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Annual Report Cards Bring "EXCELLENT" News; DCSD Rated 5th Highest District In The State

(November 10, 2011) -- The Darlington County School District and eleven district schools earned EXCELLENT absolute report card ratings, according to the annual school and district report cards released today by the South Carolina Department of Education. Six district schools improved their ratings and fifty percent of the schools in the school district are now rated Excellent. In terms of overall academic performance, the Darlington County School District ranks 5th out of the state’s 86 districts

“We are extremely pleased with today’s report,” said Dr. Rainey Knight, superintendent for the district. “It has taken a great deal of blood, sweat and tears to get to this point. It has been a team effort: board members, teachers, bus drivers, administrators, and custodians. Every one has played a part in raising the level of academic achievement in our district. In addition, we are very fortunate to have high quality, dedicated teachers who truly believe every child is important. We have tried to provide more focus on meeting the individual academic needs of our children."

Ratings formulas based on student achievement levels are set by the Education Oversight Committee, created by the General Assembly to guide implementation of South Carolina’s Education Accountability Act of 1998. Schools receive Absolute ratings – Excellent, Good, Average, Below Average, or At-Risk – based on how their students perform on the Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (PASS). Excellent is the highest rating a school or district can earn.

SCHOOL - 2011 ABSOLUTE RATING

Brockington Elementary School - Average

Brunson-Dargan Elementary School - Average

Cain Elementary School - Excellent

Carolina Elementary School - Excellent

Darlington County Institute of Technology - Excellent

Darlington High School - Good

Darlington Middle School - Average

Hartsville High School - Excellent

Hartsville Middle School - Average

Lamar Elementary - Excellent

Lamar High - Excellent

Mayo High School for Math, Science & Technology - Excellent

N. Hartsville Elementary School - Excellent

Pate Elementary School - Excellent

Rosenwald Elementary/Middle School - Below Average/At-Risk (Rosenwald received 2 grades - one for the elementary, one for the middle school)

Southside Early Childhood Center - Excellent

Spaulding Elementary School - Average

Spaulding Middle School - Average

St. John's Elementary School - Average

Thornwell School for the Arts - Average

Washington St. Elementary School - Excellent

W. Hartsville Elementary School - Average

DARLINGTON COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT - Excellent

In addition to state and federal ratings required by EAA and the federal No Child Left Behind Act, report card data also include student-teacher ratios, dollars spent per student, absentee rates for students and teachers, amount of instructional time, average teacher salaries and the socio-economic status of students’ families.

The report cards show that poverty levels in South Carolina, measured by a calculation based on the percentage of students receiving Medicaid and/or reduced meal plans, continue to increase. Darlington County School District has a poverty index of 81.82%, the highest poverty rating of any school district to earn an “Excellent”.

Statewide, districts generally maintained or improved their absolute accountability ratings from 2010. Twenty districts improved their ratings by one category with two districts improving their ratings by two category levels. Nine districts experienced a decline in their absolute ratings, all by one category. The other 57 districts maintained their ratings from 2010.

The Darlington County School District’s graduation rates are on the rise as well. The district’s on-time graduation rate, as determined by the South Carolina Department of Education, is 88.4 percent, almost 18 percentage points higher than the state’s overall on-time graduation rate of 73.6 percent.

Mayo High School for Math, Science & Technology had a 100% graduation rate and tied for highest graduation rate in the state. Lamar High School’s 94.5 graduation rate means it is the seventh highest graduation rate among South Carolina’s 216 high schools. Hartsville High’s 88% on time graduation rate placed them 17th in the state. Darlington High School’s 84.41% on time graduation exceeded the state average by more than 10.5 percentage points, placing them in the top 20% of high school graduation rates.

“While we are celebrating today, we also recognize we still have much to do and we still have a great deal of improvement to make,” said Knight. “I am confident our district can continue to improve and continue to provide our children with an excellent education.”

To see all the school and district report cards, visit http://ed.sc.gov/data/report-cards/2011.

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