Colleton County School Board meeting February 20, 2024


The February 20, 2024 Amended Regular Board Meeting for the Colleton County School District was called to order by Chairperson Sharon Witkin.

Greeters at the meeting were representatives from Ladies and Sisters in Action from Colleton County Middle School. The organization is sponsored by Ms. Sonya Stephens and Ms. Jasmine Thomas. A Ladies and Sisters in Action member read the Colleton County School District Mission Statement and provided background for Ladies and Sisters in Action. The organization is a nonprofit whose mission since 1992 is to inspire multi-cultural young ladies to visualize their bright futures.

The Board members then recited the Civility Pledge. A motion was called for and made to approve minutes for previous School Board meetings (Regular Board meeting on January 23, Committee of the Whole February 13, and Special Board Meeting February 13) which was seconded and carried.

Mrs. Jessica Williams then recognized students, student athletes, teachers, support staff, and coaches for individual achievements.

The 2024-2025 School Year Calendar was on the agenda as Item 8.03 of the Superintendent’s Report. Interim Superintendent Jessica Williams provided the Board with statistics of the survey that was presented for public input. Options available for vote were Calendar A, B, and C. 570 total responses were recorded. The 570 responses were divided as follows:

201 votes for Calendar A

89 votes for Calendar B

283 votes for Calendar C

While Calendar C garnered the majority of the votes, Mrs. Williams proposed to the Board to adopt Calendar B in the February 13 Committee of the Whole School Board meeting. Williams pointed out the Calendar B and Calendar C are very similar with the only difference being Calendar B has Spring Break before Easter and Calendar C has Spring Break after Easter. Mrs. Williams further explained the reason for her recommendation was for state testing. According to state law timelines if Calendar B was adopted students would have to begin testing the Monday they returned from Spring Break. While Williams was not concerned about the academic capabilities of the students, the concern was the testing environment. To ensure state testing runs smoothly schools would need several days after spring break to prepare the testing environments, especially assessing all electronic devices are up and running properly. Also, third graders must be tested in the early days of the testing window to allow enough time for identification of students who will need to attend summer reading camp.

After discussion amongst the School Board members there was a motion to accept Calendar B. The motion was seconded. The motion to accept the recommendation of Calendar B was carried by a vote of 4-2.

The next step in the process is this approved calendar will be sent to the South Carolina department of Education for final approval. Once approval is received from Department of Education all stakeholders will be notified of the 2024-2025 Academic School Year Calendar.