DCSD recognizes student achievement during board meeting

By Melissa Rollins, Editor, editor@newsandpress.net

More than a dozen Darlington County School District students were recognized for their educational achievements September 10 during the board of education monthly meeting.

Fifteen ninth-graders were recognized as South Carolina Junior Scholars.

The South Carolina Junior Scholars Program was developed by the South Carolina Department of Education during the 1985-86 school year to identify eighth-grade students with exceptional academic talent and intellectual ability. Darlington County Junior Scholars are:

Darlington Middle School
• Dawson Francis

Hartsville Middle School
• Kristyn Anders
• Chad Hall
• Grace Johnson
• Henry Klimek
• Andrew Martin
• Angel Ratliff
• Maliik Rogers
• Calvin Sturkie
• Stella Tew
• Grayson Wing
• Danny Young

Spaulding Middle School
• Joshua Chandler
• John Evans
• Jonathan Jordan

Three students were recognized at Duke TIP Scholars. The Duke Talent Identification Program (TIP) identifies and supports academically gifted students by offering a range of diverse educational programs designed to meet their intellectual and social needs. Of those students who participate in the 7th grade Duke TIP, some students score high enough on the SAT & ACT to qualify for state recognition. In the 2017-18 school year, the DCSD had three students who qualified for state recognition based on their exceptional efforts on the SAT or ACT.

They were not recognized before the school year ended so they were included in the September meeting. Three students recognized were:

Darlington Middle School
• Gracen Greenburg

Hartsville Middle School
• Jonathan Allen
• Chassidy Leonard

In other business, board members approved Policy IKC relating to class rankings and grade point averages. The changes in policy add in language that the high schools in the district will once again recognize valedictorians and salutatorians starting in the 2018-2019 school year.

During the Superintendent’s Update, Dr. Tim Newman told boardmembers that the “Earlier this week the test scores were released state-wide. We had a slight increase in our ELA scores, a moderate increase in our math scores, a moderate increase in science and a slight increase in social studies overall for the district; that’s all of our schools. The plan is we’ll have a worksession in the near future and we’ll bring the individual school scores in comparison to the last several years. We’ll talk about what we’ve put in place to address those scores and discuss plans on how we’ll improve those test scores. While that is great that we may have increased a little bit in some of these areas, I believe the potential in Darlington County is much greater. I believe our students have a lot more potential. I believe we have teachers and the administration in this district to improve significantly.”

Boardmember Wanda Hassler questioned where DCSD stands in relation to state scores. Newman said that DCSD scores were below state-average.

“We need to know where we are,” Hassler said. “If we are inching up but we’re not inching up anywhere close to the state average, we need to know that; better yet, we need to be above state average.”

Chairman Jamie Morphis said that the district does need to know where they are in comparison to the state but that that score really should not be their objective.

“The state score is really not a goal,” Morphis said. “When you’re last in the county, that is not really any goal.”

Author: Rachel Howell

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