NEWARK – Worcester County Public Schools’ 2019 graduating class was offered more than $17 million in scholarships.
That figure, as well as statistics on AP (Advanced Placement) course enrollment and the future aspirations of graduating students, was included in a report from Amy Gallagher, the school system’s coordinator of accountability and assessment, to the Board of Education last week.
“This is a huge increase, which is very exciting,” Gallagher said. “Our graduates were offered $17 million in merit based scholarships. They accepted $6.2 million of that $17 million offering, the reason being many times the same students is offered multiple scholarships and they can only accept one based on where they attend school.”
Worcester County Public Schools (WCPS) had a graduating class of 518 students in 2019. Seventy percent of them graduated from Stephen Decatur High School while 16% graduated from Snow Hill High and 14% graduated from Pocomoke High. Many graduates also attended Worcester Technical High School. Though 51.9% of Decatur grads took classes at Worcester Tech, 29.5% of them completed programs there. More than 72% of Snow Hill grads took classes at Worcester Tech while roughly 34% completed programs there. At Pocomoke, 62.3% of grads attended Worcester Tech while 34.4% completed programs there.
Gallagher said interest remained high in the AP and dual enrollment programs offered. More than 51% of Decatur students took part in AP courses. More than 40% of Pocomoke and Snow Hill’s students were enrolled in AP courses.
“In 2019, 383 WCPS students completed 543 Advanced Placement exams, with 69.6% of exams receiving a score of 3 or higher,” Gallagher wrote in her report. “This represents a 5% increase in performance compared to 2018.”
She said more students were also participating in dual enrollment programs. More than 30% of Decatur students did in 2019.
“They’re taking college courses taught by our teachers and receiving college credit,” Gallagher said.
As for future plans, Gallagher said the bulk of the county’s students planned to attend college after graduation. At Pocomoke, 65.6% of grads said they were going to college. At Decatur, 75.6 percent of graduates planned to attend college. At Snow Hill High, 66.3% of graduates said they’d be attending college.