Education

Schools in Rock Hill, Fort Mill receive national Blue Ribbon honor

In this 2017 file photo, York Preparatory Academy senior Danielle Hancock, left, and junior Savannah Hancock, study at the school’s student union. York Prep in Rock Hill and Fort Mill High School are among five South Carolina schools named National Blue Ribbon Schools.
In this 2017 file photo, York Preparatory Academy senior Danielle Hancock, left, and junior Savannah Hancock, study at the school’s student union. York Prep in Rock Hill and Fort Mill High School are among five South Carolina schools named National Blue Ribbon Schools. tkimball@heraldonline.com

Two schools in York County have received a national honor for student achievement.

York Preparatory Academy, a public K-12 charter school in Rock Hill, and Fort Mill High School are among five South Carolina schools named National Blue Ribbon Schools.

The program honors public and private schools that are among the state’s highest performing, as measured by state assessments and national tests, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Education.

The program also recognizes schools that are having success closing achievement gaps between students. Information is pulled from all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates.

“We are extremely proud of the students and staff at Fort Mill High School,” said Fort Mill Superintendent Chuck Epps. “This prestigious award is an affirmation of their hard work and dedication to providing a quality education to all students.”

The Fort Mill school district held a public meeting at Nation Ford High School on new high school attendance lines. The South Carolina district’s third high school, Catawba Ridge High School, is set to open for the 2019-’20 school year.

Brian Myrup, managing director for York Prep, said the award reflects the charter school’s commitment to individual student growth.

“I continue to be amazed at the work that can be done when you have a committed group of teachers, parents and students working towards the establishment of individual growth of each student,” Myrup said. “This is an amazing step in that process that we are very proud of.”

York Preparatory Academy K-12 charter school in Rock Hill was named one of eight South Carolina Public Charter School District Schools of Distinction. The program honors schools that excel in academic progress, which teachers and administrators of

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos recognized the schools.

“I’m pleased to celebrate with you as your school is named a National Blue Ribbon School,” DeVos said in a video message to the honorees.

DeVos said: “We recognize and honor your important work in preparing students for successful careers and meaningful lives. Congratulations on your students’ accomplishments and for your extraordinary commitment to meeting their unique needs.”

Up to 420 schools nationally may be nominated each year. The other National Blue Ribbon Schools in South Carolina are in Summerville, Pendleton and Taylors.

Amanda Harris: 803-329-4082; @amanda_d_harris
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