Public-school students in the Midlands start returning to classes Monday, and they will see some changes – new faces, new programs and, in some cases, new schools. Following is a look at some of the changes, provided by the school districts.
opens this fall and is LEED certified. Classrooms will be equipped with flexible furniture, and teachers and students can move, rearrange and repurpose this furniture for instructional interaction. A variety of learning spaces will allow for collaboration, hands-on project work, and individual, small and large group instruction.
• The district is building aCentral Receiving Building
off Pisgah Church Road and will be making renovations toLexington High, Oak Grove Elementary
• Renovations and improvements atLexington High
include upgrades to the track, tennis courts and baseball stadium, and interior building improvements to support the Center for World Languages and International Business.
•Oak Grove Elementary
is getting a new roof and new elevator to improve access to lower-level classrooms.
• Renovations atLexington Technology Center
include finish improvements to locker rooms and bathrooms.
• Elementary-school teachers will use a “Leadership Skills Report Card” based on “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” to help students set and measure goals. Middle and high school teachers will focus on using “Habits of Scholarship Report Cards.” Middle school students will be scored in personal responsibility and citizenship, while high school students will receive comments in the areas of persistence and time management.
• Two elementary schools,Deerfield
, will pilot one-to-one computing in 2014-15. Although the other elementary schools have some personal mobile computing devices, they are not one-to-one yet.
• All students in sixth through 12th grades have personal mobile computing devices (iPads).
• 2014-15 estimated student enrollment: 23,937 (up 573 from 2013-14)
• 2014-15 estimated teachers in classrooms: Specific teacher breakdown not available, but roughly 96 certified positions (not just teachers) added for district growth and opening of Deerfield Elementary.
• Portable classrooms were added toBrookland-Cayce Grammar No. 1
(1),Saluda River Academy for the Arts
(1) andSpringdale Elementary
(1). The additional portables handle increased enrollment and new programs.
• Students who violate the cell phone/unauthorized electronic device policy will be subject to new/increased consequences, including detentions and in- and out-of-school suspensions depending on the violation.
• Midlands Education & Business Alliance and Lexington District 2 Guidance, Career & Work-based Learning will enhance their partnership this coming year through donor development of grant writing. This initiative will be geared toward middle and high school students to teach soft skills, financial literacy and other attributes for real-world experiences and encounters.
• Lexington 2 and Youth Apprenticeship Carolina partnered in 2013-14 to establish their first registered phase of an apprenticeship program for high school juniors and seniors pursuing careers under the Health Science Cluster. This workforce initiative continues with efforts to increase student employability through apprenticeships in healthcare.
•Claude A. Taylor Elementary
is embarking on a three-year journey to become a nationally accredited Paideoa School.
•Herbert A. Wood Elementary
will implement STEPS (Science & Technology Education for Promising Students) at the third-grade level. Anchored in the Project Lead the Way curriculum, students will imagine, create and problem solve as they take STEPS to become innovative thinkers in science and engineering.
• Superintendent-elect Tom Siler will begin in mid-September
• Assistant principals:Airport High,
Justin Cegelis;Brookland-Cayce High
, Michael Ames;Congaree-Wood Early Childhood Center,
Mary Brooks;Pair Education Center & Student Services,
Chris Moore (also district hearing officer)
• Principals:Northside Middle
, Lisa Davis
• 2014-15 estimated student enrollment: 8,600 (about the same as 2013-14)
• 2014-15 estimated teachers in classrooms: 603 (about the same as 2013-14)
• New tennis courts will be ready this fall atBatesburg-Leesville High
will begin a new enrichment period for grades 3-5, with students at each grade level being either enriched or remediated. Reading resource and gifted and talented students will receive services: one group Spanish enrichment and all other students enrichment in skills in which they need more instruction. First semester, this group will focus on mathematics. Second semester, they will focus on English/ Language Arts.
will participate in Girls on Track, an after-school program for grades 6-8.
will have Project Lead the Way (PTLW) Biomedical Program and expanded AP course offerings
will have core instructional technology in the classrooms with students on iPads and Chromebooks, to be used as classroom sets.
Student dress code has been altered to no longer allow leggings and tights unless covered by a skirt or shorts at the fingertip level.
Samantha Trotter, reading coach
guidance counselors Niki Brown (full time) and Georgia Mason (part time)
• 2014-15 estimated student enrollment: 1,996 (up 27 from 2013-14)
• 2014-15 estimated teachers in classrooms: 149 (up 2 from 2013-14)
• No new schools or renovations
• The district has expanded Career and Technology Education by adding a welding program atSwansea High
. Keyboarding classes are being added to third and fourth grades.
