Beaufort County School District officials joined community members Friday morning for the annual State of the Schools breakfast.
The event highlighted school and student achievements over the past year, according to district release.
Those achievements included:
- Improving high school graduation rates.
- Nearly 2,200 students took advantage of the "schools of choice" program this school year. The program allows parents to apply to send their children to any academic program at any school in district, regardless of where they live.
- The Connect2Learn program provided a mobile computer to every student in grades K-12.
- The district added 260 full-day prekindergarten slots over the past two years, which has allowed schools to reduce or even eliminate waiting lists of at-risk children who need focused attention before they start classes.
- The district celebrated its fourth Palmetto's Finest Award winner in as many years, making Beaufort County one of only two districts statewide to claim that distinction.
- Graduating seniors earned a record $30 million in college scholarships.
- The district earned a renewal of its national accreditation from AdvancED, a nonprofit organization that provides external reviews of school systems. AdvancED said that the district's accreditation scores exceeded the national average in all three categories rated. In addition, AdvancED awarded specialized STEM certification to all four district schools that applied.
- New high-tech facilities are being built at Battery Creek High School and the under-construction May River High School.
- Two new schools will serve the fast-growing Bluffton community. River Ridge Academy opened in August, and May River High School will open in August 2016.