By Maddie Mason, Robin Hendricks, Lacee Getter
Good test scores and all the opportunities that District Five offers earns them an A rating, making it the only district in the midlands to receive such a score.
The rating is not only based on test scores, but is also based on population and graduation rates.
“They [South Carolina Department of Education] use a combination of test scores, all standardized test scores such as the HSAP and the EOC, but this also includes a combination of test scores as well as our graduation rate and subgroups in our population,” assistant principal for instruction Sarah Longshore said. “So not only is it a counting of our students overall, but also how our minority students do, how our special ed students do, or how our economically disadvantaged students do.”
Even though the rating was not completely based on test scores, the good district test scores helped to improve the rating.
“I think in particular our EOC scores last year for US History and Biology we’re definitely really good. We usually outperform everyone in the state and most of the time we exceed nationally on state averages,” Longshore said.
Students agree that funding is one of the big reasons why the district got an A rating.
“To my knowledge, we have pretty good funding [compared to] other districts,” senior Jacquie Goodman said. “And it’s not a secret that better funding equals better education, so I think that’s a big factor of why we do so well.”
Data teams throughout the district bring teachers from the same departments together and make assessments to find out what the students need to improve on.
“The data teams that we do are district amplified and that’s one of the reasons why we’re at the top in terms of our district rating. Every school in the district uses data teams and collaborates,” Longshore said.
Other schools in the district like Center for Advanced Technical Studies and Spring Hill help students understand their major and give them an idea for the future.
“The way that Spring Hill teaches, they kind of built off the way we teach…they teach through the major. They teach majors through the classes that allow a student to really understand what they’re getting into,” junior Jenny McClure said.
Some students feel that the district as a whole does a good job at pushing their students.
“We push our students and tell them about the benefits if they do their work,” Cherise Daniel said.
Although the district got the highest rating in the midlands, there is still room for improvment.
“We’re always wanting to do better and we want more students to pass and succeed,” Longshore said. “Nothing is ever good enough and we never get settled.”