COPE -- Many districts across the state dropped in scores on last year’s SC Ready test scores in English Language Arts, but Superintendent Dr. Tim Newman reports that Orangeburg Consolidated School District 4 held its own or increased mean scores in all four key areas.

The district held on to a ranking of 71 in ELA and moved up to 59 in math, when compared to the other 81 districts in the state, Newman noted at the October OCSD4 Board of Trustees meeting.

In math, “that’s almost a 12 percent increase from what we had from the prior year in our mean score rank,” he said.

On South Carolina Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (SCPASS), the district moved up more than a percentage point in science and eight and a half points in social studies.

The important thing is that the district’s students are making progress, Newman said.

“It’s all about moving kids from where they are at the beginning of the year to the end of the year,” he said. “Based on a student’s ability, if they grow relative to their potential, that is what we should focus on."

Not all students are going to make 100 on their tests, the superintendent said.

He noted that all District 4 students took the test on the computer, which probably affected the scores in a negative way, specifically the third grade. These students are not ready to type their answers, he said.

But the district was told that it would probably be difficult to get a waiver for the test, and decided to go ahead with the computer system, Newman said.

He attributed the district’s success to data teams that meet regularly and assess each student’s progress. In addition, software systems are in place to show how every student is performing on each unit. This guides teachers as to when they can move on to another unit. The district also uses pacing guides that allow teachers to access their students' growth throughout the year and adjust classroom instruction.

Also during the meeting, Newman recognized the district teachers of the year and staff persons of the year.

District teacher of the year is Tanya Anderson of Hunter-Kinard-Tyler High School and staff person of the year is Adrienne Johnson of the Star Career Center.

School winners were as follows:

Teachers of the Year -- Edisto Primary, Brittany Hallman; Edisto Elementary, Imani Williams; Edisto High School, Jaynee Threatt; Carver-Edisto Middle, Jessica Chandler; Lockett Elementary, Brandy Wiles; Branchville High School, Michael Salomone; Hunter-Kinard-Tyler Elementary, Christine Williams; Hunter-Kinard-Tyler High, Tanya Anderson; Star Career Center, Lisa Ferguson; and Cope Area Career Center, Carrie Showman.

Staff Persons of the Year -- Edisto Primary, Doris Ende-Breland; Edisto Elementary, Eric King; Edisto High School, Kathy Brown; Carver-Edisto Middle, Danny Simpson; Lockett Elementary, Shanika Maple; Branchville High, Lori Williams; Hunter-Kinard-Tyler Elementary, Christopher Scott; Hunter-Kinard-Tyler High, Joanna Milledge; Star Career Center, Adrienne Johnson; Cope Area Career Center, Shannon Culler; District Office, Robbie James.

In other business:

  • Newman announced that Chromebooks were recently placed in the hands of middle school students as part of the district's technology update.
  • Trustees Peggy Tyler and Mary Brant agreed to serve as delegates to the S.C. School Boards Association.

Contact the writer: dlinderaltman@gmail.com.

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