Principal’s letter about Balfour’s School Report Card

Dear Balfour Parent(s)/Guardian(s):

Once a year the state of North Carolina provides you with updates on your school’s achievements through the North Carolina School Report Card – which includes important information about school and student performance, class sizes, attendance, school safety, instructional resources, and teacher quality. There also is information about how our school measured against federal Annual Measurable Objectives (AMO) targets in our school.

The N.C. General Assembly requires that schools receive individual letter grades, which are comprised of student achievement and growth on state standardized assessments. However, North Carolina Alternative Learning Schools follow a different accountability model that compare student performance from the previous year. Each Alternative school is measured as (1) Improving, (2) Maintaining, or (3) Declining. Based upon last year’s student results, Balfour has been designated as Maintaining.

We believe that school accountability is very important, and we are striving to move from Maintaining to Improving;however, there have been some fascinating student achievements that are not considered in our current state accountability models.

We are driven by our school motto, “The Day After Graduation,” which simply means that we place intentional emphasis on developing a plan for each student so they know what direction they will proceed when they complete high school. From last year’s graduation class of 80 graduates, 30 graduates earned college credits. This year, 40% of Balfour’s Juniors and Seniors are currently enrolled in college level classes. The success rate of our students has fostered a partnership with Blue Ridge Community College that allows our students to begin learning skills and taking BRCC courses that lead directly to college level certifications that directly transfer into diploma and degree programs.

Because of the enormous success of this partnership, our County Commissioners have funded the construction of the Innovative High Schools located on the campus of BRCC. Next year, Balfour Education Center will close and reopen as the Innovative High School Career Academy, opening even more opportunities for the students of Henderson County Public Schools.

We are very excited about the future of the Innovative High School and the many opportunities that it will offer to our students. We believe that we are establishing an educational model that will be an example for others to follow. We are especially appreciative to Blue Ridge Community College for their support and willingness to share their instructors, facilities, and other resources in developing a truly innovative approach to education.

Sincerely,

Kent Parent
Principal
Balfour Education Center