Charleston County School District officials say they are encouraged by the new state report card released on Tuesday. The results show many positive gains at schools in the district. The report card rates the district as a whole and each of the schools individually in one of the following categories: at-risk, below average, average, good, or excellent.
Dunston Primary School principal Janice Malone remembers when she started at this school five years ago. "It was a big struggle. We were at-risk school, facing a lot of challenges with our children. We had one of the highest discipline rates in our learning community," Malone said.
This year, the school received statewide recognition for progress and jumped two full ratings on the state report card from average to excellent.
CCSD Superintendent Dr. Nancy McGinley says she's happy about this year's results. "Our goal is to not have any at risk schools and not have any below average schools, and we are well on our way. Every principal that you see here today has increased their state report card rating by at least one level," Dr. McGinley said.
There's been growth for average and excellent rated schools district-wide from 2011 to 2012.
In addition to more excellent rated schools district officials are also encouraged to see the number of at-risk schools drop from 10 to eight in the past school year.
Leaders say they continue to focus on literacy and teacher effectiveness, and schools say it's working.
"Phenomenal. It's just a testimony of the hard work of the teachers working together, getting the students to believe in themselves, and getting the parents to join us in saying it can happen," Malone said.