The success of Waccamaw School : a case study of an anomaly

UNCW Author/Contributor (non-UNCW co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Michael A. Stanley (Creator)
The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW )
Web Site:

Abstract: This study was conducted to find out why and how Waccamaw School has been so successful. This kindergarten through eighth grade school has achieved exceptional success, especially the last six years, which coincidentally is the length of time the state of North Carolina has instituted its ABC’s of public Education Program. The success of this school is an anomaly because it does not fit the criteria most associated with highly achieving schools. This school is over sixty percent free or reduced lunch, the educational background of the parents of these children is low (meaning fewer than fifty percent graduated high school) and the location of the school itself, in a rural area. The achievement gap between white students and minority students is also a variable to consider in the success of this school. When all these factors are taken into consideration, it is understandable why this school is a success anomaly. The qualitative data were obtained from personal interviews conducted from April of 2001 to May of 2002. The primary stakeholders, teachers, students, parents, administrators, classified staff, and community personnel from the school, and members of the central office staff from curriculum and instruction and the testing department also contributed to this study. All stakeholders were asked the same questions and their replies were taped or hand written to be analyzed. The data from this study show that Waccamaw’s success is the product of three basic factors. The unique staff at this school is a huge part of that success, along with a very strong nurturing community. All the stakeholders agreed that the three principles for this school’s success are as follows: (1) Student time on task, (2) the commitment of the faculty to the schools mission, and (3) the support from the community through the school’s parent center and volunteer program.

Additional Information

A Thesis Submitted to the University of North Carolina Wilmington in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Education
Language: English
Date: 2009
School improvement programs--North Carolina--Brunswick County, Schools--Evaluation--North Carolina--Brunswick County, Waccamaw Elementary School--North Carolina--Brunswick County
Waccamaw Elementary School -- North Carolina -- Brunswick County
School improvement programs -- North Carolina -- Brunswick County
Schools -- Evaluation -- North Carolina -- Brunswick County

Email this document to