Clarendon School District 3 has received a Palmetto Gold Award and a Palmetto Silver Award from the South Carolina Department of Education for the 2011-2012 school year.
East Clarendon Middle/High School received a gold award for two categories, general performance in grades 6-12 and for closing the achievement gap in grades 6-8.
Walker-Gamble Elementary School received a silver award for general performance.
Established by the Education Accountability Act of 1998, the Palmetto Gold and Silver Awards Program gives recognition to schools for high levels of academic achievement and high rates of improvement. A section of the EAA was amended in 2008 to include awards for schools that close the gaps in achievement between historically lower- and higher-achieving demographic groups of students as an additional criterion to overall school performance.
The specific criteria used to identify schools to be recognized are established by the Accountability Division of the Education Oversight Committee. CSD3 Superintendent Dr. Connie Dennis said that she was very proud of the successes of the two schools.
“This is an accomplishment for the administration, teachers, students, along with the board members, the parents and the community for working together towards a common goal,” Dennis said.
East Clarendon Middle-High School Principal Kelvin Lemon said that receiving the Palmetto Gold Award was a collaborative effort across grade levels and a significant achievement for the teachers, staff and administration to be rewarded for their hard work.
“They are on the front lines in providing an education for our students,” he said. “They are doing an excellent job.”
Walker-Gamble Elementary School Principal Sheila Floyd said that she accepted the Palmetto Silver Award on behalf of all of all the faculty and staff at the school. She said that she was appreciative of the part that every person played for the school to be able to receive the award.
“This was a well-deserved honor for everyone including our parents and community members,” she said.