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      McClellanville school a beacon of success state report shows

      Dr. Yvonne Commodore, Lincoln Middle-High principal

      MCCLELLANVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) - School district grades were released Thursday, showing that every district in the tri-county area dropped at least a point when compared to last year's numerical scores while the actual letter grades stayed the same.

      The grades are based annually on student achievement and improvement, a formula that many school officials around the state say is unfair.

      Aside from the grades, data released showed that 82 percent of high school students passed their exit exams on their first try, an improvement over last year. The number of passing test scores also went up in most districts.

      While many schools and districts are upset with the scores, one school is excited about the huge leap forward they've taken in the last year. Lincoln Middle-High School has completely turned things around.

      Thursday's school report card brought news of amazing success. The school went from an F to an A in just one year.

      School officials were told it was impossible, but 140 students and a group of teachers and administrators never gave up.{} After receiving an F last year, the school's principal, Dr. Yvonne Commodore took a hard look at the data and decided to focus on literacy.

      She started Saturday Success Academy where the students received extra help and worked in small groups.

      But that program was not enough. She also started each day with a pep rally to encourage the students and even moved her office from the front of the building to the middle hallway so she could be more accessible and right at the heart of her team.

      The small steps made a big difference when this year's test scores were released.

      "Together - you have to do it together. You cannot do it alone. It takes the teachers, the community, the staff, everyone working to make it happen," said Commodore.

      And the school is buzzing. The teachers say the students will be excited to hear the news when they return later this month.

      Commodore said while they plan to celebrate the improvement, it will be short-lived. She's set her sights on improving math scores next.

      Lincoln Middle-High School has also partnered with ABCNews4 in recent months. JROTC students have been given the opportunity to file reports about school activities that are posted on ABCNews4.com.{}

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      Online:

      2013 letter grades for South Carolina schools: http://ed.sc.gov/data/esea/2013/

      2013 standardized test results for grades 3-8: http://ed.sc.gov/data/pass/2013/

      2013 high school graduation exam results: http://ed.sc.gov/data/hsap/hsap.cfm?year=2013

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