Florence School District 4 assessment update on state-run schools

TIMMONSVILLE, SC (WBTW) – The Florence School District Four School Board met Tuesday night to discuss how the state takeover of two schools has affected test scores.

The State Board of Education declared a State of Emergency in Brockington Elementary School and Johnson Middle School in Florence School District Four in March of last year.

"I know the state came in and took over and I want to know have the grades increased?" asked one parent in the audience Tuesday night.

Superintendent-elect Dr. Rechel Anderson said the two schools have seen improvement, but more work needs to be done in certain curriculums.

"Some of the areas that we definitely need to work on and, I'll be very honest with you, is our English language arts and most certainly writing," Dr. Anderson.

Dr. Anderson said that Johnson Middle School saw improvement in the passage rate of algebra one, but categories like social sciences and language arts need continued work. Dr. Anderson said the district saw improvements in third, seventh, and eighth-grade data with SC Ready Math. She said there was an improvement in fourth and sixth-grade social studies testing as well.

Dr. Anderson noted that the district was not comparing the same children and that the district is comparing the performance from one year to the next.

"We are not definitely where we want to be but there are small increments of improvement we definitely have experienced since state takeover," said the superintendent-elect.

There was an update from Dr. Latoya Dixon with the State Department of Education in which she said the state would provide more money for technical assistance at the two schools for the upcoming school year.

"For the progress that was made last year, school improvement is a process that usually takes three to five years," Dr. Dixon said to the board. "To see comprehensive improvement across all subject areas you're to be commended for those areas."

Dr. Anderson said her goal is to teach children to be successful beyond test scores in order to prepare them for the real world.

"When anyone looks at our data, they understand that we're definitely working as a team for the betterment of our children, our district, as well as our schools overall," said Dr. Anderson.

Dr. Anderson said the students aren't the only ones learning, that the district is providing professional development for the teachers so they can deliver the lesson clearly and help their students work on timed tests.

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