AYP

Published 10:14 am Tuesday, August 11, 2009

WINDSOR – Testing news continues to be good for Bertie County Schools.

Last week, the district was informed that the Bertie Early College High School will be recognized as achieving Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) after a meeting of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

Carol Atkins, Executive Director of Educational Programs, said the status was granted after the district filed a waiver form with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI).

“The school wasn’t recognized initially because of the small student population,” Atkins said. “We filed a waiver and that allowed us to show how much progress was made even though the population was small.”

The school had all of the scores to reach AYP, but was not awarded the status because it has less than 40 students.

Atkins said the waiver showed the school was in its first year and that the enrollment for next year is already above 50 students.

After reviewing the waiver, the state approved the school as meeting AYP.

The school reaching AYP is important, according to Bertie County Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Chip Zullinger.

“I think for a fledgling school, it is easier to show they are receiving a good quality education,” Dr. Zullinger said. “From a marketing standpoint, I think it’s certainly good they achieved that outcome.”

The superintendent said he was pleased DPI officials looked past the small number of students and focused on what had been accomplished.

“Once they took into consideration the outcomes and realized they were quality outcomes for students, I think it was an easy decision for them to be recognized for what they did all year long,” he said.

The school is under the leadership of Principal Bobby Occeana.

The principal said he was pleased with the outcomes produced in the first year of the Early College High School.

“I’m pleased, especially when you consider the enrollment last year was very much representative of the demographics of Bertie County Schools,” he said. “We have 60 more kids enrolled this year and we’re still getting calls.”