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Reagan receives A+ academic rating

Principal+Brad+Royal+celebrates+the+school%27s+outstanding+score+in+the+main+hallway.
Principal Brad Royal celebrates the school's outstanding score in the main hallway.

Principal Brad Royal celebrates the school's outstanding score in the main hallway.

Principal Brad Royal celebrates the school's outstanding score in the main hallway.

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On Sept. 7, the afternoon announcements contained big news for the Raiders: Reagan has been given a school report card grade of A+. Students and staff alike were congratulated and told to celebrate, but many people still do not know what this score means, or the magnitude of the achievement.

The score is given based on a composite of test scores from Math I, Biology, English II, CTE WorkKey scores, ACT scores, a four-year cohort graduation rate, and the rate of growth in these areas. An A+ is given when a school is eligible to receive an A in all areas evaluated. For the first time in the school’s history, Reagan has earned this exemplary rating.

“Reagan’s score has always been a B,” said principal Brad Royal. “I made it my personal goal as well as the school’s goal to become an A school, and we’ve done it. We made a big jump to an A+, and I couldn’t be prouder. There is a real satisfaction in being able to see our student’s and staff’s work pay off, and to see that all of our goals were achieved.”

Teachers in these “Big Three” subjects that went into the scoring have been reevaluating ways they present their classes in order to help students be prepared for the end-of-year exams.

The new teachers provided fresh insights and ideas to improve student growth and I think Anne Kennedy and I, the more seasoned members, were able to share our tried and true methods,” said Helen Wrobel, a biology teacher at Reagan. “I think we are a very dedicated group of educators who spend many hours tutoring and doing our best to engage students in the very relevant of science of biology, and we very pleased to see that our efforts, as well as our students efforts paid off.”

Reagan is one of the only two A+ schools in the district, the other being West Forsyth, which gives insight into how rare it is to receive such high honors. This year, Reagan has taken it a step further and surpassed West in the overall scores, making Reagan the highest performing high school in the district.

“This year, the staff made a series of minor changes to the way they approached teaching that I think really made a difference,” Royal said. “We really focused on having a renewed focus on collaboration between teachers of different subjects to help meet the state standards.”

By studying test results and student data, the staff came together to help create a cohesive plan to enhance students understanding of the material. The emphasis on having the class geared mainly toward the exam material helped the students show strong improvement in their test scores, helping Reagan get an A in the “growth” department.

“It’s so exciting to see the results after all of our hard work this past year,” said Math I teacher Sarah Tate. “We worked in and out of school, working together to make the best lesson plans to help our students, and spending extra time tutoring before and after class.”

But the only thing harder than getting to first place is staying in first place. Royal plans to lead Reagan in another successful year of education and doesn’t plan to rest on his laurels.

This plan involves keeping the excellently trained staff at Reagan, and ensuring that their needs for the classrooms are met, such as time for teaching, resources for their lessons, and support the teachers may need to feel that they can offer the students the best possible education that they can provide.

But teachers cannot be solely responsible for the maintaining of the A+ rating. In the end, it comes down to how the students at Reagan perform at the end of the year and how their scores come out from the exams.

“Our kids have pride in the school and themselves here, and have a whole community backing them,” Royal said. “We aren’t ones to sit back and say, ‘We did it, we can relax now.’ No, we’re going to say, ‘We are Pfafftown. We sure did do it, and you bet we’re going to do it again.’”

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