Board sets next school year calendar

by | March 1, 2019 5:00 am

Last Updated: February 26, 2019 at 2:22 pm

The Colleton County Board of Education had two options when deciding on the 2019-2020 school calendar at their Feb. 19 meeting.
At first glance, there seemed to be little difference.
The school year will begin on Aug. 19; the state does not allow the school year to begin before the third Monday in August.
The school year will end on June 4.
The fall (Thanksgiving break) will be Nov. 27-29; the winter (Christmas) break will be from Dec. 23-Jan. 6 and the spring (Easter) break will be April 13-17.
The designated weather make-up days will be Nov. 4, March 20 and April 10.
The only difference between the two options was the end of the first semester. Option one had the first semester ending on Dec. 20. Option two had it ending on Jan. 16.
The most noticeable affect in the difference in the ending date of the first semester would be at the high school.
The first option meant that the high school students would continue to take their semester exams and take their state mandated tests before the Christmas break. Option two would have the high school students taking those semester final exams and state tests when they returned to the classroom following the winter break.
The district conducted a survey on its website seeking input on the two options from parents, students and staff.
Colleton County School District Coordinator of Communications and Public Information Sean Gruber said a total of 547 people participated in the survey, and 70 percent of them voted for option one.
When it came time to vote, board members, with the exception of William Bowman Jr., chose option one.
In other business:
School board members received a report on an effort to correct the flooding problem at the baseball field at the Colleton County High School.
Sean Gruber, coordinator of communications and public information for the school district, said “because of the high water table and wetlands surrounding the baseball field, whenever you have a lot of rain it floods.”
It has been a recurring problem for the last couple of years — a problem that has hopefully been corrected by work done on the field recently.
“They are trying a new technique,” Gruber said. A company was hired to install a series of trenches throughout the field that were then filled with a sand-like material that acts as a drying agent and drainage system to remove the standing water.
Gruber said that none of the outfield turf had to be replaced and the field should be ready for baseball season.
The work to ease the recurring problem cost the school district $9,960.
The board’s policy committee will be examining two changes to board policy suggested by Bowman. One of the suggested changes concerns professional staff hiring. The current policy requires that the term of office begin one week after the election results are certified. Bowman’s amendment would not allow the board to conduct a special or regular board meeting during that week. The board would be allowed to conduct an emergency meeting during that week.

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