GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – The South Carolina Department of Education released the state, district, and school report cards on Wednesday for the 2020-2021 school year.
Greenville County Schools outperformed the state in several subjects, but district officials say they’re not satisfied with the results and are looking at ways to identify and improve learning gaps with plans to address them at every academic level.
Greenville County School District Spokesman Tim Waller said even though the district overall exceeded state expectations in many areas, there’s still work to be done as the scores as a whole were lower this year.
He argues it’s mostly pandemic related and attributes the declines in an increase in hybrid and virtual days.
“I think our mission is we need to continue to identify areas of weakness, areas where students need remediation to catch them up,” said Waller.
He added comparing the 2020-2021 school year to the 2019-2020 school year isn’t possible due to the nature of the pandemic. The pandemic caused the district to implement massive remediation efforts on what Waller calls an unprecedented scale.
Waller said district leaders had to attack the challenges differently at every level.
According to a press release from the school district, Greenville County Schools outperformed the state in SC Ready English Language Arts and Mathematics.
Additionally, Greenville County School students had a higher passage rate on the English I, Algebra I, Biology, and US History and the Constitution End of Course exams administered in select high school courses. The District also outperformed the state in the number of students who are considered College and Career Ready and exceeded state test scores in the SC Ready and SCPASS exams.
“We used CARES Act money and other federal monies to hire everything from certified teachers to what we can interventionists,” he explained.
The district added reading and math interventionists for elementary school students and math and english language arts interventionists in middle schools.
Greer Middle School had only 23.1% percent of students meet or exceed mathematics grade level expectations.
The county also put more aides in high schools for credit recovery labs.
“To make sure that they were getting classes that have credits that count toward their graduation,” said Waller.
At Hillcrest High School, only 43.4% of students scored a C or higher in algebra.
But Waller said even with the extra money from the CARES Act funding, the district is struggling to find the amount of help it needs to get students back on track.
“Maybe not to the numbers that we had hoped for, but we’re getting through it,” added Waller. He said the bottom line is, there’s still plenty of room for improvement.
The press release adds that with additional CARES Act and Coronavirus Relief Fund monies, the district was able to provide students with content and credit recovery opportunities throughout its summer school program.
Nearly 11,000 students took part in summer instructional opportunities, according to the release. At the high school level, 4,976 credits were recovered.
More funds from the CARES Act will be used for remediation efforts during the 2021-2022 school year. Greenville County Schools will also offer summer school in 2022.
For a complete breakdown on the state’s district and school report cards, click here.