Blythewood report card exceeds state scores

BLYTHEWOOD – Blythewood area schools generally outperformed other schools in the region and the state, with a majority rated either Good or Excellent in the annual South Carolina Report Card.

Of the 11 schools in Richland School District Two that scored excellent and good, six were in Blythewood. Four schools scored Excellent, the highest rating: Lake Carolina Elementary, Langford Elementary, Round Top Elementary and the School for Knowledge Elementary, which is housed in Muller Road Middle.

Schools scoring Good included Bethel-Hanberry Elementary, Sandlapper Elementary and Blythewood High School.

Westwood High, Blythewood Middle and Muller Road Middle (grades 6-8) schools received an Average rating,

The Center for Achievement Elementary magnet school housed in the Kelly Mill Middle is the only Blythewood area school to receive an Unsatisfactory rating.

The five ratings – Excellent, Good, Average, Below Average and Unsatisfactory – are determined by a zero to 100 point score based on seven categories, each containing multiple indicators.

Caught in the Middle

Board member Monica Elkins-Johnson voiced concerns over how the district’s middle schools performed.

“I’m very concerned about the test scores in our middle schools,” Elkins-Johnson said. “I know we’ve made progress in some areas, but we are still struggling.”

Board member James Shadd expressed cautious optimism over how schools performed, noting two middle schools and two elementary schools were rated Below Average or Unsatisfactory in the 32-school district.

“I feel somewhat good about that, somewhat” Shadd said. “We shouldn’t have any, but we are addressing those.”

In the Blythewood area, middle schools generally received lower ratings than elementary and high schools.

Blythewood Middle and Muller Road Middle schools each earned Average ratings. Kelly Mill Middle was rated Below Average.

Shadd expressed concerns that one report card category – school quality – accounts for 10 percent of an elementary and middle school grade. School quality accounts for 5 percent of a high school’s grade.

Superintendent Dr. Baron Davis said the district is looking into pursuing grants for the elementary and middle schools, but didn’t elaborate.

He also said the district is exploring the possibility of incorporating “Saturday school opportunities as well.”