The schools were recognized for their academic achievement, student academic improvement and closing achievement gaps, according to Julie Thompson, spokesperson for the school district.
The six schools awarded Gold include Ambler Elementary, Clemson Elementary, Forest Acres Elementary, Holly Springs Elementary, Liberty Elementary and the B.J. Skelton Career Center.
Achieving Silver were Central Elementary, Crosswell Elementary, East End Elementary, A. R. Lewis Elementary, Pickens Senior High and Six Mile Elementary.
“We are extremely proud of every administrator, teacher, student, staff and parent who contributed to the schools’ success,” said Dr. Mendel Stewart, interim superintendent.
“These individuals are dedicated to students and their success,” he said.
Clemson, Forest Acres, and Liberty elementaries, as well as the career center won gold based on general performance.
According to Thompson, overall performance was based on the school’s 2008 state report card’s absolute and improvement ratings.
These ratings are determined by PACT scores for elementary and middle schools, she said.
“For high schools, the ratings are based on exit exam results, graduation rate and percentage of students passing end-of-course tests,” Thompson said.
Central and Six Mile elementaries won silver for their general performance.
Ambler, Forest Acres and Hilly Springs took gold based on closing the achievement gap.
These awards were based on academic gains made by students who fall into four subgroups – African American students, Hispanic students, students participating in federal free-or-reduced lunch programs and students with non-speech disabilities, Thompson said.
Those taking silver for improving their achievement gaps include East End, A.R. Lewis, and Liberty elementaries, as well as Pickens Senior High.
The Palmetto Gold and Silver program is in its eight year and includes a financial award, Thompson said.
The winning schools will receive notice of awards totals in the near future, according to officials with the S.C. Department of Education.