On June 19, 2017, State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman declared a state of emergency in the Allendale County School District. Superintendent Spearman’s decision was made after a comprehensive review of the district, multiple attempts to work with the local board, and considering the best interests of the students in Allendale County. The emergency declaration gives the State Superintendent direct control of the management of the district.
Superintendent Spearman and the staff at the South Carolina Department of Education are committed to making the necessary changes and improvements in the Allendale County schools to ensure that the students have expanded opportunities and are provided with the necessary tools and resources needed to be successful. Working alongside parents and members of the community, we will restore pride in the Allendale County school system and make sure that each dollar is directed to improving outcomes for all students.
Specifically, the South Carolina Department of Education will focus on four objectives for Allendale:
Improved student achievement on reading, mathematics, science, and social studies summative assessments in grades 3-8 and high school End-of-Course exams
Success Criteria – Allendale schools will move out of Tier 3 priority status for student achievement.
Improved college and career opportunities and higher post-secondary readiness levels for graduating seniors
Success Criteria – High school students will improve by 5% annually on college and career readiness metrics.
Greater stability and retention of building and district leadership
Success Criteria – External diagnostic review will validate that building and district level leaders have a high capacity to lead improvement and transformation initiatives.
More transparent fiscal accountability
Success Criteria – Financial risk assessment will be rated at “low risk” and all federal and state funds will be prioritized for direct support of students and teacher/leader professional development
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is in charge of the Allendale County School District?
Superintendent Spearman, by a declaration of emergency, assumed direct control of the school district on June 19, 2017. Superintendent Spearman has appointed Dr. Margaret Gilmore to oversee reform efforts as the district’s superintendent. Superintendent Spearman and Dr. Gilmore have complete decision-making authority in the district.
What about the lawsuit filed by the Allendale County School Board?
On June 22, 2017, the Allendale County School Board filed a lawsuit with the South Carolina Supreme Court against the South Carolina House of Representatives, the South Carolina Senate, Superintendent Spearman, and the State of South Carolina.
The State Superintendent’s management of the district will continue pending a decision by the South Carolina Supreme Court.
What is the role of the Allendale County School Board?
The Allendale County School Board is a publicly elected body whose members cannot be removed from public office except through the electoral process or by executive order of the Governor.
The Allendale County School Board will remain in place but all management authority lies with the State Superintendent.
How can I help?
Parent and community input are vital to successfully getting Allendale schools back on the right track. Dr. Margaret Gilmore and Superintendent Spearman will be meeting regularly with parents, teachers, and community leaders in order to keep the Allendale community involved as they make the tough decisions required to move the district forward. Members of the community can sign up to receive an informational email about upcoming meetings and community conference calls by emailing us at Allendale@ed.sc.gov. Additionally, you can receive information by following us on social media.