FLORENCE, S.C. — Three elementary schools in the Florence One Schools district are winners of state awards.
Royall Elementary School is a 2018-2019 Palmetto Gold winner, one year after it was named a Palmer Silver winner.
Carver Elementary and Timrod Elementary schools are 2018-19 Palmetto Silver winners.
The awards were announced Monday by the S.C. Department of Education.
The purpose of the program is “to recognize and reward schools for academic achievement and for closing the achievement gap.”
“We are elated with these results,” Florence One Schools Superintendent Richard O’Malley said in a news release. “Coming on the heels of the State Report Cards where four of our schools achieved a rating of Excellent, our schools are having a banner year.”
Figures used to determine the awards include student data over time that proves academic achievement and growth, as well as student attendance, teacher attendance and graduation rates for high schools.
The Palmetto Gold and Silver Awards program was established in 1998 in accordance with the Education Accountability Act, section 59-18-1100. The Education Oversight Committee (EOC) and the S.C. Board of Education present the awards to recognize schools with high levels of academic achievement, attaining high rates of growth and making substantial progress in closing the achievement gap between student groups.
“Royall Elementary was given Silver for 2018 and now received Gold for 2019,” O’Malley said. “That shows that the school’s administration, teachers and staff are not content with just being a good school, they want to be the best. That is something that we all can strive for.”
Royall Elementary School is in the top 2% of all elementary schools in the state. Julie Smith is the school’s principal.
To be eligible for Palmetto Gold, schools must have a state report card rating of Excellent Academic Achievement and Excellent Student Progress; Excellent Academic Achievement and Good Student Progress; or Good Academic Achievement and Excellent Student Progress.
For Palmetto Silver, schools must have a state report card rating of Average Academic Achievement and Excellent Student Progress; Good Academic Achievement and Good Student Progress; or Excellent Academic Achievement and Average Student Progress.
“The rigor in our classrooms has increased, and we are very happy that the state is recognizing our schools for their hard work,” O’Malley said. “Everyone in this district is embracing the four objectives of our Florence 1 in 2021 vision, which includes superior student achievement and offering an array of academic options to prepare our students for their future.
“We are continuing to put our students first and we are making great progress.”