A brief look at how area school districts fared on the state-issued report cards released today:
ROCK HILL SCHOOLS
-- Rated "below average" for the second straight year; its growth rating moved up to "average."
-- The district's graduation rate was 62.6 percent; the average for S.C. districts with similar student populations was 74.6 percent.
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FORT MILL SCHOOLS
-- Rated "excellent" in both categories, a big jump from the previous year's "good" absolute rating and "at-risk" growth rating.
-- In his report, Superintendent Keith Callicutt wrote: "Nation Ford High School opened in the fall of 2007, easing the overcrowding at Fort Mill High School, and eliminated the need for almost 30 mobile classrooms. In March of 2008, voters overwhelmingly approved a record $95.9 million bond referendum to build two new elementary schools and a middle school."
-- Absolute rating remained "average," while growth dropped from "average" to "below average."
-- In his report, published with the report card, Superintendent Russell Booker wrote: "One major focus of York District One has been establishing a 'College Going Culture' in all of our schools. The class of 2008 amassed over $5 million in scholarships, marking our highest total to date. In 2007-2008, our schools saw a 23 percent reduction in suspensions; a 53 percent reduction in expulsions; an 83 percent success rate in credit recovery; and an increase in mentors from 144 to nearly 400."
-- Saw no change in absolute and growth ratings, which held at "good" and "average," respectively.
-- Clover High School saw dramatic gains; the school's absolute rating shot up from "average" to "excellent;" its growth rating vaulted from "at-risk" to "excellent."
CHESTER COUNTY SCHOOLS
-- Absolute rating remained "below average;" growth rating was up from "below average" to "average."
-- In his report, Superintendent Larry Heath highlighted: "The development of a standards' based curriculum from pre-kindergarten through grade twelve, quarterly benchmark testing to ensure proper pacing, and a focus on data analysis to determine the needs of children, as well as the actions that will be taken to address them."
LANCASTER COUNTY SCHOOLS
-- Absolute rating fell from "average" to "below average," while the district's growth rating did the opposite.
-- Graduation rate was 84.6 percent, compared with 76.8 percent for districts with similar student populations.