Progress report on Beaufort County schools on state’s priority list

Beaufort County priority schools

BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - The Beaufort County School District is getting a progress report for schools placed on the state’s priority list.

“As far as I’m concerned, the school improvement process is a journey. There is no destination. There is no endpoint,” Superintendent Frank Rodriquez said.

Two Beaufort County priority schools were slated to present their progress to the district board this week. Hilton Head Middle and Whale Branch Elementary.

“You are identified as a priority school if you have students that that fall below the gaps in all of the different demographics that we have here,” Hilton Head Island Middle School Principal Pat Freda said.

Priority schools are schools that fall under the 10th percentile of performance

“Well, essentially with priority schools we provide support for them. Additional trainings, additional supports that they might need in place to help improve student achievement.”

Right now, they are in a difficult spot. Missing last year’s standardized testing means they will now be considered priority for a total of four years rather than three.

“That’s frozen in place because there were no state assessments last year. So, it just continues for another year.”

The Hilton Head Middle School principal says she is happy with the progress her students are making.

“Well if memory is serving me, I think it was 31 students who graduated. Last year it was 21 students. That’s a fair number of students to exit the program.”

But they still have 290 students in rolled in the program. Hilton Head will be considered priority for another two years. After that, standardized testing will assess their overall performances.

Tuesday night’s meeting did run long but Whale Branch Middle School is expected to give an update on their students performances at Wednesday’s extended meeting in Beaufort County.

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