Here’s how Lowcountry school districts performed in the new state report card

Published: Oct. 17, 2022 at 3:29 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 17, 2022 at 11:36 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - Three of eight Lowcountry school districts showed their students are meeting or exceeding state grade-level expectations based on new data state education officials released Monday morning.

The 2022 School Report Card indicated 20.6% of schools in the state received an overall rating of excellent, Education Superintendent Molly Spearman said.

The data also revealed how district schools performed at meeting state goals.

In the Tri-County, Charleston County schools scored highest in SC Ready English language arts and mathematics, with Dorchester County District 2 scoring the second-highest. They were the only two districts ranking with a higher percentage across the board than the state averages. The Berkeley County School District, meanwhile, outperformed the state average in end-of-course English 1 assessments.

The Williamsburg County School District scored lowest in English language arts, while the Colleton County School District scored lowest in mathematics. For end-of-course English 1 assessments, the Colleton County School District’s 38.3% placed it lowest compared with the state’s 57.9% average, and Dorchester District 4′s 13.5% end-of-course Algebra 1 assessment score placed it at the lowest among Lowcountry counties compared with the state average of 44.2%.

The state averaged 46.6% of students meeting or exceeding expectations for English language arts scores. For mathematics, the state average stood at 38.9%.

Only the Charleston County and Dorchester District 2 schools exceeded the state average in English language arts. In contrast, Charleston County, Dorchester District 2 and Beaufort County schools exceeded the state average on math.

This chart lists the percentage of students meeting or exceeding grade-level expectations. Percentages in bold indicate instances in which a district’s score exceeded the state average:

State Average or
School District
SC Ready
Language Arts
SC Ready
English 1
Algebra 1
State Average46.6%38.9%57.9%44.2%
Charleston County53.3%49.2%62.8%52.3%
Berkeley County44.6%31.7%59.3%39.4%
Dorchester Co. Dist. 252.4%41.8%70.4%55.2%
Dorchester Co. Dist. 436.6%25.4%41.5%13.5%
Colleton County25.1%14.0%38.3%20.8%
Williamsburg County24.1%14.6%40.1%16.0%
Georgetown County37.5%29.0%49.9%30.3%
Beaufort County48.7%41.6%60.2%53.5%

For graduation rate, Dorchester District 2 had the highest in the Tri-County, with 93.3%, followed by Dorchester District 4 at 92%. Charleston County’s 84.6% ranked it third place in the Tri-County.

Across the Lowcountry, Beaufort County and Georgetown County schools scored higher in graduation rate than Charleston County.

This table lists Lowcountry district graduation rates and bold values indicate district graduation rates that exceeded the state average:

State Average or
School District
State Average83.3%
Charleston County84.6%
Berkeley County84.3%
Dorchester Co. Dist. 293.3%
Dorchester Co. Dist. 492.0%
Colleton County72.8%
Williamsburg County74.4%
Georgetown County86.7%
Beaufort County86.2%

For the first time, schools received a rating for “school climate,” which Spearman said was based on surveys of students and teachers that measured perceptions of safety, working conditions and school environment. Just under 80 percent of parents say their child feels safe at school. About 79 percent of teachers say they feel safe, down from about 98 percent the previous year.

The new school climate measure used a 10-point scale to measure the learning environment at state schools as perceived by teachers and students. The state average overall school climate perception is 6.33 out of 10. Dorchester District 2 was the only school district in the Lowcountry to score a higher overall rate with 6.66 out of 10.

State Average or
School District
School Climate
Overall Perception
(out of 10.0)
School Safety
Student Perception
(out of 10.0)
School Safety
Teacher Perception
(out of 10)
State Average6.335.108.03
Charleston County6.084.947.74
Berkeley County5.785.527.85
Dorchester Co. Dist. 26.665.378.34
Dorchester Co. Dist. 46.015.567.93
Colleton County5.214.985.73
Williamsburg County5.462.606.65
Georgetown County5.945.287.52
Beaufort County6.115.627.65

Across the board, teachers had a higher perception of safety in the classroom than students did. In the state average, teachers scored their perception of safety at 8.03 out of 10, while students’ perceptions of safety came in at just 5.10 out of 10.

But five Lowcountry school districts had student safety perception scores that beat the state average. It was only in the Charleston County, Colleton County and Williamsburg County School Districts that students ranked their perception of safety as lower than the state average. Williamsburg County schools posted the lowest student safety perception score at just 2.6 out of 10.

When it came to teacher safety perception, in every Lowcountry district, teachers’ perception of safety in the classroom was higher than that of their students. Only in Dorchester District 2, however, did teacher scores outpace the state average.

Dorchester Dist. 2 celebrates report card results

Ten Dorchester District 2 received an excellent rating while none of the district’s schools received either an unsatisfactory or below average rating, district spokesman Matthew Kenwright said. Six schools ranked as good and eight ranked average.

The ten district schools receiving the excellent rating were Ashley Ridge High School, Beech Hill Elementary School, Fort Dorchester Elementary School, Fort Dorchester High School, Knightsville Elementary School, Rollings Middle School of the Arts, Spann Elementary School, Summerville Elementary School, Summerville High School and Windsor Hill Arts Infused Elementary School.

The district’s graduation rate increased for the fourth consecutive year under the current report card system, Kenwright said.

“Dorchester School District Two’s success is a testament to the hard work of our educators, staff, students, and families,” Superintendent Dr. Shane Robbins said. “While we are proud of this year’s results, we will continue to seek ways to grow and improve.”