Minor gains for Horry County School District report card

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The Horry County School District received an overall rating of 'Good' and a growth rating of 'Average' on the 2013 state report card.

There's a lot in the data and whether you see it as good or bad depends upon how you look at it. On one hand, district students improved in some areas, but there's still a large percentage of children falling behind.

For example, the percentage of sixth grade students meeting their level in math went up about three percent from last year, but still 20.4 percent of sixth grade students are falling behind in math. That's one in five students.

Another example shows 25.9 percent of third grade students aren't meeting the standards for their level when it comes to English. That's about one in four students.

"Literacy for our county is a tremendous issue because our students who live in poverty come to school with a vocabulary that is so deficient and so we spend a lot of time catching up," said Dr. Cindy Elsberry, the superintendent for the district.

Elsberry said early intervention programs are key when it comes to reading. The district has a parent child home program but it only reaches about 250 families. She says continuing to provide specialized help in the classroom is the plan of attack moving forward.

Some of the gains in the district are seen at graduation. The graduation rate is 77.7 percent as compared to 77.3 percent in 2012. It's nearly the same number, but students have record breaking SAT scores, and the majority of 2013 graduates have gone on to post-secondary education.

"We are pleased with the increase. I don't think we can ever sit back and be completely happy until it's 100 percent, but we are moving in the right direction," said Elsberry.

Copyright 2013 WMBF News. All rights reserved.