We have established a clear mission for Indian Land High School as we focus on educating and protecting the whole student through academic, social and emotional support with a community focus. We believe a comprehensive high school allows students the best opportunity to develop the world class skills described in the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate, preparing them for post-secondary work in college or a career. The CTE offerings at ILHS range from four-course PLTW offerings in Engineering and Biomedical Science to completer opportunities in Agriculture Science, Building Construction, Coding, Business, and Family and Consumer Science. Students can also explore a future in education through our Teacher Cadet program or a military career within our award winning JROTC program. ILHS offers 11 Advanced Placement classes as well as dual credit opportunities through the University of South Carolina-Lancaster (USCL). ILHS also has a partnership with York Technical College that will address the needs of those students who are pursuing post-secondary work that will lead to career certifications or an Associate’s degree.
According to state report card data, ILHS standardized test scores lead the district and are competitive with "schools like ours." The graduation rate for ILHS is rebounding from a low of 85.7 in 2014 and remains above the state average, and the highest in LCSD, scoring in the 90th percentile. Student scores on national standardized tests are competitive nationwide and are typically above state and district scores. Students at ILHS have opportunities in Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes, Fine Arts and Advanced Placement/dual credit opportunities. CTE classes offer certification opportunities for students to begin a career or attend a technical college upon graduation. The CTE department has been expanded to include a full time graphic design teacher.
This is the second year for ILHS sports competing in AAAA and the teams remain competitive. ILHS Boys Swimming, Volleyball, Wrestling, and Softball won region titles and our Men’s and Ladies Soccer, Men’s and Ladies Tennis and Track and Field teams all competed in the playoffs along with those programs. The Softball program advanced to the district championship. Our Wrestling program advanced to the Upper State and won some individual championships. There are three main items for improvement at ILHS over the next three years.
While competitive with state and national standardized tests, Algebra 1 students at ILHS score behind the state average of 69.7% passing rate on the Algebra 1 End of Course Exam with a 69.4% passing rate. By the junior year ILHS students are competitive on the ACT, SAT and WIN Career Readiness assessments, posting scores that are equal to or greater than the state average. ILHS continues to use the full year cycle of Foundations and Intermediate Algebra. All classes use common assessments and continue to work with horizontal alignment within the math department to address these issues. Data from this year's classes will help drive the initiatives of the next three years.
We continue to have rapid growth in our area and that has led to rapid growth in our staff also. With this growth we have been infused with some younger staff that bring a wealth of knowledge and current educational practices. In order to grow our number of teachers with advanced degrees the administration has taken to encouraging young promising teachers to continue their education and pursue an advanced degree. The state certification process benefits teachers who have a Master's degree allowing them to extend their Continuing Education Unit opportunities beyond 3-credit course availability. ILHS values teacher time and has made a concerted effort to allow teachers the opportunities afforded through work on advanced degrees.
The student attendance rate dropped over the past two years. This is still an area of concern for ILHS, and initiatives have been put in place to help address student attendance including educating parents, especially those of freshmen, on the state attendance and truancy policies as well as rewarding and recognizing students with perfect attendance each quarter. Student attendance is one of the major goals for ILHS as the school has set a goal of at least 95% attendance within the next three years.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all schools in LCSD were closed to in-person learning in Mid-March of 2020. ILHS opened our classes virtually and was able to reach 98% of our students and continue instruction for the remainder of that year which culminated in a socially-distanced graduation ceremony at the football field. The 2020-21 school year continued the challenges that began in March, 2020. ILHS began the year with a hybrid schedule that included student cohorts who attended class in-person two days per week and completed work online the rest of the week. These students were mixed with students who attended classes virtually through Google classroom two days and completed online work the other days. By the end of the year students were attending their classes virtually or in-person five days per week. We were able to open fully for the 2021-2022 school year but we were still under regulations based on CDC and Covid-19 pandemic. We were able to continue in-person learning the whole year and celebrate success of the class of 2022 with an outdoor graduation.
ILHS administration, faculty and staff learned a great deal regarding the possibilities and opportunities regarding virtual learning. As we transitioned back to a more normal school environment we will continue to look very closely at those aspects of online learning that we felt were successful and can be incorporated into our classrooms. Along with the district, we will be incorporating more opportunities for STEAM education and believe online learning offers the freedom to fully explore Project Based Learning (PBL) throughout the school.
The expectation for ILHS students and alumni is to carry themselves with the respect that will shine on future graduates. It is our expectation to build a school wherein all students and alumni will be proud of the education they receive at ILHS. That directors and professors of post-secondary institutions, as well as personnel managers of corporations and small businesses, will recognize the work ethic and intelligence of an Indian Land graduate. Our work is never ending, as we want every student to graduate with a high school diploma and to serve the greater community in a productive, positive manner.