- Orangeburg County School District
Orangeburg County School District Continues To Make Academic Gains
ORANGEBURG, S.C. – The South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) and the South Carolina Education Oversight Committee (EOC) released the 2023 S.C. School Report Cards today, and the gains of Orangeburg County School District (OCSD) students and educators are highlighted – including student performance information and other elements of school quality and effectiveness for the 2022-2023 school year.
The School Report Cards, based on South Carolina's education accountability system, are required for all elementary, middle, and high schools, which receive overall ratings based on a 100-point scale. The ratings follow terms outlined in state law: Excellent, Good, Average, Below Average, and Unsatisfactory. Schools also receive ratings on various indicators such as academic achievement, college and career readiness, and graduation rate.
“The school report card data shows that 73% of the schools in OCSD are rated average or above, and there are several OCSD schools that realized rating increases of two steps," said Dr. Shawn D. Foster, Superintendent. "These increases emphasize our academic strategies' positive impact on our students," he continued.
In OCSD, the school report card ratings are as follows:
• two schools rated excellent,
• five schools rated good (up from 3 last year),
• 15 schools rated average (up from 10 last year),
• four schools rated below average (down from 7 last year),
• and four schools rated unsatisfactory (down from 8 last year).
• SCREADY ELA Assessment
o OCSD saw an increase of 8.1%, and the state had an increase of 7.3%
• SCREADY Math
o OCSD grew by 5.2%, and the state grew by 2%.
• EOCEP English Assessment
o OCSD had a slight decrease of 1.1%.
• Algebra Assessment,
o OCSD decreased by 5.1, and the state by 2.5%.
• SCPASS Science Assessment
o OCSD saw a slight increase of 2.5%, while the state had a slight decrease of 0.9%
• EOCEP Biology
o OCSD decreased by 2.2%, and the state decreased by 6.1%.
• U.S. History
o OCSD grew by 7.8%, and the state grew by 4.3%
ENGLISH LEARNERS’ PROGRESS
In OCSD, 39.8% of students met progress toward the proficiency target - an increase of 4% compared to the 1% state decrease. Further, in OCSD, we are committed to the ELL students we serve to ensure they have access to the S.C. Seal of Biliteracy assessment.
The SC Seal of Biliteracy advances the commitment to preparing every learner for college- and career-readiness in an increasingly international community by recognizing students who attain proficiency in English and at least one other world language required in the global workforce. Also, the award encourages students to take ownership of their language proficiency growth, better prepare themselves for today's workforce, and become lifelong language learners.
The OCSD’s graduation rate decreased by 2.8% to 77.6%. The state's graduation rate has remained unchanged at 83.8%. In the state of South Carolina, all public schools and the schools in Orangeburg County are no different - they serve all children and provide them with the opportunity to receive a high-quality education to prepare them to pursue opportunities after high school. As a result of educating students and meeting them where they are, we know that some students we serve will not attain a high school diploma. As such, high schools in OCSD will continue to aim for 100%, knowing that challenges exist. In this year’s cohort, the maximum graduation rate that the district could receive for students who qualified for a diploma was 94.4%. Keep in mind that the size of a school can dramatically impact graduation rates. A small school that loses or gains students will have a different impact than a larger one.
“Although OCSD prides itself on serving the whole child and meeting them where they are – we also wanted to explain to our community that although there was a decrease in graduation rate, we remained unequivocally committed to meeting every child where they are and supporting their educational needs – unique to them," said Dr. Shawn Foster.
Regarding student progress, OCSD earned a higher percentage of progress points than the state in each area measured. The district realized gains of 2.1% overall. OCSD increased by 1.9% for the ‘All Students’ category, and in the ‘Lowest Performing’ category - OCSD grew by 2.2%, compared to the .1% increase by the state in each area.
Regarding school climate, OCSD realized some commendable gains - and increased in most areas compared to last year.
• Overall perceptions of school climate in the district increased from 6.06 to 6.19.
• Teacher perceptions of instructional focus in the district increased from 7.1 to the state's 7.43.
• Teacher perceptions of working conditions in the district increased from 7.36 to 7.43.
• Teacher perceptions of safety in the district increased from 7.22 to 7.45.
• Both OCSD and the state saw decreased student perceptions of the social-physical environment.
• Both the district and the state increased student perceptions of safety.
• Finally, overall perceptions of the school climate in the district increased from 6.06 compared to 6.19.
“The climate of any school or school district is vitally important,” said Dr. S. Foster. “It is important to me as superintendent to be aware of how our educators and students are feeling, and in turn, making modifications as necessary to ensure they are in quality environments conducive to teaching and learning,” he continued. He further shared, “I am proud to know that as it relates to the school climate survey, 98.4% of teachers completed the survey compared to 89.4% for the state this year." 91.1% of students in grades 3-12 completed the survey, compared to 84.5% for the state.
OCSD plans to implement strategies to support student's academic improvement strategically. To that end, OCSD introduced a new universal screener this year – iReady. Chosen by teachers and administrators because of its instructional focus, iReady allows teachers to diagnose student needs and provide strategies and tools to assist students. One example is the scaffolding report that will enable teachers to bridge the gap between a student's actual performance and grade-level performance. Also, in mathematics, a prerequisite report tells a teacher which prerequisite skills a student has not mastered for the standard and provides resources for the teacher to assist the student. Additionally, the program generates a learning path for each student and assigns them computer lessons to address their needs.
Dr. Foster said, "We know what the data shows, but we also know what the data does not show. In OCSD, we educate the whole child and, sometimes, often, the whole family. Therefore, we understand the challenges and opportunities our students encounter, and we are laser-focused on meeting them where they are and growing them to where they should be," he concluded.
The Report Cards, available at www.screportcards.com, highlight student performance information and other elements of school quality and effectiveness for the 2022-2023 school year.