It appears that Brookland-Cayce High School is on its way to having its accreditation status returned to the top level assigned by the state Department of Education.
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But that doesn’t mean anyone should stop paying attention as the school works its way back to where it always should have been.
The department downgraded the school last month following an audit that revealed some students had graduated without completing necessary course work.
This week, Lexington County School District 2 announced a “corrective action plan” to address issues exposed in the audit, and DOE confirmed to the Chronicle that it has reviewed the plan and the school is on pace to have its accreditation status restored by the end of the coming school year.
We are glad to see the district moving quickly to address problems with its monitoring of transcripts, among other issues. The school says its plan includes measures such as DOE training with middle and high school counselors, registrars, administrators and more, along with new processes to more closely track transcripts and address possible problems.
We are also glad to see a practiced hand returning to the helm as the school looks to get back on track. Barry Bolen, the former Brookland-Cayce principal and former Lexington 2 superintendent who filled in as the district’s interim superintendent earlier this year, will be the school’s temporary principal for the 2022-23 school year, bringing experience that should help as the school operates under increased DOE scrutiny.
But we can’t help but puzzle at how these academic issues happened in the first place. Ensuring that students finish the required courses for graduation before receiving their diplomas is one of the most essential functions a school performs. That some students graduated without doing so devalues the diplomas received by all students.
Whether the issue is simple negligence in record keeping or that counselors and other staff didn’t have a firm grip on what coursework is required, we can’t imagine any explanation that would excuse the school graduating ineligible students.
DOE was right to downgrade the school’s accreditation, and we hope that the department and District 2 prevent these issues from cropping up again.
This article is the opinion of the Chronicle editorial board. To comment, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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