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KCSD tops in academic performance

Posted: August 2, 2013 7:05 p.m.
Updated: August 5, 2013 5:00 a.m.

The Kershaw County School District’s (KCSD) grade on the 2013 state report card was a high B -- only 1.3 percentage points below an A -- while local third through eighth graders’ PASS scores were higher than state averages in 37 of 40 categories. More than 83 percent of KCSD students passed the state’s high school exit exam (HSAP) on their first attempt.

The report card information and test scores were part of state and federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) accountability data released today by the SC State Department of Education.

“This is wonderful news and a great tribute to the strength of our schools,” KCSD Superintendent Dr. Frank Morgan said. “I am extremely pleased with these results and attribute this success to the dedication and hard work of our staff, students and families. This data tells a great story of the extraordinary work being done in our schools.”

The district’s 88.7 rating in the ESEA federal accountability system means that the district “exceeds the state’s expectations.” The score ranks the district in the top 20 percent of school districts in the state. 

Fifteen of the district’s 18 schools earned an A or B on their ESEA grades, indicating their performance exceeded or substantially exceeded the state’s expectations. Five schools -- Baron DeKalb, Bethune, Blaney, Midway and Mt. Pisgah elementary schools -- were named Reward Schools for Performance as among the state’s highest performing Title I schools for 2012-13.

Six schools -- Doby’s Mill Elementary, Jackson Elementary, Midway Elementary, North Central Middle, Lugoff-Elgin High and North Central High schools -- increased their ESEA grades from 2012. Lugoff-Elgin High School was one of two high schools in the state to improve three letter grades. Four schools -- Baron DeKalb, Bethune, Lugoff and Wateree elementary schools -- maintained their A grades from last school year.  

Morgan said that the district’s positive results were especially significant since the federal district and school ratings show a decline in grades for nearly half of all South Carolina school districts as well as 389 individual schools, according to the Education Oversight Committee. 

District students’ PASS scores were better than state averages in all grades in English Language Arts, writing and math. Local students’ scores in science in grades 3, 5, 6, 7 and 8 were higher than the state averages while Kershaw County scores in social studies in grades 4, 6 and 7 also beat the state averages. 

PASS scores from local students in grades 4 and 7 were in the top 26 of 85 districts in all subject areas of English Language Arts, writing, math, science and social studies. District eighth graders’ PASS scores in social studies and science were ranked 12th and 14th respectively in the state. 

Although the state’s percentage passing rate on HSAP was the highest ever, local students outscored that by 1.8 percentage points with 83.8 percent of district students in their second year of high school passing the exam on their first attempt. 

“These outstanding results come at a great time as we prepare for the new school year,” Morgan said. “I want to say ‘thank you’ to all of our hard working students and staff and look for us to continue this academic success in the 2013-14 school year.” 

Note:  Complete 2013 ESEA data, PASS data and HSAP data are available on the S.C. Department of Education’s website.

(This information provided by the KCSD.)

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