State targets Waccamaw Middle for additional support – Coastal Observer


State targets Waccamaw Middle for additional support

Waccamaw Middle had the district’s teacher of the year in 2022.

Waccamaw Middle School’s grade on the last state report cards has landed it on a state watch list.

The school is one of 365 across the state that have been chosen for “additional targeted support and improvement” by the state Department of Education.

Principal Ginny Haynes said the designation does not “capture the full picture of learning” at the school.

“We know there are skills gaps and knowledge deficits and will work to meet the needs of all students while continuing to emphasize on-grade level standards,” Haynes added. “Our faculty looks at student data weekly, and we are aware of the areas where our students struggle and areas where improvement is most needed. We are working diligently on those areas and look forward to the growth and improvement of our students overall.”

Waccamaw Middle’s overall rating on the last report card from the 2021-22 school year was 43 out of 100, which is average. That was a seven-point increase from 2019 and a 10-point increase from 2018. 

The rating put Waccamaw third among the district’s four middle schools.

On the report cards, school academic and progress ratings are based on student performance on standardized tests and indicate whether students are meeting state goals for academic achievement. 

Waccamaw Middle was rated “good” for academic achievement and “below average” for student progress.

Also on the “additional targeted support and improvement” list are: Georgetown High School, and McDonald, Andrews and Pleasant Hill Elementary schools. Those “ATSI schools” have subgroups performing in the lower 5 percent of their grade span.

The designation is reviewed every three years.

Maryville Elementary is on the list of “priority schools,” which mans they perform in the bottom 10 percent of their grad span.

Rosemary Middle is on the Department of Education’s “comprehensive support and improvement” list. The designation is for schools that receive federal Title I funds that are performing in the bottom 5 percent of their grade span. 

“These designations are a snapshot of the data compiled and analyzed by the district’s instructional team over the last year. Unfortunately, they are not a complete picture of the performance of our students or the work of our instructional staff,” said Bethany Giles, the district’s assistant superintendent of academics and student services. “We will continue to support and assist all students as we identify, build, and implement processes to ensure the success of all GCSD students.” 

The number of schools across the state on both lists has increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The 2022 school improvement designations are indicative of the impact of learning loss that resulted from the pandemic,” Superintendent Keith Price said.

Forty schools were on the  “comprehensive support and improvement” list in 2019. The number increased to 56 in 2022.

The “additional targeted support and improvement” list expanded from 207 in 2019 to 345 in 2022.

The number of “priority schools” dropped from 80 to 22 over the same time frame.

The state is required to assign designations to comply with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, which replaced the No Child Left Behind Act  in 2015.

The state Department of Eduction is “fully committed to deepening partnerships with schools to support students and reverse this generational learning loss,” said Matthew Ferguson, the deputy superintendent and chief academic officer.

Report card data can be found online at



Georgetown County Board of Education: First and third Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m., Beck Education Center. For details, go to Georgetown County Council: Second and fourth Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m., Council Chambers, 129 Screven St., Georgetown. For details, go to Pawleys Island Town Council: Second Mondays, 5 p.m. Town Hall, 323 Myrtle Ave. For details, go to   , .