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Improved Report Card Ratings Cause For Celebration At Local Schools
11/13/2013 1:09:49 PM

Last Friday, students and staff at Burke High School celebrated their improved rating at a prep rally led by Principal Maurice Cannon (left) held in the schools’ auditorium. The projecter screen on stage shows an improved Absolute rating from ‘Below Average’ to ‘Good’ for Burke Middle School and ‘Average to ‘Excellent’ for Burke High School.

By Barney Blakeney

Charleston County School officials are celebrating improvements in the district reflected by recently released school report card grades. Last week two area high schools celebrated improved grades with a pep rally and shout-outs to the media.

CCSD officials last week shared good news that more students are attending “excellent/good’ rated schools and fewer are attending “at-risk” rated schools. Only four CCSD schools this year are rated “at-risk”. Burke and Lincoln middle/high schools were among those that moved up from at-risk ratings.

In 2007 53 percent of CCSD schools were rated “at-risk/below average”. Today only 19 percent of schools are rated “at-risk/below average”. Forty-seven percent of schools are rated “excellent/good” today compared to 31 percent in 2007.

At Burke Middle High, the middle school went from an “at-risk” rating last year to “below average” this year. The high school went from “at-risk” last year to “average” this year.
And at Lincoln Middle/High School the high school maintained its “average” rating while the middle school improved this year from “average” to “good”. The school’s federal report card rating improved from “F’ last year to “A” this year.

Students and staff at Burke celebrated their improved ratings with a Friday pep rally. During a rousing session in the school’s auditorium the band pumped students up as Principal Maurice Cannon fed their enthusiasm with encouragement and admonished them not to take the accomplishment lightly.

“It’s not over. We want to build on this excitement. We can’t afford to go backwards,” he said. Seniors must work hard to continue the school’s improved graduation rate that currently is about 70 percent and underclassmen must continue the climb toward “excellent/good” ratings.

There was less fanfare over the grade improvements at Lincoln Middle/High. Principal Dr. Yvonne Commodore said the school’s improved federal rating was achieved over the five years she’s been at the helm through initiatives such as student mentoring, emphasis building and addressing negative behavioral issues.

Since merging with McClellanville Middle School in 2009 there has been greater effort to coordinate with their feeder school, St. James-Santee Elementary School. That collaboration is producing positive results, she said.

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