Two Waccamaw schools get top ratings on state report cards – Coastal Observer


Two Waccamaw schools get top ratings on state report cards

A 94 percent graduation rate helped earn an “excellent” rating for Waccamaw High.

Waccamaw Middle and Waccamaw High have the highest scores in the district on state report cards that were released this week. Along with Pleasant Hill Elementary, they earned overall ratings of “excellent.”

“As a collective team, we worked so hard with different strategies and initiatives together that allowed us to address all students and work to grow each of them,” Waccamaw Middle principal Ginny Haynes said. “We continue to work collaboratively, support each other and hold each other accountable for the sake of our students.”

The middle school’s score of 67 garned it an “excellent” rating. The score is 24 points higher than last year when the school was rated as “average,” and double the score in 2019. The state did not issue report cards in 2020 or 2021 due to the global pandemic.

“I have been saying since I became principal of WMS back in September of 2021 that we were not an average school,” Haynes said. “We do not have average students. We do not have average educators. And we are not part of an average community.” 

Waccamaw Middle was rated as excellent in academic achievement, good in student progress and average in school climate.

Among the other middle schools in the district, Coastal Montessori (51) has a “good” rating, Rosemary (41) has an average rating, and Carvers Bay (31) and Georgetown (26) both have “below average” ratings. 

Coastal Montessori middle school rating dropped from 54 in 2022. It is rated as excellent in school climate, good in academic achievement and preparing for success, and average in student progress.

Waccamaw High scored a 67, a four-point increase over 2022. That is an excellent rating.

“This rating reinforces Waccamaw High School’s continued commitment to academic excellence and providing our students with the truly best education possible to prepare them for college and/or a career following graduation,” principal David Hammel said. “As an excellent rated school, we are in approximately the top 20 percent of all schools in the state of South Carolina.”

Hammel took over as principal before the start of the school year after former principal Adam George was demoted and transferred to Georgetown High School. 

Waccamaw is rated as excellent in its graduation rate (94 percent); average in academic achievement, preparing for success and school climate; and good for college and career readiness. Waccamaw’s graduation rate is eight points higher than the district average and 10 points higher than the state’s. 

“Waccamaw High School is truly a great school, where students are provided an outstanding academic education in a caring and nurturing social/emotional environment,” Hammel said.

Among the other high schools, Carvers Bay has an average rating (51), and Andrews (47) and Georgetown (46) have below average ratings.

Waccamaw Intermediate (57) has the third highest score among the district’s elementary schools behind Pleasant Hill (63) and Kensington (59). Pleasant Hill is the only elementary school to improve its rating from 2022. 

“We were hoping to get to excellent because you always want to strive to be as good as you can be,” principal Travis Klatka said. “We fell just short so we’re going to look at those areas we need to focus on and put a plan in place and continue moving forward.”

The intermediate school was excellent in academic achievement, good in school climate, and average in preparing for success and student progress.

“We’re really proud of our teachers and our students for the report card,” Klatka said. “We made a lot of great gains academically. We have the highest scores in math and ELA that we’ve ever seen. We’re really proud of that aspect.”

Four elementary schools were rated below average: Maryville (39), Coastal Montessori (37), Andrews (36) and Sampit (35).

The charter school’s elementary rating dropped from 55 in 2019 and 54 in 2022. It is rated as good in school climate, below average in academic achievement and student progress, and unsatisfactory for preparing for success.

The ratings scale the state uses varies depending on the grade level of a school.

For high schools, 67 and above is excellent, 60 to 66 is good, 51 to 59 is average, 40 to 50 is below average, and 39 and under is unsatisfactory.

For middle schools, 56 and above is excellent, 48 to 55 is good, 36 to 47 is average, 29 to 35 is below average, and 28 and under is unsatisfactory.

For elementary schools, 61 and above is excellent, 53 to 60 is good, 42 to 52 is average, 34 to 41 is below average, and 33 and under unsatisfactory.

Because of Waccamaw Elementary’s grade configuration it does not receive a state report card.

“We always await the release of our ratings with great interest. This gives us a chance to celebrate accomplishments as well as identify areas of needed improvement,” Superintendent Keith Price said. “We are especially proud of the five schools with overall improved report card ratings. This shows that GCSD’s strategic work to increase student performance and growth is paying off.”

Statewide, 583 schools are rated as good or excellent. That is 59 more than in 2022.

The number of schools rated as average, 442, was the same as 2022.

The number of schools rated as below average or unsatisfactory dropped from 268 in 2022 to 215 in 2023.

Complete report card information is available 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   , .