Beaufort County Schools respond after state releases district report cards

SC releases school district report cards

BEAUFORT CO., SC (WTOC) - School districts in South Carolina are reviewing their scores after the state graded their performances.

The school district report card shows a school system’s scores in several different categories, including academics and parent/student satisfaction.

Some districts are seeing a lot more graduates. Hampton County District 2 is in front with 88-percent. Beaufort is right behind them with 86-percent, Hampton County District 1 has 85-percent, and Jasper County has a 72-percent graduation rate.

WTOC went to the Beaufort County School District Headquarters this week to learn more about their graduation rate. The school system says their graduation rate has improved for the eighth consecutive year now. Their current score of 86-percent reaches an all-time high for the school district. They were sitting at 84.1-percent last year. A spokesman for the school district credits the new initiatives in place to the rising graduation rate. He says the school system is doing a better job at identifying students who look as if they may not be able to graduate on time. The school district now intervenes sooner rather than later to get those students back on track.

Parents, students, and teachers were also asked questions about what they thought of the school district.

Beaufort County’s report card shows 76.2-percent of parents said their child’s teachers and school staff prevent or stop bullying at school; 87.6-percent of teachers said rules for behavior were enforced at their schools; and 94.2-percent of teachers said they felt safe at school before and after normal school hours.

The school systems were graded under a new scoring system which some school districts say raises the bar in expectations.

Where safety is concerned, Beaufort County Schools have dealt with more than a dozen school threats since the school year started, including one just this week. Five of them were made on social media.

"Social media is a wonderfully convenient thing, but it also makes it convenient to do things that are not the brightest. Kids don't always make good decisions and making threats are not good decisions,” says Jim Foster, spokesman, Beaufort County Schools.

The school district says there is no bigger priority than the safety of their students and faculty.

Student safety is among the things measured by South Carolina’s school report cards. In Beaufort County, 87-percent of parents say their child feels safe at school. In Jasper County, the number was 70-percent, and in Hampton County District one it was 67-percent. Hampton County District 2 is at 58-percent.

The scores released last week show some other concerns, particularly minority students performing at lower levels compared to their peers.

A spokesman for the Beaufort County School System says it's an issue the entire country is seeing right now.

Data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress measures what students across the country know and can do. In 2017, two thirds of black students across South Carolina were reported at below basic math levels compared to less than a third of white students. Hispanic student levels fell somewhere in between. The same trends were also seen in fourth grade reading levels.

The school system says it is an issue and they are working to address it with the board of education.

For additional information on SC School Report Cards, click here.

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