State Report Cards: Fairfield Numbers on the Rise

WINNSBORO – The Fairfield County School District received some encouraging numbers from state report cards, released last week by the S.C. Department of Education, including an absolute rating of Excellent for the Magnet School of Math and Science, and a rating of Average or better for all but one of the District’s schools.

“This is the first Excellent rating of any school in the District,” Superintendent J.R. Green said. “It’s not going to be our last, but it is our first.”

Overall, the District received its second consecutive absolute rating of Average, with a growth rating of Excellent (up from Good last year).

“We just missed moving to ‘Good’ by two tenths of a point,” Green said.

The attendance rate in the District was down from 96.2 percent a year ago to 96 percent this year, while the annual dropout rate was up from 1.5 percent in 2012 to 1.6 percent this year. The percentage of teachers holding advanced degrees was up from 59 percent last year to 61.4 percent this year, while the percentage of classes not taught by highly qualified teachers was down from 5 percent to 4.7 percent.

Fairfield Central High School maintained its absolute rating of Average for the third year running, while its growth rating went from Good last year to Average in 2013. The high school’s passing rate clocked in at 89.2 percent, compared to 84.1 percent at high schools with similar demographics. The on-time graduation rate was 80.8 percent, compared to 69.1 percent in similar schools.

“If we can get our graduation rate up three or four points, that will take us to a Good,” Green said. “Or, if we can get our HSAP numbers up a few points, that will also take us there.”

Fairfield Middle School also held its absolute rating of Average for the third straight year, to go along with its third straight Average growth rating. Likewise, Kelly Miller Elementary held onto its Average absolute rating for the third consecutive year, but saw its growth rating go from Average a year ago to Excellent in 2013. The McCrorey-Liston School of Technology saw its absolute rating go from Below Average in 2012 to Average this year, while their growth rating went from Average last year to Good this year. Geiger Elementary also went from Below Average to Average in its absolute rating, while its growth rating shot from At-Risk in 2012 to Excellent in 2013.

Fairfield Elementary continues to struggle, turning in its second consecutive absolute rating of Below Average; still up, however, from At-Risk in 2011. The school’s growth rating, meanwhile, climbed from Below Average in 2011 and 2012 to Average in 2013.

“It’s a tougher hill to climb for Fairfield Elementary,” Green said. “They have a larger number of exceptional ed. students there. It is a central location for our learning disabled population, which makes it more difficult to move the report card.”