By Rachel Ravina, Staff Writer
(Dec. 12, 2019) No school district in Maryland had a better state report card than Worcester County’s public school system, according to the state Department of Education, which released the results of its assessment for 2019 last Tuesday.
Nine schools in Worcester received four- and five-star ratings on the 2019 Maryland State Report Card. It was the only district to post overall performance at that level.
Superintendent Lou Taylor praised Worcester County Public Schools efforts following the declaration.
“That we have the highest concentration of four- and five-star schools in the state is further validation of the great work going on in our schools every day,” schools Superintendent Lou Taylor said in a statement last week.
The county had two five-star and seven four-star educational institutions, according to the state education department’s findings.
- Stephen Decatur Middle School was awarded a five-star rating. The school earned 73.4 out of 96.5 points, which accounted for a 76 percent score.
- Snow Hill High School received a five-star rating. The school scored a 76 percent by earning 69.2 points out of a possible 90 points.
- Buckingham Elementary School had a four-star rating. The school earned 48.2 points out of a possible 73 points, which translates to 66 percent.
- Ocean City Elementary School received a four-star rating. The school scored a 70 percent by earning 51.5 points out of a possible 73 points.
- Berlin Intermediate School obtained a four-star rating. The school earned 64.2 points out of a possible 100 points, which accounted for 64 percent.
- Pocomoke Middle School was awarded a four-star rating. The school scored a 69 percent by earning 122.8 points out of a possible 176.5 points.
- Snow Hill Middle School had a four star rating. The school earned 112.3 points out of 176.5 points, which was a 63 percent score.
- Pocomoke High School received a four-star rating. The school earned 66.7 points out of a possible 90 points, which accounted for 74 percent.
- Stephen Decatur High School obtained a four-star rating. The school scored a 70 percent by earning 70.3 points out of a possible 100 points.
In order to be eligible for a star rating, a school needs to have at least 45 points, according to school officials.
According to Carrie Sterrs, a spokesperson for Worcester County Public Schools, Pocomoke, Showell and Snow Hill elementary schools did not satisfy the “necessary point threshold,” and Worcester Technical High and Cedar Chapel Special schools did “not meet the qualifications for a star rating.”
School report cards were made available online last year to aggregate data in an accessible fashion to show how a particular educational institution is performing, according to educational officials.
School quality, student success, academic achievement, and English language proficiency progress were contributing factors for ratings across all schools, according to officials.
In elementary and middle schools, academic progress was also measured, according to school officials. Graduation rates and readiness for postsecondary success were also considered at the high school level.
According to education officials, this was the first year that school composite scores from a statewide school survey also made up a portion of the rating. The questionnaire covered several topics including safety, relationships and environment.
“Although we were very thrilled with the results, we’d also been keeping a close eye on it all year long, and we’re just thrilled that it came out the way it did,” Denise Shorts, chief academic officer for kindergarten through eighth grades, said last week.
Also of note is that Worcester’s schools are locally funded for the most part, as it receives little state aid as compared to other counties.
For more information about the Maryland Report Card website, visit mdreportcard.org.