Thompson gives report to community
Berkeley County School District educators have the opportunity to positively impact students every day, and according to a recent report it appears that is exactly what they are doing.
Superintendent Rodney Thompson delivered the 2013 Report to the Community at the regularly scheduled Feb. 26 school board meeting in Moncks Corner.
Thompson discussed various test scores, which have improved in many areas, and reviewed goals and projected growth in the coming years.
He said goals include having a positive school climate, high student performance, community engagement, strategic human resources managed, fiscal responsibility and effective communication.
The district grew by 939 students this year and is expected to grow by 15,000 students in the next 18 years, Thompson said. Five new schools are planned for the coming years as part of a $198 million bond referendum.
According to Thompson, the new schools are set to utilize the same cost-effective strategy that went into building Cane Bay Middle School, the district’s newest school which opened in August. The other new schools are expected to be built between 2014 and 2019, according to the presentation.
The superintendent highlighted the district’s “A” rating on the state and federal accountability tests.
Thompson discussed the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test results, in which county schools appeared to do well.
“We’re above the national average for grades 2 through 8,” Thompson said. “We have come a long way in reading. We are pleased with our math MAP scores but understand there is a need for improving, especially in the middle grades.
“The true results will come over the next five years as the graduation rate improves.
“We’re pleased with our reading results but will have to improve one grade level more. We need to replicate what is working and eliminate what is not a bang for our bucks.
“Before third grade our students are learning to read. After third grade they read to learn.”
Thompson also pointed out the district received the highest possible rating on its recent financial audit.
In the past year the district has sent 10,341 parent notification messages, launched 31 school Facebook pages, sent four e-newsletters, and held six district development training sessions, according to the presentation.
Expectations in the coming year are to keep students safe, establish long-term goals that support academics, the arts and athletic excellence for students, renovate schools, lead classroom technology implementation, support staff with professional development and several other goals.