The SC Department of Education released the 2018-2019 S.C. School Report Cards last Tuesday. These annually report cards measure district and state trends performance during the 2018-2019 school years. They are the second iterations of report cards that meet the requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act passed in 2015.

The data also shows ratings on seven out of ten key report card indicators, which contain information about the student’s growth, performance, English language proficiency, graduation rates, student engagement, classroom learning environments and school safety.

Schools receive descriptive overall ratings of Excellent, Good, Average, Below Average and Unsatisfactory based on a 100-point scale. The report card breaks down the accommodated data school locally, state and federal per-pupil expenditure data, and the first report cards to contain this information as part of a new federal requirement.  Superintendent Dr. H. Randall Dozier says that he is happy of the overall improvement in the school district and excited that no schools were rated unsatisfactory.

"We were excited by that, we still got work to do but anytime their making progress and moving forward its positive" said Dozier.

12 of 19 schools moved up numerically while 8 of 19 moved up one complete level in Georgetown County.

Compared to 2018 ratings, 77 percent of school ratings either remained the same or improved, 37 percent of school ratings rose by at least one overall rating, 40 percent of schools maintained, and 17 percent of schools dropped by at least one overall rating.

Georgetown County School district, according to the data, falls below the averages in overall student performance and teacher employment. The overall data is from the core subjects that students study in school:

Student performance

In English language arts, 40.1 percent of students meet or exceed expectations compared with a 45.4 percent state average. In Math, 37.6 percent met or exceed expectations compared to the state’s average of 45.1 percent. In Science, 41.4 percent of students only met or exceed expectations compared to the state’s 49.1 percent and in Social Studies, 61.1 percent of the students in the district met/exceed compared to the state’s 67.7 percent.

The district unperformed against state averages in the percentage of students scoring a C or higher:

English

District State

46.5% 56.3%

Algebra

District State

44.3% 54.9%

Classroom Environment

With teachers, the total number working in the district is 635, down from last year’s 663. Their salary has changed with the average salary now $49,893 a decreased from 2018’s $50,619 report card. The student-teacher ratio in core subjects has risen 18.5 to 1, up from 18.4 last year and the percentage of teachers with advance degrees is also down 62 from 2018’s 65.

However, school safety and graduation rate was evaluated and proven to be high.

88.8 percent of parents say their child feels safe at school while 73 percent say they feel their child’s teacher and staff prevent or stop bullying. Evaluating teachers’ safety at school before and after hours, 97 percent said they feel safe and 76.4 percent said that the rules for behavior are enforced at school. During the school year, the school report shows there have been five incidents of physical attacks without a weapon and 109 incidents of bullying and harassment.

Evaluating students’ behavior in school found that the domains of school engagement were high with student’s engagement in school being 63.3 percent cognitive, 65.7 percent behavioral and 66.9 percent emotional.

Graduation rate

In comparison, student’s graduation rate has improved from last year. Compared to 2018 rate, the district’s graduation rate of 85.8 percent was higher than the state average of 81.1 percent.

“I hope that parents and communities will use report cards as a tool to engage in important conversations about the previous year’s successes and challenges that schools across our state face every day,’ said State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. “We are continually working to ensure that our accountability system accurately reflects the hard work being done by educators to meet the needs of all students.” School report cards can be viewed at SCReportCards.com