Board hears about smooth start of school year

by | August 31, 2018 5:00 am

Last Updated: August 28, 2018 at 2:01 pm

The new school year was two days old when the members of the Colleton County Board of Education met in regular session on Aug. 21.
School Superintendent Dr. Franklin Foster said the school district had “a very smooth opening.” He said there were some small problems in the bus transportation system on the first day that he expected to have remedied before the end of the first week of class.
Foster added that although the number of students attending Colleton County schools had changed little from last year, there were some individual schools where officials were seeing an uptick in the number of students in specific grades, addressed by assigning more teachers.
Later in the meeting, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and Operations Cliff Warren commended the classified staff for its work throughout the summer months to ensure that everything would be ready for the start of the new school year.
Board member Henry Jenkins asked about the afterschool program the district implemented in the district’s elementary schools and Black Street Early Childhood Center.
Foster said the afterschool program began Monday with small numbers reported in two schools. He said the district hopes to increase enrollment in those buildings. District officials are working to try and use state funding to implement a voucher system that will offer fiscal assistance to parents who want to have their children participate but can’t afford the cost of the program.
• The members of the board gave school district Finance Director Emily Temple their approval of a resolution that authorized the issuance and sale of General Obligation Bonds in an amount not to exceed $9 million.
Temple explained that resolution is not a new issuance. The measure concerns the school district’s scheduled debt that covers payment of the district’s 2015 refunding, as well as “a small amount of money we receive each year to fund our capital projects.”
• Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Juliet White informed the board the five-year review for AdvancED accreditation for the school district had been successful.
The accreditation team had 31 standards in the domains of leadership capacity, learning capacity and resource capacity that were reviewed. Dr. White explained that they wanted to see “what we are doing in the district and to ensure that everything in the district was working together.”
That review, she explained, encompassed 60 classroom observations and interviews with 191 stakeholders. It had even included attendance at a school board meeting to observe its operation. Dr. White said the accreditation team reported that the board had “exceeded expectations.”
She also reported that the Black Street Early Childhood Center successfully attained special accreditation from AdvancED, meeting all 29 of the standards that were reviewed during the last April’s accreditation process.
• Dr. Foster told the board members that the school district continues to work with the state to obtain approval of the plans for the centralized district office renovation project.
• Board members gave final approval to policy updates for student use and Internet safety, Code of Student Conduct and Content and Credit Recovery.
Three school board members were saluted for their work in the leadership training program conducted by the South Carolina School Board Association.
• Dr. Foster explained that the association’s Boardmanship Institution had six levels of training. Gale Doggette was saluted for completing the second level of training, Patricia Simmons for completing the third level of training and Jenkins for competing the fourth level of training.

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