Facts and Figures

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.

■ Ninth largest school district in North Carolina with more than 32,000 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
TOTAL – 54
 
Student Enrollment for 2016-2017
Grades K-5 – 14,541
Grades 6-8 – 6,883
Grades 9-12 – 10,075
Total (K-12) – 31,499
Pre-Kindergarten – 539
TOTAL (Pre-Kindergarten - High School) – 32,038

Student Ethnic Distribution for 2016-2017
21.9 % – African American
0.2 % – American Indian
1.4 % – Asian
59.6 % – Caucasian
12.3 % – Hispanic
4.5 % – Multiracial
0.1 % – Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
 
■ High School Graduation Rate
The graduation rate for the Class of 2016 is the highest ever for Gaston County Schools.  Our rate has increased 19.9 points since the state first calculated the graduation rate in 2006. 
     
      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 2016
▪ Number of graduates: 2,195 
▪ Scholarship money offered to graduates: More than $53 million (a record amount for a graduating class)
▪ Approximately 1,400 academic, athletic and merit scholarships were offered to our graduates
         Academic Scholarships – More than $48.6 million
                   Military – More than $1.4 million
                   Fine Arts – More than $484,000
        Athletic Scholarships – More than $4.4 million
 
Click here for the Class of 2016 scholarship report. 
Click here for the Class of 2016 valedictorians and salutatorians.
Click here for seniors in the Class of 2016 who achieved perfect attendance. 
 
High School Dropout Rate
The dropout rate for Gaston County Schools remains low. Over the past five years, the number of high school dropouts in Gaston County has decreased significantly from 450 in 2010-2011 to 235 in 2015-2016.
 
                                 Gaston Rate      State Rate 
      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
 
Click here for more information about the dropout rate.
 
■ Student Achievement
For the 2015-2016 academic year, Gaston County Schools posted a 2.5 point increase in the percentage of students achieving overall proficiency on end-of-grade and end-of-course state tests when compared to the 2014-2015 year.
 
      • 42 of 50 schools (84 percent) met or exceeded academic growth 
      • Middle and high schools (grades 6-12) made the most significant progress on academic growth  
      • The SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) average score for Gaston County Schools is 1425
       
Click here for more information about student achievement and click here for more information about the SAT results.
 
■ School Safety 
Outstanding school safety record for Gaston County Schools – Of the ten largest school districts in the state, we have the lowest school crime rate.  
      ▪ Lower incidents of crime than the state average
      ▪ Gaston County Schools average – 3.740 incidents of crime per 1,000 students
      ▪ State average – 6.62 incidents of crime per 1,000 students
      ▪ Gaston's school crime rate has been significantly lower than the state rate for the past seven years.
      ▪ School resource officers serve all 54 schools
      ▪ Schools are equipped with camera, visitor check-in, and buzz-in entry systems to enhance safety.
 
Click here for more information about school safety and the school crime rate. 
 
Students receiving Special Services
Academically and Intellectually Gifted (AIG) – 2,979 
Special Needs Children – 4,534

Computers and Technology
▪ More than 39,300 computing devices (desktop and laptop computers, Chromebooks and tablets) are in use in Gaston County Schools.
▪ More than 5,300 new computing devices were added for the 2014-2015 school year, including two carts of Chromebook computers (30 per cart) at each school.
▪ In December 2015, more than 4,300 Chromebook computers for schools were purchased with $1.1 million made available from the county through the CaroMont Lease Proceeds Task Force. 
▪ Number of SMART Boards in GCS classrooms – 2,301
▪ Student-to-computer ratio – 1.6 students to 1 mobile device
▪ All 54 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 – 8,800
      Breakfasts Served Annually – 1.5 million
      Lunches Served Daily – 21,500
      Lunches Served Annually – 3.8 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) – 1,440
▪ Number of students identified as Immigrant Students (Students born in another country and who have lived in the United States three years or less) – 203
▪ Number of students identified as National Origin Minority Students (Students whose native language is a language other than English) – 3,765
▪ Different languages spoken by students in Gaston County Schools – 38
▪ Number of English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers – 31
 
Magnet Schools and Special Academic Programs
Highland School of Technology – Grades 9-12
Gaston Early College High School – Grades 9-13
Career Academy Program at Hunter Huss High School – Grades 9-12  
Hawks Nest STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) Academy – Grades K-5
 
For more information about Gaston County Schools, please contact the Communications/Public Information Department, (704) 866-6118.
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