Guilford County Schools holds annual State of Our Schools event

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HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Hundreds of people packed into the High Point Theatre Tuesday to hear what's going on with Guilford County Schools at its annual State of Our Schools event.

Teachers and administrators highlighted both successes and challenges faced by the district during 2015.

"Our goal is to meet children where they are and develop them into well-rounded individuals, ready for college, career, and life," said Reverend Amos Quick, III, vice-chairman of the Board of Education.

One major accomplishment last year was the school district being chosen as a partner with nonprofit Say Yes to Education which provides free tuition to GCS students to any in-state college or university.

So far $35 million has been raised for the program.

Other triumphs include the school district setting a new record for high school graduation rates which rose .8 percent in 2015.

Also, more than a third of GCS students passed college-level courses and exams last year.

But there were also challenges like disappointing End of Grade test results where reading scores were flat throughout the district.

District officials also say many schools are using out-of-date books due to cuts in state funding.

"So many of our high schoolers are using books that are older than they are," said Dr. Nora Carr, chief of staff.

Another struggle in 2015 was keeping quality teachers despite low salaries.

"That's just not acceptable,” Carr said. “We can do better than that."

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