WILLISTON, S.C. (WJBF) – The South Carolina Department of Education has unveiled its annual school report cards. Among the success stories is Kelly Edwards Elementary School in Williston.

“I love Kelly Edwards,” Lavonda Trottie shared. “I have family rooted here. I was raised here. My aunts, uncles, all of us went here.”

Tuesday, the South Carolina Department of Education released its annual school report cards at Kelly Edwards Elementary School.

“In 2018, this school was rated at 28, which put it in the lowest possible category, unsatisfactory, but that’s not where the story ends,” SC State Superintendent Ellen Weaver recalled.

The number has risen to 71. “I feel wonderful, alumni and grandparent Cathy Roberts shared. ‘It’s not an easy task, but we love here first. We love our children. We teach them, we give them our all and our all. There’s nothing we won’t do for these kids to make sure that they’re well educated.”

Principal Monique Smalls shares the key to this progress lies in the school’s strategic initiatives “We have created an hour-long intervention block. It’s where we address those deficits,” she said.

State education leaders shared statewide, 22.5 percent of schools received an overall rating of ‘excellent,’ an increase of two percent from the previous year. “This school and others around the state have embraced a focus on the science of reading, meaning that teachers and leaders have here have committed to learning research-driven methods that improve the instruction reading,” Chair, SC Education Oversight Committee April Allen shared.

The report cards also show some areas that need work. More than half of students are not meeting math scores.

“One of my top budget priorities this year in my presentation to the General Assembly will be around how can we create a Palmetto Math Project to focus on those disparities in math? We know that literacy and math go hand in hand as the foundational skills that students have to have if they’re going to be successful in life,” Superintendent Weaver shared.

New this year, high school student success ratings. This measure not only looks at 9th graders who earned six credits including math and English but also five-year graduation. “We are reading research and talking with our peers in other states, every day, to learn from the strategies that they’re pursuing to close those gaps,” she added.

To see the report cards for your child’s school and district head to screportcards.com.