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The State Department of Education acknowledged 22 local schools as Palmetto Gold or Palmetto Silver School Award winners.

Each of the four schools in Calhoun County School District received a designation. Orangeburg Consolidated School Districts 4 and 5 both had five schools featured on the list of award recipients.

A total of 403 schools statewide were honored by the program, which was created by the Education Accountability Act of 1998.

Schools receiving the award can be recognized for having a strong overall school performance and/or closing achievement gaps between groups of students. In The T&D Region, 10 schools received awards in both categories.

“A school that wins one of these awards is focused on kids and dedicated to their success,” state Superintendent of Education Jim Rex said.

Schools received general awards based on their overall performance on the 2008 state report card.

Schools recognized for closing the achievement gap saw academic gains from students who fall into four subgroups: African-American students, Hispanic students, students that receive free or reduced-price lunch, and students with non-speech disabilities.

Schools recognized in either one or both categories received an award, a congratulatory letter from Rex and money.

Palmetto Gold Award-winning schools in the general category are:

* Ehrhardt Elementary School (Bamberg 1)

* Calhoun County High School (Calhoun)

* Lake Marion High School (OCSD 3)

* Edisto High School (OCSD 4)

* Branchville High School (OCSD 4)

* Hunter-Kinard-Tyler High School (OCSD 4)

* Cope Area Career Center (OCSD 4)

* Bethune-Bowman Middle/High School (OCSD 5)

* Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School (OCSD 5)

* Sheridan Elementary School (OCSD 5)

* North Middle/High School (OCSD 5)

* OCSD 5 Technology Center (OCSD 5)

Palmetto Silver Award winning schools in the general category are:

* Richard Carroll Elementary School (Bamberg 1)

* John Ford Middle School (Calhoun)

* Woodland High School (Dorchester 4)

* Swansea High School (Lexington 4)

* Lockett Elementary School (OCSD 5)

Palmetto Gold Award winning schools in the closing achievement gap category are:

* Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School (Bamberg 1)

* Calhoun County High School (Calhoun)

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* Guinyard Elementary School (Calhoun)

* Hunter-Kinard-Tyler High School (OCSD 5)

* Bethune-Bowman Middle/High School (OCSD 5)

* North Middle/High School (OCSD 5)

Palmetto Silver Award winning schools in the closing achievement gap category are:

* Blackville-Hilda High School (Barnwell 19)

* Sandy Run Elementary School (Calhoun)

* Woodland High School (Dorchester 4)

* Sandhills Elementary School (Lexington 4)

* Lake Marion High School (OCSD 3)

* Edisto High School (OCSD 4)

* Lockett Elementary School (OCSD 4)

* Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School (OCSD 5)

* Sheridan Elementary School (OCSD 5)

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