By Greg Oliver
COLUMBIA - Approximately 235 schools throughout the state, including 11 in Oconee, Pickens and Anderson 4, will share $3 million awarded Wednesday to palmetto Gold and Silver award recipients for 2007-08.
Created by the Education Accountability Act of 1998, and now in its seventh year, the program awards a minimum of $1,500 for gold and 1,000 for silver.
Pickens County topped the list of local school districts with seven awards – four gold and three silver. The gold winners, and their preliminary monetary awards, were B.J. Skelton Career Center, $24,898; Daniel High, $21,320; Liberty Elementary, $18,741; and Clemson Elementary, $16,380. The silver winners, and their preliminary monetary awards were Forest Acres Elementary, $10,154; Central Elementary, $6,510: and Holly Springs Elementary, $3,173.
"These awards are the result of the dedication and hard work of many people," said Pickens School Superintendent Lee D'Andrea. "I commend the school's administrators, teachers, students, staff, parents and community for continuing to strive for success and excellence in our school district."
Oconee County saw three schools receive the coveted awards. Hamilton Career Center was the lone gold recipient with a preliminary monetary award of $19,906: followed by silver recipients Code Elementary, $6.111: and Northside Elementary, $4.545.
"Schools only receive this award for the highest levels of student academic achievement and the fastest rates of improvement," said Oconee County District Superintendent Mike Lucas. "My congratulations to these schools and their faculties for a job well done."
Anderson District 4 saw one school Townville Elementary, silver, $3,284 - recognized as a Palmetto Award recipient.
The awards are based on the absolute and improvement ratings that are assigned to the schools on the 2007 school report cards. These ratings are determined by the PACT scores for the elementary and middle schools and by the High School Assessment Program (HSAP) results and eligibility for the Life Scholarship for the high schools.
In addition to a monetary award, each winning school receives an award flag and a certificate.