For the first time since South Carolina began issuing school report cards, the Georgetown County School District has earned an “excellent” absolute rating based on student progress.
It is a climb that began in 2010 when the district earned a grade of “average.” Last year, the district improved to a “good” ranking.
The absolute rating is a snapshot of how a school or district is doing by showing its performance for the past year.
The “growth rating” is based on improvement from the previous year. In that category, the district scored “average.”
Patti Hammel, the district’s executive director for Student Performance and Federal Programs, said receiving the excellent rating is “a milestone in reaching the goals for achievement set by the district.”
Georgetown High was the top achiever. The school earned an excellent absolute rating and excellent growth rating. It had an 86.3 percent on-time graduation rate.
Waccamaw High had an on-time graduation rate of 91.2 percent. The school scored an excellent absolute rating and a good growth rate.
Andrews High — where the on-time graduation rate was 82.4 percent — scored an average absolute rating and an excellent growth rate.
Carvers Bay High, which scored a “good” absolute rating in 2011, earned “average” in that category this year. It has an “at-risk” growth rating, meaning the school’s performance fails to meet standards for progress toward the 2020 SC Performance Vision.
In the middle school level, both Waccamaw Middle School and Waccamaw Intermediate School scored excellent in both categories, as did Waccamaw Elementary.
Pleasant Hill Elementary scored a “good” absolute rating.
Hammel also notes the district’s four year graduation rate rose from 83.8 percent to 86.1 percent.
“This greatly exceeds the overall state graduation average of 74.9 percent,” she wrote in a statement. “While we are most thrilled about the growth and overall achievement, we know that there is still room to make gains.”
Hammel said even with the current budget restraints, the district continues “to make sure we are on the ‘cutting edge’ of technology and instructional practices.”
State Superintendent of Education Mick Zais said the state’s all-student graduation rate is at its highest level since 2008 but is below the 78 percent achieved in 2003.
“Students, parents, and teachers deserve the credit for the gains made in graduation rates. The prospects for long-term economic growth and job creation improve as more students graduate from high school with the skills necessary to compete for jobs in the workforce, enlist in the military, or enroll in an institution of higher education,” Zais said.
By Scott Harper
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