Four BW schools get ‘Excellent’ state ratings

BLYTHEWOOD – More Richland Two schools received Excellent ratings on school report cards for 2021-2022 than 2018-2019, the last academic year when report cards included school ratings.

Four of those schools were in the Blythewood attendance area. Schools rated Excellent included: Round Top Elementary, Bethel-Hanberry Elementary, Blythewood Middle and the Center for Knowledge, which is housed in Muller Road Middle.

This is the first year since 2019 that the report cards assigned ratings to individual schools.

Districts did not receive ratings.

Blythewood High received enough points (68) to earn an Excellent rating as well, but was downgraded to Good because not enough students were tested.

A Good rating means a school “exceeds the criteria to ensure all students meet the Profile of the SC Graduate,” the report card says.

“If a school tests less than 95 percent of eligible students, then the school’s Rating in Academic Achievement will be reduced by one Rating level,” a disclaimer on the report cards states. “The school is also not eligible for the highest overall rating level.”

Other Blythewood area schools receiving Good ratings included Lake Carolina Elementary, Langford Elementary and Muller Road Middle.

No school received an Unsatisfactory rating. Westwood High received the area’s lone Below Average rating. Richland Northeast was the only other school in the district to receive a Below Average rating. Below Average means a school is in jeopardy of not meeting state standards.

Digging deeper into the data, Westwood High received Unsatisfactory ratings in the Academic Achievement and Preparing for Success categories.

Academic Achievement ratings are determined by the number of students scoring C or better on English and Algebra end of course tests.

At Westwood, 45.6% scored C or better in English while only 31.6% received at least a C in Algebra, trailing district averages, according to the data.

Prime instructional time plunged from 84.4% to 81.3%, data shows.

Westwood’s percentages were even lower on Biology and US History and Constitution exams, with only 22.4% and 26.4%, respectively, meeting the standards.

Richland Two board members have yet to publicly discuss school report card results at regular business meetings. The October meetings focused primarily on debate over board travel, district finance reports and teacher of the year recognitions.

A news release published to the Richland Two website notes that the number of schools in the district rated Excellent rose from 9 to 13 since before the Covid-19 pandemic, according to district data.

The district saw a slight decrease of schools rated Good, with the district dropping from 13 to 12. There were eight Average schools, four fewer than in 2018-2019, district data shows.

Prime instructional time plunged from 84.4% to 81.3%, data shows.

As for Blythewood High, the school received a Below Average Rating in the Academic Achievement category and Average in Preparing for Success.

However, Blythewood received Excellent ratings under Graduation Rate and College and Career Readiness, according to the report cards.

Blythewood reported a 92.1% graduation rate, surpassing the district (85.1%) and state (83.8%).

Blythewood also bested the district and state in the percentage of students who were college ready, career ready, and college and/or career ready, data shows.

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