Carver shows highest growth among H.S.

Carver shows highest growth among H.S.
September 20
05:00 2018

Just two years after it was tagged as one of the lowest performing schools in the state, Carver High School showed more growth than any other high school in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools district and exceeded expectations, according to the N.C. Accountability Report released a few weeks ago.

Since the 2013-2014 school year, the State Board of Education has used the READY Accountability report to access schools performance across the state. School performance grades (A-F) are calculated using a weighted model of 80 percent achievement and 20 percent growth. The report also includes schools expected growth rate was “not met,” “met” or “exceeded.”

In the initial report released in the summer of 2015, Carver was one of 11 schools in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools system tagged as a “priority school” by the state and in need of reform.

This year’s report tells a totally different story. The report shows Carver has a school growth index of 6.45, the second highest growth rate in the entire district and more than 2 percentage points higher than most high schools in the area.

And for the second year in a row, Carver Nation has exceeded expected growth.

Dr. Carol Montague-Davis, principal at Carver, said the growth rate is a direct result of a hardworking faculty and staff who are willing to go above and beyond the normal call of duty to help students in need.

“The teachers that we have here are committed to our students and willing to go beyond in order to meet their needs,” she said.

Montague-Davis said since last summer when she was named principal at Carver for the second time, they have implemented several programs to support students including after-school tutoring, Saturday tutoring  and credit recovery. She said it’s important that students have the support they need to succeed and the confidence to want to succeed. 

“If you build that relationship with students and have them believing in themselves and show them that you believe in them, then they will do everything that they can for you,” said Montague-Davis. “… I’m constantly talking to them asking them how they feel and encouraging them to be leaders. I tell them high school is about you, it’s not about us, so how do we make this the best experience you can have.”

The same confidence Montague-Davis instills in the students in the hallways has carried over into the classroom. Cecelia Tolliver, who has taught at Carver since 2012, said students are becoming more confident in the classroom and it’s showing in the test scores. She said it feels good to know that so much has changed in such a short period of time.

“I’ve been here for six years, so I remember when we were 9 percent proficiency, and that’s not a good feeling. So seeing the changes that we’ve put in place and seeing the kids grow and build their mindset give us a good feeling,” she said. “… That’s a huge jump in two years. We went from 9 to almost a “C” in two years, so it feels good.

“It feels that your work is vindicated and it feels good for the kids. We’ve got great kids, and those kids are starting to believe in themselves again.”

Carver also showed an increase in the number of students passing Math 3. The 2017-2018 report showed nearly 85 percent of Carver graduates were proficient in the N.C. Math 3 course. Ebony Jason, who teaches math, said the Math Department is encouraging students to take more rigorous math courses to build their confidence and prepare them for college.

And it’s paying off. Jason said the department has had to change the math schedule several times because more and more students have been requesting honors courses.

“The idea is that if we can give them small successes in that freshman math course, then we get kids requesting Honors Math 2 and Honors Math 3,” she said. “… They feel that sense of success. They feel like if they can do it in Math I, then they can do it in 2 and 3 and keep going. In the long run we’re hoping we can do away with a lot of our foundational courses in math and just stick to the rigorous courses our kids need to go to college.”

Although they’re celebrating the progress they’ve made so far, Montague-Davis said there is still work to be done at Carver Nation. Despite exceeding expected growth, Carver still received a school performance grade of “D.” The report shows Carver was only two points away from receiving a “C.”

Montague-Davis said they will continue to build on the programs that are already in place and add others that have been proven to make a difference.

She said she also wants the students to continue that strong tradition of Carver Pride.

“We want them to be proud to be a Jacket. We want them to be proud to be a part of Carver Nation. Carver has that strong tradition of pride among themselves and that pride is getting stronger,” said Montague-Davis. “… Carver is on the move. This year our theme is ‘We’re going to another level. We’re leveling up.’”

Go to to see the N.C. Accountability Report of schools across the district.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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