PICTURES: North Belmont Academic Growth Celebration
VIDEO: North Belmont Academic Growth Celebration
North Belmont celebration brings attention to academic growth and student achievement
Faculty and staff at North Belmont Elementary came together on October 26 to celebrate the school’s outstanding academic growth. Teachers and staff along with students who are members of the school’s safety patrol participated in an afterschool ceremony and reception to bring attention to student achievement on the 2021-2022 end-of-grade state tests.
During the celebration, the following achievements were highlighted:
▪ North Belmont is one of five elementary schools to exceed its overall academic growth expectations, which includes exceeding growth in both math and reading.
▪ North Belmont is among the top six elementary schools with the highest student proficiency rate. Collectively, nearly two-thirds of the students at North Belmont scored either at grade level or above grade level on the reading, math, and science state tests.
▪ North Belmont has the second highest improvement in student proficiency among the elementary schools, gaining 10.3 points over the previous year.
▪ North Belmont is only two points away from achieving the next level on the school performance grades scale.
▪ North Belmont is the only elementary school to be achieving at a higher level now than before the pandemic; this is significant because of learning loss that occurred as a result of the pandemic.
According to principal Justin Beam, there are two parts to answering the question he is often asked: What is the secret to North Belmont achieving significant academic growth and proficiency?
“First, it takes a dedicated staff that loves and cares for the students to ensure they are taught the state standards with rigor and relevance,” Beam said. “Our staff is not afraid to change their teaching practices to adapt and accommodate the needs of our students. Most of all, it takes a staff that cares for the individual welfare of each student and has the desire to see each student succeed.”
The second part, Beam says, is about the students at North Belmont.
“It takes students who care about their education and are hungry to learn new information,” said Beam. “Our students have a drive and curiosity to accept new challenges, and they take the information and apply it to their everyday lives.”
His sentiment was echoed by North Belmont PTO president Erica Bleffer, who has two third graders at the school. “My children are thriving. I drop my children off daily knowing that they’re going to get a quality education that will set them up for success in middle school, high school, and whatever lies beyond,” said Bleffer.
Fifth grader Mariam Elasmar says she loves coming to school every day. “The teachers here are fun and amazing. They care for us like we’re their own children, and they help us learn new things every day. It’s so easy to learn when things are fun because it helps the lessons stick more,” said Elasmar.
Making the lessons “stick” is what it’s all about, according to teacher Jamie Gunter.
“As our principal, Mr. Beam lets us know that anything is possible so we passionately tell our students that anything is possible, and they believe it and prove it,” said Gunter. “Hard work, intentionality, and passion are the keys to being successful. We have multiplied that success because we consistently meet the needs of every child, and we believe that every child can find success.”
During the ceremony, Beam accepted a large plaque from the Board of Education in recognition of the school’s academic accomplishments. Additionally, the safety patrol students showed off a motivational poster that was created for the school. A copy of the poster will hang in each classroom; the poster features a cartoon-looking eagle mascot and the slogan, “Ready to soar even higher.”
The ceremony was recorded, and it will air on Spectrum Channel 21, the education TV station for Gaston County Schools, the week of November 7-13 at 10:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 9:00 p.m. Repeat airings will be scheduled over the next month.