School

(Dec. 7, 2018) Worcester County Public Schools received four out of five stars in a state report card released Tuesday by the Maryland Department of Education’s website.

On a scale from one to five, nine eligible county schools received a four-star rating, slightly above the state average of 3.5 stars, according to state data. The purpose of the report cards is to provide a progress report to gauge how the school is preforming.

“Under the new federal legislation, Every Student Succeeds Act …, it stipulates that every school will be rated and they lay out a variety of areas that a school will be rated on, or will receive a report card on,” said Worcester public schools’ chief academic officer, Dr. John Quinn. “In Maryland, we chose to give stars.”

The program comes after “No Child Left Behind,” which Quinn said focused exclusively on math and English language testing as a “determiner of whether a school was deemed successful or not.”

He added this approach takes more of a comprehensive look.”

These ratings differ for elementary, middle and high schools, according to the school district. All schools have requirements for academic achievement, English language proficiency, school quality, and overall student success.

Quinn also clarified school quality means the students have a myriad of subjects in their curriculum. 

Additional components for the elementary and middle school include academic progress, according to the school district. The district said the high school factors signify graduation rates and preparedness for post-graduate careers.

The school district provided a list of the eligible four-star schools and their scores below listing the school’s points out of the total points and earned percentages:

• Buckingham Elementary School: 44.6 points out of 70 points, 63.7 percent

• Ocean City Elementary School: 51.3 points out of 70 points, 73.3 percent 

• Berlin Intermediate School: 49.17 points out of 75 points, 65.5 percent 

• Pocomoke Middle School: 95.4 points out of 148 points, 64.4 percent

• Snow Hill Middle School: 95.9 points out of 148 points, 64.8 percent

• Stephen Decatur Middle School: 53 points out of 83 points, 63.9 percent

• Pocomoke Middle School: 49.3 points out of 80 points, 61.7 percent

• Snow Hill High School: 58.9 points out of 80 points, 73.6 percent

• Stephen Decatur High School: 61.8 points out of 90 points, 68.6 percent

Several schools including Pocomoke, Showell and Snow Hill elementary schools were not eligible for a rating because they meet the minimum requirements of 45 total possible points earned, according to a statement from the county’s school district.

Quinn added these schools work with the PreK3 class, meaning students attending these elementary school will head to middle school in a traditional fourth grade age.

“So … we realize that … the foundation that they lay is very important and the principals are aware of that,” Quinn said.

Quinn said some schools on the list were close to reaching five stars, but didn’t quite make it.

“We know what we have to work on, and like I said, this is the first year in a long process,” Quinn said.

That process, Quinn said, would last until 2030 as part of the federal legislative initiative, Every Student Succeeds Act.

Superintendent Lou Taylor praised the district’s efforts to gain four-star marks on the state’s report card website, but emphasized work remains to be done.

“While we recognize that there are still strides to make here in Worcester County, we are pleased to begin from a very strong baseline position,” Taylor said in a statement.

For more information about the schools, school districts and to view report cards, visit the Maryland Report Card Website at MdReportCard.org.

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