NEWBERRY — Even though the Newberry County School District has an overall B rating for the state report cards, they are determined to keep improving for the students.
The district’s Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Cynthia Downs reviewed the state report cards at Monday night’s school board meeting.
The district overall received a B rating for 2012. In addition, they received a good growth rating and an average absolute rating. Ratings are based on standardized testing among other things.
According to the S.C. Education Oversight Committee who releases the information, the growth rating measures the level of growth from the previous year to the current performance. The absolute rating is a value of the school’s level of performance based on research based factors associated with student success during the school year.
There are five ratings for each category ranging from excellent to at-risk. Last year, the district received the same ratings but in 2010, the district received an average absolute and at-risk growth.
Superintendent Bennie Bennett said that the district is pushing for better ratings.
Downs said, “We have continued and are continuing to build internal development for instructors and staff. We continue to do the best we can because students are the top priority.”
As for the schools, Downs reported that 11 our of 15 improved their absolute ratings. There are 15 schools counted because Whitmire Community counts as three.
She also reported that eight schools improved their growth ratings.
Little Mountain Elementary and Pomaria-Garmany Elementary both received excellent ratings for both categories, Downs reported. This was a first for Pomaria-Garmany and the fifth consecutive year for Little Mountain.
While all of the elementary and middle schools had at least an average rating in both categories, it was Mid-Carolina High and Newberry High who garnered below average growth ratings. Their absolute ratings were good and average, respectively.
Whitmire Community (middle and high) had average in absolute and growth improving their growth rating from at-risk in 2011 and 2010.
While the district is satisfied with their ratings, they are definitely not content with staying stagnant.
Board member Ike Bledsoe asked about how the Common Core State Standards would affect the report cards.
Bennett replied by saying that, “There usually is a dip before it comes back up. However, teachers are pushed as hard as they can be pushed. There is concern because you can see a dip but the teachers are working hard. The teachers are going through a lot right now,” in reference to the teachers doing the professional development for CCSS.
For more information regarding the district’s overall grade as well as the school’s individual grade, visit www.ed.sc.gov/data/report-cards/ and then click on “2012” and then on “Newberry01.”