Back to school 2013-14: Lexington-Richland 5

Columbia - The StateAugust 18, 2013 


Lexington-Richland 5 students head back to school Tuesday.

Here’s a look at new people, programs and policies, provided by the district. View other Midlands districts online at

New schools or renovations

• Spring Hill High opens this year, offering an all-academic magnet high school to any student living in the district.

Renovation work progressed well over the summer months:

• In July, crews began work to remove portable classrooms at Irmo High, as interior renovations provided new space for instruction. Work on Irmo’s new theater and field house also progressed.

• Construction also was under way at Dutch Fork High, where road improvements and work on a new health science building and other facilities continued.

• The major renovation effort at Chapin High School also took shape. The new administrative space, guidance offices and media center were occupied this spring and work progressed well this summer on the instructional space.

New programs, classes, initiatives

• The district is in the midst of its iFive Technology initiative, a project aimed at using technology to enhance curriculum and student learning. As part of the initiative, all high school teachers were provided iPads last year, beginning a yearlong professional development and training cycle. This school year, the district will provide all high school students with an iPad mini tablet as an instruction tool.

Over the next three years, the district will transition to a Device Adaptable Technology System that will not rely on a single device or technology provider. As the district moves to that system, it will be upgrading its technology infrastructure and systems to ensure they can quickly adapt to changing technology offerings.

• Two new magnet programs soon will soon be implemented at Irmo Middle and H.E. Corley Elementary schools. International subjects including Mandarin Chinese, cultural studies and global technology and design will be the focus of Irmo Middle’s International Academic Magnet program, while H.E. Corley’s Leader In Me magnet program will help grow leadership qualities in students once implemented.

• The all-magnet Spring Hill High will feature five focus programs: Entrepreneurial Academy, Engineering Academy, Entertainment Academy, Environmental Studies Academy and Exercise Science Academy. School officials say that these five focus areas will attract a wide range of students, address work force needs of the future and align with curriculum at the district’s Center for Advanced Technical Studies. The studies at the new school also complement the curriculum of other high schools and support personalized learning for each student.

New technology for parents

The district has stepped up its social media presence, posting important updates and information on its Facebook and Twitter pages. Schools also have been posting content and videos on social media sites and their websites as well as sending e-newsletters.

New faces

• Harbison West Elementary: Principal Arthur Newton Jr.

• Leaphart Elementary: Principal Kelly Brown (formerly assistant principal)

• Irmo High: Principal David Riegel

• Dutch Fork Middle: Principal Gerald Gary

• Assistant principals changing schools include: Ballentine Elementary School assistant principal Jenny Garris, who is joining the staff at Harbison West Elementary; Lake Murray Elementary assistant principal Wendy Stoudemire, who will join the staff at Nursery Road Elementary; Harbison West Elementary assistant principal Gina Mays, who will join the staff of Ballentine Elementary; River Springs Elementary assistant principal Boyd Hainsworth, who will join the staff at Lake Murray Elementary; and Nursery Road Elementary assistant principal Matt Gams, who will join the staff at River Springs Elementary.

By the numbers

Projected student enrollment for 2013-14: 16,218 K-12 students, about 20 fewer than the previous school year.

Projected teachers for 2013-14: There were 2,300 teachers in 2012-13, with 23 new teachers budgeted for this school year.

The State is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service