By Lucas Vance firstname.lastname@example.org
April 16, 2014
WINNSBORO — Fairfield County School District recently announced that four of its elementary schools received either a Palmetto Gold or Palmetto Silver award for general performance or are closing the achievement gap.
Winning a Palmetto Gold Award for general performance for the third year in a row was Fairfield Magnet School for Math and Science.
Both Geiger Elementary School and Kelly Miller Elementary School won a Palmetto Gold Award and a Palmetto Silver Award for general performance and closing the achievement gap respectively.
McCrorey-Liston School for Technology won a Palmetto Silver Award for general performance.
With the exception of Fairfield Magnet School, the other three schools were pleased to accept their awards after not being recognized last year.
J.R. Green, superintendent of Fairfield County Schools, said he was proud to announce the accomplishment for four out of the county’s five elementary schools.
“I think that these schools saw tremendous improvement and we’re really excited about that,” he said.
Dr. Mick Zais, state superintendent of education, released the award recipients last week and noted a total of 592 schools (53 percent of schools in the state) had qualified for general performance, closing the achievement gap or both categories.
“Congratulations are in order for these Palmetto Gold and Silver Award winners that were selected by South Carolina’s Education Oversight Committee,” Zais stated.
The Palmetto Gold and Silver Awards program, founded in 1998, recognizes schools for general performance and closing the achievement gap.
Within those two categories, a school may be awarded either the gold or silver designation. This is the sixth year that closing the achievement gap has been included as part of the program.
Of the award recipients, only 65 schools were awarded the gold designation for both general performance and closing the achievement gap.
“These top 5 percent truly are our superstars,” Zais said.
Approximately 19 percent of this year’s recipient schools are also classified as high poverty, meaning that over 90 percent of their students receive Medicaid and/or Free or Reduced Meals.
Green said district staff will talk to each school’s principal to plan a celebration and how they would like to be recognized by the district.
Each school will receive a flag representing the Palmetto Award to put inside its building.
In the past, the awards were accompanied with a financial reward as well, however Green said that practice has been discontinued.