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KCSD meets, exceeds most PASS standards

Posted: September 19, 2013 2:45 p.m.
Updated: September 20, 2013 1:00 a.m.

The Kershaw County School District (KCSD) met or exceeded state averages in 22 of 24 areas on Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (PASS) testing this year.

KCSD Director for Student Assessment Lavoy Carter shared the news and the numbers with the Kershaw County Board of School Trustees during its board meeting Tuesday night.

KCSD’s first performance goal asked third-to-eighth grade students to “meet” and score above state standards on the English/Language Arts (ELA), Math, Science and Social Studies portions of the PASS test. Social Studies scores in grades three and five did not meet or surpass state standards. In 2012, 68 percent of third-graders and 69 percent of fifth-graders passed the Social Studies portion. This year, 79 percent of third-graders and 68 percent of fifth-graders passed the Social Studies portion. This year’s state average in Social Studies was 80 percent for third-graders and 72 percent for fifth-graders.

The district’s goal for the South Carolina End-of-Course (EOC) exam was for all middle school and high school students who enroll in Algebra I and English I to pass the EOC exam. Eighty-one percent of students enrolled in Algebra I and 77 percent of students enrolled in English I passed their EOC exams this year. The state has not yet released the state averages in either category, so it’s unknown at this time how many KCSD students passed in comparison to the state average. In 2012, however, 79 percent of KCSD students passed their Algebra I exams and 78 percent passed the English I EOC exam. KCSD Superintendent Dr. Frank Morgan said this year’s EOC test was administered online.

High School Assessment Program (HSAP) goals asked that all high school students, upon their first attempt, meet the state’s proficiency standard on ELA and Math HSAP tests. This year, 84 percent of first time HSAP test-takers passed both section of the test, compared to the 79 percent that passed in 2012. KCSD surpassed the state averages in both ELA and Math scores on the HSAP test.

The state average varied among each grade level and subject. The district’s plans to increase scores include creating “action plans” that include a timeline and focus on academic needs. Morgan said the test scores become a part of the school’s improvement plan. Morgan performs mid-year reviews with each principal in the district and the scores help determine where they need to focus, he said.

Also Tuesday, KCSD Director of Communications Mary Anne Byrd talked discussed requirements for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) vaccines.

Beginning this year, parents of students currently in the seventh grade and any student rising to the seventh grade from now on, must provide adequate documentation showing that their child has received the Tdap vaccination. All current seventh graders must have the Tdap vaccine by September 30 or they will not be allowed to attend school. Students that show up to school on or after Oct. 1, will be isolated until their parents are able to pick them up. Students will not be able to return to school until they have proper documentation; absences will not be excused. Tdap is a state requirement.

Byrd said the district has sent home several voice and paper reminders to parents since July 2012. Twenty-nine percent of seventh-grade students -- about 230 -- have not had the vaccine. Families that have religious convictions that keep them from getting the vaccine or students that have medical conditions that will not allow them to get the vaccine must go to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, get proper documentation and give that information to KCSD.

In other business:

• The board will vote on an updated list of goals during its next meeting, Oct.1. New goals include finding a way to let students keep their “one-to-one technology” until after exams are completed, scheduling board members to help promote voting, and developing strategies to prepare internal candidates for promotion into administrative positions. An already established and ongoing goals include working with Kershaw County Council to establish a “predictable revenue agreement.”

• The district honored Col. Eric Boland, of Camden Military Academy; Joe Quinlan of Camden’s Wal-Mart; and Kirk Mays, of KM Video Productions for their service to the district.

• Jones recognized Robert Price, organizer of Lugoff-Elgin High School’s Legislative Forum.

• Brenda Golden, of the Santee-Lynches Workforce Investment Board and Santee-Lynches Regional Education Center, invited the board and district personnel to participate in Santee-Lynches’ Future in the Global Marketplace: Hot or Not? Summit. The event takes place Sept. 26 from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. and is free.

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