DD2 school board hears report card highlights

  • Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Dorchester School District 2 recently received an absolute rating of excellent on its SC Report Card Ratings Report for 2011-2012, a first ever achievement for the district.
“This is the twelfth annual release of the state report card for all public schools and school districts in South Carolina,” DD2 Director of Assessment and Accountability Debi Gilliam told the DD2 board of trustees during its Nov. 26 meeting. “Out of the state’s eighty-four districts, only twenty-seven districts earned an absolute rating of “Excellent.” 
In addition, Dorchester School District Two was the only Lowcountry district to receive an excellent rating, she added.
The report cards measure both absolute performance ratings and growth indices, Gilliam said. Absolute ratings are essentially determined straight from PASS test scores; growth indices take into account value assigned to each student’s change from previous to current year. In other words, each student’s growth from one PASS year to the next PASS year is evaluated and a VALUE is assigned to each student. An average of the values is taken and applied to the following chart, Gilliam said.
Seventeen of the district’s twenty-one schools earned an absolute rating of “Excellent” and the other four schools had a rating of “Good.”  
“They just missed excellent ratings by literally tenths of a point,” she said.
None of the district schools went down in their absolute ratings from last year, Gilliam said.
Eighteen schools earned an “Excellent” in the growth ratings and three schools had a “Good” growth rating. The district earned a “Good” in the growth rating. 
Other highlights from this year’s report card include:
• Sixteen of the twenty-one schools earned an “Excellent” in both the absolute and in growth ratings
• All three high schools had an “Excellent” in both the absolute and the growth ratings
• Ashley Ridge High School’s HSAP passage rate is 16th in the state and it’s EOC All Subjects Passage Rate is 11th in the state.
• Rollings Middle School of the Arts ranks third among the state middle schools in the absolute rating index
• Rollings Middle School of the Arts ranks sixth and Oakbrook Middle School ranks fifteenth among the state middle schools in the growth ratings  
• All schools but one increased their absolute index
In addition, Dorchester School District Two’s overall graduation rate was 76.5, an increase of 2.1 percentage points over last year’s rate. Individual graduation rates were as follows: Ashley Ridge High, 81.6; Fort Dorchester High, 78.6; and Summerville High, 72.1.
Boardmembers and Superintendent Joe Pye were very pleased with the results.
“Want to see the number one high school in the state? Go out to Ashley Ridge,” Pye said.
Boardmembers Sam Clark and Charles Stoudenmire noted that the results were especially gratifying considering that the percentage rate of free and reduced lunches have risen. The free lunch/reduced lunch rates are benchmarks for how many students in the district are coming from poverty level home situations, which makes learning and achieving more difficult. They praised the efforts of teachers and staff to reach out and help all students achieve.
Pye noted that the district’s commitment to engaging all children and creating and maintaining that positive learning environment is paying off.
“With this report card, we’ve been validated that we’re on the right track with what we’re doing,” Superintendent Joe Pye said. “We think great things are going to continue to happen.”

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