New record for schools earning Palmetto awards

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Twenty-seven Beaufort County schools — a record number for the district — have earned 2011-12 Palmetto Gold or Silver awards for student academic achievement, the South Carolina Department of Education announced today.
The district’s 27 school recognitions were an improvement over last year’s 15 winners and a dramatic increase from three winners in 2006-07.
“We are very proud of the way our schools have sustained academic progress over time.  With the economic downturn, we had to cut budgets and lost a number of valuable assets such as science and technology coaches. For students to continue making academic improvements, year after year, is a glowing testament to their hard work and also to the determination and creativity of our teachers, school and district leaders, staff and community and business partners,” said Superintendent Valerie Truesdale.
The Palmetto Gold and Palmetto Silver program was created by the South Carolina General Assembly to recognize schools that attain high levels of absolute performance, high rates of growth and substantial progress in closing achievement gaps between groups of students.
Seven schools were “double winners” recognized for general performance and closing achievement gaps: Bluffton Elementary, Coosa Elementary, Hilton Head Island International Baccalaureate Elementary, Hilton Head Island High, Michael C. Riley Elementary, Okatie Elementary and Red Cedar Elementary.
Four district schools were first-time winners: Bluffton Middle, Lady’s Island Middle, Pritchardville Elementary and Riverview Charter.