The Beaufort County School District has earned its first-ever overall Good rating on the school report card, issued Friday morning by the South Carolina Department of Education.
In addition, 2013 marked the first year since report cards were first published in 2001 that no district school was rated below average or at risk. All district schools were rated either excellent, good or average.
Beaufort district officials attribute the higher district rating to improved student achievement and increased on-time high school graduation rates.
Overall, the district had eight schools rated Excellent, 11 rated Good, and 12 rated Average. According to the South Carolina Department of Education, school ratings are as follows:
Schools rated Good were Battery Creek High, Beaufort Elementary, Beaufort Middle, Bluffton Elementary, Bluffton Middle, Coosa Elementary, Hilton Head Early Childhood Center, Hilton Head Island School for the Creative Arts, Michael C. Riley Elementary, Port Royal Elementary and Red Cedar Elementary.
Schools rated Average were Broad River Elementary, H.E. McCracken Middle, Hilton Head Island Middle, Joseph Shanklin Elementary, Lady's Island Elementary, Lady's Island Middle, Mossy Oaks Elementary, Robert Smalls Middle, St. Helena Elementary, Whale Branch Elementary, Whale Branch Middle and Whale Branch Early College High.
The district's overall 2013 rating was Good, an improvement from its Average rating in 2012. Its Absolute rating index (the numerical indicator on which letter grades are based) improved from 3.08 last year to 3.22 this year.
The district's on-time high school graduation rate – the percentage of students who complete high school "on time" and get a diploma in four years – improved to 75.3, up from 75.1 in 2012 and 69.1 in 2009.
Battery Creek High's graduation rate improved from 71.2 percent in 2012 to 77 percent in 2013; Beaufort High's rate improved from 75.6 percent to 79.7 percent; Bluffton High increased from 70.1 to 71.1 percent, and Hilton Head High improved from 81.8 percent to 83.5 percent. Whale Branch Early College High decreased from 81 to 74.1.
Looking at trend data, Battery Creek High's four-year on-time graduation rate went from 71.4 percent in 2009 to 77.1 percent in 2013. Beaufort High improved from 66.3 percent to 79.7 percent; Bluffton High improved from 67.7 percent to 71.1 percent; and Hilton Head Island High improved from 72.7 percent to 83.5 percent. Whale Branch Early College High, a newer school, only has two years of grad rate data available.
Other 2013 Report Card highlights for Beaufort County included:
State School Report Card ratings are calculated based on different formulas from ratings under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
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