• Gaston County Schools Facts and Figures

    Gaston County Schools is fully accredited by AdvancED and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools as a quality school system. Each school is also fully accredited.

    ■ Among the ten largest school districts in North Carolina with approximately 31,500 students (pre-kindergarten through high school)

    ■ Provides a comprehensive educational program with outstanding opportunities for students in academics, athletics, fine arts, career and technical education, and extracurricular activities

    ■ Second largest employer in Gaston County with more than 3,700 full-time and part-time employees, including 1,950 classroom teachers

    Number of Schools
    Elementary/Primary Schools – 29
    Intermediate School – 1
    Middle Schools – 11
    High Schools – 11
    Special Needs School – 1
    Alternative School – 1

    Virtual School (Grades 4-9) - 1

    TOTAL – 55 

    Student Enrollment for 2018-2019
    Grades K-5 – 14,206
    Grades 6-8 – 7,318
    Grades 9-12 – 9,592
    Total (K-12) – 31,116
    Pre-Kindergarten – 368
    TOTAL (Pre-Kindergarten - High School) – 31,484

    Student Ethnic Distribution for 2018-2019
    22.7 % – African American
    0.2 % – American Indian
    1.5 % – Asian
    56.6 % – Caucasian
    14.0 % – Hispanic
    4.9 % – Multiracial
    0.1 % – Hawaiian or Pacific Islander

    ■ High School Graduation Rate
    Beginning with the Class of 2018, the state changed the way it calculates the graduation rate, which resulted in our rate being slightly lower than last year.  Despite the change in calculation, six high schools still achieved a graduation rate that exceeds 90 percent.  When the state first calculated the graduation rate in 2006, Gaston County was at a mere 68.1 percent.
         

          2018 – GCS Graduation Rate – 85.6
          2017 – GCS Graduation Rate – 88.3
          2016 – GCS Graduation Rate – 88.0 
          2015 – GCS Graduation Rate – 86.3 
          2014 – GCS Graduation Rate – 83.5
          2013 – GCS Graduation Rate – 81.2
          2012 – GCS Graduation Rate – 77.8 
          2011 – GCS Graduation Rate – 75.4 
          2010 – GCS Graduation Rate – 72.0 
          2009 – GCS Graduation Rate – 70.0 
          2008 – GCS Graduation Rate – 72.3 
          2007 – GCS Graduation Rate – 71.2 
          2006 – GCS Graduation Rate – 68.1
     
    Click here for more information about the graduation rate.  
     
    ■ High School Graduates – Class of 2018
    ▪ Number of graduates: 2,283 
    ▪ Scholarship money offered to graduates: More than $58.6 million (This is an all-time record amount for Gaston County Schools.)
    ▪ Approximately 1,300 academic, athletic, and merit scholarships were offered to our graduates
     
    Click here for the Class of 2018 valedictorians and salutatorians.
    Click here for seniors in the Class of 2018 who achieved perfect attendance. 
     
    High School Dropout Rate
    The dropout rate for Gaston County Schools remains low. Over the past six years, the number of high school dropouts in Gaston County has decreased significantly from 450 in 2010-2011 to 228 in 2016-2017.
     
                                     Gaston Rate      State Rate 
          2016-2017            2.21                     2.31
          2015-2016            2.29                     2.29
          2014-2015            2.02                     2.39
          2013-2014            1.84                     2.28
          2012-2013            1.61                     2.45
          2011-2012            3.43                     3.01
          2010-2011            4.46                     3.43
          2009-2010            4.43                     3.75
          2008-2009            5.60                     4.27
          2007-2008            5.69                     4.97
          2006-2007            6.29                     5.24
     
    ■ Student Achievement
    For 2017-2018, our overall student proficiency rate increased slightly when compared to the previous year.  Since the state implemented new testing standards in 2013-2014, Gaston's rate has gone up almost six points, increasing from 50.2 to 56.0.
     
          • 43 of 49 schools (87.8 percent) met or exceeded academic growth 
          • Elementary schools made the most significant gains on student proficiency with 18 schools seeing an increase.  
          • The SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) average score for Gaston County Schools is 1063 (based on 1600 scoring range).
           
    Click here for more information about student achievement.
     
    ■ School Safety 
    Outstanding school safety record for Gaston County Schools – Of the ten largest school districts in the state, we continue to have one of the lowest school crime rates.  Our rate is the lowest among the 11 Charlotte-area school districts.  
          ▪ Lower incidents of crime than the state average
          ▪ Gaston County Schools average – 3.614 incidents of crime per 1,000 students
          ▪ State average – 6.48 incidents of crime per 1,000 students
          ▪ Gaston's school crime rate has been significantly lower than the state rate for the past eight years.
          ▪ School resource officers serve all schools
          ▪ Schools are equipped with camera, visitor check-in, and buzz-in entry systems to enhance safety.
     
    Students receiving Special Services
    Academically and Intellectually Gifted (AIG) – 3,258
    Special Needs Children – 4,649

    Computers and Technology
    ▪ More than 47,350 computing devices (desktop and laptop computers, Chromebooks and tablets) are in use in Gaston County Schools.

    ▪ Number of SMART Boards, SMART Panels and LCD Displays in GCS classrooms – 2,263

    ▪ Student-to-computer ratio – 1.2 students to 1 mobile device

    ▪ All schools have wireless Internet access

    Bus Transportation
    Gaston County Schools operates one of the safest bus transportation fleets in the state.

               Total Number of Students Transported Daily – 16,500
               Miles Traveled Daily – 12,000
               Number of School Buses – 210 
               Number of Activity Buses – 47
               Gallons of fuel used per week - 15,000 

    School Nutrition
    The Gaston County Schools nutrition program serves healthy, well-balanced breakfast and lunch meals each day in our 54 school cafeterias. Our cafeterias take pride in serving delicious and nutritious meals that include fresh fruits and vegetables grown at home in North Carolina. All cafeterias maintain a grade A sanitation rating.

          Breakfasts Served Daily – 9,000
          Breakfasts Served Annually – 1.5 million
          Lunches Served Daily – 21,000
          Lunches Served Annually – 3.7 million
          Percent of students who receive meals at no cost or a reduced price – more than 65%

    English as a Second Language (ESL) Program
    The Gaston County Schools International Center located at the former Forest Heights Elementary School in Gastonia assists linguistically diverse students and their families.

    ▪ Number of students identified as Limited English Proficient (LEP) – 1,653
    ▪ Number of students identified as Immigrant Students (Students born in another country and who have lived in the United States three years or less) – 245
    ▪ Different languages spoken by students in Gaston County Schools – 51
    ▪ Number of English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers – 30 
     
    Magnet Schools and Special Academic Programs

    ▪ Highland School of Technology – Grades 9-12
    ▪ Gaston Early College High School – Grades 9-13
    ▪ Career Academy at Hunter Huss High School – Grades 9-12
    ▪ Gaston County Virtual Academy – Grades 4-9
    ▪ STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) Academy at Stanley Middle School – Grades 6-8  
    ▪ Hawks Nest STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) Academy – Grades K-5
    ▪ Gifted and Talented Academy at Pleasant Ridge Elementary School – Grades K-5 

    For more information about Gaston County Schools, please contact the Communications/Public Information Department, (704) 866-6118.