Teachers, parents questioning SCCPSS report card error

CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - A WTOC investigation uncovered new details about the "so-called" miscalculation by the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System that sent more than 1,600 students to summer school.

WTOC spoke to a Savannah-Chatham County teacher on the phone Thursday. She didn't want to be identified but told said she questions what the school district claims was incorrect information that was entered into the data system, leading to the miscalculation of 1,600 students attending summer school.

"Teachers and administration put a lot of time and care into contacting these parents and making explanations and filling out forms and doing all that, so it just seems for a month of work to say the day before summer school starts, 'Hey there was a problem, don't come,' it just seems a little unbelievable."

According to the teacher, she was required to score and weight student grades. Sixty percent of a student's grade was the state-aligned assessment test, known as MAP.  Academic classroom grades, technology, attendance, and technology  were 10 percent each. This formula served as the reference for the teacher to decide whether to recommend a student for summer school.

According to district officials, the mistake was made when it came to the amount of weight applied to each subject area.

"We don't recommend summer school arbitrarily. We do not take it lightly, because we understand what we are asking," the teacher said.

The Savannah-Chatham County School District is blaming the issue on a system error, but, according to the anonymous teacher, she says there's no way that's the case.

"I was so flabbergasted when I heard there was a report card error, because the computer doesn't decide who goes to summer school," the teacher said.

While some parents might be relieved their student no longer has to go to summer school, some parents are concerned.

"You can look at the scores and see there was a need for extra assistance, but they're not going to make it required," Morgan Paddock said.

She said the district is covering something up.

"I do, just based on the conversations I've had. We appreciate our schools. We appreciate our teachers. We want to work with them because we know it's a hard job, but if we are going to be in this all together and if it truly takes a village to raise our children, then that village needs to be based on truth and following the policies you set," Paddock said.

WTOC filed an open records request with the school district to find out where the specific breakdown happened that lead to the miscalculation. The records have not yet been released.

The district sent a statement to WTOC Thursday, saying, "An error in the application of promotion and retention guidelines for some students caused incorrect data to be entered into the system used for producing report cards. We regret this confusion and apologize again to families for any inconvenience this error may have caused."

Not only are parents wondering what to do this summer, but teachers are wondering where they stand when it comes to support.

"It makes me feel like for how hard I work and how much I love my students and love my job and have great administration and have great kids, I still have a district who doesn't support me," the teacher said.

The school district said they are working to improve their process and methodology to make sure this type of error doesn't happen again.

Any parents who have questions or concerns about the report card correction should contact the Academic Affairs Division at 912.395.5582.

Copyright 2018 WTOC. All rights reserved.