SDPC schools earn academic honors

COUNTY — Seventeen Pickens County schools were honored earlier this week by the South Carolina Department of Education, earning 2012-2013 Palmetto Gold and Silver Awards for high academic achievement and high rates of improvement.

Clemson Elementary, Crosswell Elementary, Holly Springs Elementary, Liberty Elementary and Six Mile Elementary were recognized both for General Performance and Closing the Achievement Gap.

Of all 17 schools, only Clemson Elementary was given Gold in both categories.

“The gold and silver awards are a great reflection of our faculty, staff and administrators. They are committed to our students and their achievement,” said Dr. Kelly Pew, district superintendent.

“We’re proud of all of our schools, and seeing these 17 schools being highlighted for recognition is an honor. It shows that they not only achieve at a high level, but also that they continue to improve each year.”

In October 2012, the SC Education Oversight Committee changed the criteria for earning the awards in order to decrease the number of eligible schools. In previous years, a growth rating of Average or better for three consecutive years was required to earn the award for schools eligible based on steady growth. This year, that benchmark was changed to require a Good growth rating for two consecutive years.

In 2011, 22 SDPC schools earned the awards. This year, 15 of the schools earned Gold in General performance, with two earning Silver. In addition to Clemson Elementary earning Gold in Closing the Achievement Gap, Crosswell Elementary, Holly Springs Elementary, Liberty Elementary and Six Mile Elementary earned Silver in that category.

The 15 schools earning Gold in General performance were Ambler Elementary, Clemson Elementary, Crosswell Elementary, D.W. Daniel High, Dacusville Middle, Easley High, East End Elementary, Forest Acres Elementary, Holly Springs Elementary, Liberty Elementary, Liberty Middle, Pickens County Career and Technology Center, R.C. Edwards Middle, Six Mile Elementary and West End Elementary.

Pickens Elementary and Gettys Middle earned Silver in General performance.