The Kershaw County School District (KCSD) is helping all students develop the world class skills and life and career characteristics of the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate by ensuring that our students are college and career ready. We provide all students with challenging opportunities in safe and nurturing learning environments.
Through rigorous learning opportunities, we inspire students to think critically and solve real world problems. Hands-on technology experiences enrich our students’ learning including one-to-one technology available in grades 3-12. Student achievement continues to improve at every grade level as teachers differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all learners while disciplinary issues continue to drastically decrease as a result of our Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS) programs. Our students also benefit from partnerships with the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Midlands and the University of South Carolina’s College of Social Work.
Reading and writing experiences across the curriculum are evident in all of our schools. Advanced Placement classes and numerous dual-enrollment courses through a partnership with Central Carolina Technical College provide our students with opportunities to obtain college credit. An innovative partnership provides qualified Kershaw County graduates with full two-year scholarships to Central Carolina. Our Applied Technology Education Campus (ATEC) allows students to achieve industry-recognized certification in 12 different areas.
KCSD uses its resources wisely to receive optimal results. The district’s graduation rate is at an all-time high of 92.2 percent. KCSD’s graduates earned the highest overall scholarship total ever—$12.4 million—as well as brought in the highest per student amount. KCSD’s academic performance has also increased including local juniors outperforming the state average on the 2017 ACT college entrance exam, ranking the district’s average third highest among Midlands area school districts behind Lexington 1 and Lexington/Richland 5. More than 88 percent of KCSD 11th graders scored at the bronze level or better on the ACT WorkKeys exam, certifying that they have the essential skills needed for success in the workplace. Kershaw County’s score was four percentage points better than the state average.
The school district and several of our schools won 16 awards for excellence in communications from the South Carolina Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association, including an honor for the district website for the sixth straight year. KCSD also received the United Way of Kershaw County's highest volunteer award for its exemplary volunteer service to the citizens of Kershaw County; the school district was only the third organization to win the Jake Watson Award in its 26-year history. KCSD was awarded grants from the SC Arts Commission (SCAC) and the SC Department of Education (SCDE) that provided close to $160,000 in additional resources for arts programs. An $18,792 SCAC grant allowed KCSD to pursue implementation of a five-year strategic plan. SCDE grants in the amount of $140,197 provided a variety of arts-related learning at 11 KCSD schools.
KCSD’s financial operations again received the best audit results possible with “unmodified opinions” from an external independent CPA firm.
Our schools have received state and national honors for their success. Lugoff-Elgin Middle’s School Improvement Council was one of 19 schools named to the SC School Improvement Council’s 2018 Honor Roll for its significant efforts to foster civic engagement in public education. For the fourth time in five years, North Central High School (NCHS) was ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best high schools in the nation. NCHS received a bronze award and was one of only 59 SC high schools recognized.
Our students are also earning accolades for their achievements. Twelve students earned a perfect score on standardized tests including five students who earned the maximum score on SCPASS, and seven students who earned a perfect score on SC READY. Fifty-seven students earned scores high enough on spring 2017 AP exams to be named AP Scholars. Camden High School senior Angel Cooke was one of 100 students selected from thousands of applicants nationwide to attend the Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine. Camden Middle School 8th grader and Special Olympics/Project Unify Buddy Anthony Lyles was awarded the Be Fearless/Be Kind Award for promoting inclusion and acceptance. Stover Middle School student Amanda Spencer was selected for the Midlands Region Orchestra. Students raised $25,000 for the United Way of Kershaw County; over the past 10 years, KCSD students have raised more than $335,000 for this organization.
KCSD has talented and highly-skilled employees, many of whom were recognized at the national and state levels this school year. Nine additional KCSD teachers earned National Board certification, increasing the number of our teachers having this qualification to 113. The South Carolina chapter of the National School Public Relations Association named former Superintendent Dr. Frank Morgan as its Administrator of the Year and presented Communications Director Mary Anne Byrd with the organization’s 2018 Communicator of the Year Award. Communications Director Mary Anne Byrd also became Accredited in Public Relations, the only K-12 public education communications professional in South Carolina with this credential.
Three Kershaw County School Board members—Dr. James Smith, Ron Blackmon and Todd McDonald—were honored for reaching a new level in the SC School Boards Association’s Boardmanship Institute, which offers a year-round training curriculum to help board members develop skills and stay abreast of state and national education issues.
These accomplishments are a tribute to the excellence of our staff and the unwavering support of our families and the larger community. We appreciate these partnerships that help us to continue our academic success.