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      Enrollment, graduation rates up in Charleston County Schools

      By Ava Wilhiteawilhite@abcnews4.com

      Charleston, S.C. (WCIV) {}Dr. Nancy McGinley, Superintendent of Charleston County Schools, announced to a room full of faculty and staff the district has several reasons to celebrate.

      "I'm pleased with what we've seen with the high school graduation rate going up and I'm pleased with where we are with literacy improvement, but we have to see that same improvement in mathematics," said McGinley.

      Currently eighth{}grade math seems to be the only area that has not seen the same rate of achievement, but McGinley said they will set aside Title 1 funds specifically for math.

      "We are going to spend 80 percent of that on math support, math coaches who will working with our teachers because, as I said early in my presentation the skills and the requirements that are being placed on students is very difficult," said McGinley.

      According to the school district's state-issued report card, out of 84 schools in the district only 8 schools are At-Risk. McGinley said that could be another reason why enrollment in the district is up for the sixth{}year in a row.

      "I think people are recognizing that these schools are high quality and we have great teachers. So, I think that is why people are coming back to Charleston County," said McGinley.

      McGinley said this school year had two real challenges to work through, first the shooting in Newtown, Conn., which prompted schools nationwide to increase security and the potential of the Durham bus drivers strike.

      "The bus strike of course was something, we did not want to have to spend time on and it took time away from our focus on academics," said McGinley.

      McGinley said it's their community partnerships that are helping them to reach academic goals especially with literacy issues. Principals said they are seeing a difference.

      "We also have a lunch buddies program, so when we talked about mentoring today the impacts of a mentor just drove home what we are already doing because we have a lunch buddies programs," said Kala Goodwine Principal Baptist Hill.

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