• Two new academic coaches have been added due to additional state funding.
• Three labs that support Project the Lead Way and STEM are being upgraded.
• The district is expanding its one-to-one intensive to three grades atSwansea High Freshman Academy
• Third through eighth grades have classroom sets of Chromebooks, with a goal of a 2-to-1 ratio to students by next fall.
• 2014-15 estimated student enrollment: 3,423 (down 49 from 2013-14), but expected to increase by start of school year to roughly even with last year
• 2014-15 estimated teachers in classrooms: 188 (up 2 from 2013-14)
• AtChapin High
, renovations include a new two-story classroom wing, new gym, cafeteria expansion, parking and traffic route improvements and upgrades to athletic facilities and administrative spaces.
• Also worth noting: In May, the district held a groundbreaking ceremony for itsnew middle school in Chapin
, which will open in fall 2015 to serve seventh- and eighth-graders.
• Magnet programs launching this fall include Dutch Fork Elementary Academy for Environmental Science; International Academic Magnet at Irmo Middle School (iAM); Irmo International High School for the Arts; and Seven Oaks Elementary MEDIA Magnet.
• As part of the iFive Technology initiative – in its third year – middle school students will be issued Chromebooks. Last school year, the district provided all high school students with iPad mini tablets. Over the next few years, the district will continue to transition to a Device Adaptable Technology System (DATS) that will not rely on a single device or technology provider, upgrading its technology infrastructure and systems to adapt to ever-changing technology offerings.
• 2014-15 estimated student enrollment: 16,220 (up 2 from 2013-14)
• 2014-15 estimated teachers in classrooms: 1,245 (up 8 from 2013-14)
• No new schools or renovations
• Richland 1 is opening aMiddle School Montessori
program at W.G. Sanders Middle School. The program will begin with sixth grade only for the 2014-15 school year. Seventh grade will be added in 2015-16, and eighth grade in 2016-17. Students will work at an individualized pace and there will be a project-based focus.
• Richland 1 is launching itsDigital Learning Environment
(DLE) initiative. Through the one-to-one component of the initiative, students will receive mobile devices (laptop computers), beginning with ninth- and 10th-graders this year.
• 2014-15 estimated student enrollment: 23,228 (up 334 from 2013-14)
• 2014-15 estimated teachers in classrooms: 2,001 (up 23 from 2013-14)
•Lake Carolina Elementary Upper
campus will open to students as part of a one-school, two-campus model. The original Lake Carolina Elementary is now calledLake Carolina Elementary Lower
and houses Pre-K through second grade. The new Lake Carolina Elementary Upper campus houses grades 3-5. At 125,000 square feet, the upper campus is the largest elementary school in the district. The building was designed and built to LEED Silver standards. Construction cost for the new school was about $25 million.
• During the summer, work continued on athletic facilities upgrades atRidge View High
. The school board is considering options for additional renovations.
(Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) Magnet School programs will be implemented atKillian Elementary, Longleaf Middle
. The programs are being launched as part of a $4.4 million Magnet School Assistance Program grant, administered by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement.
is an incubator project led by teams of employees that pitch ideas to a review panel that may then move to a prototype stage and, eventually, pilot testing. The first cohort of nine teams is moving forward into pilot testing projects such as blended learning, spatial data analysis, crowdsourcing and a cross-discipline culinary arts TV show produced by elementary students. Ultimately, the successful projects will become new best practices in the Richland 2.
• The district has completed the distribution of mobile computers to all students in third through 12th grades as part of its 1TWO1 student computing project. The focus now turns to expanding specialized professional development for the district’s educators.
• Additionally, with the federal Race to the Top grant, Richland 2 will be able to extend the 1TWO1 computing initiative to students in grades K–2 at Conder Elementary Arts Integrated Magnet School.
• 2014-15 estimated student enrollment: 27,285 (up 401 from 2013-14)
• 2014-15 estimated teachers in classrooms: 1,417 (up 20 from 2013-14)
Kershaw County Schools
• The November ballot will include a $130 million bond referendum to renovate and/or build nine school facilities across the county. The November ballot also will include a question regarding financing the improvements from a one-cent sales tax which will fully fund all of the projects so there will be no property tax increase.
• Renovations were made to the cafeteria atNorth Central High
• Maintenance time this summer was spent on projects that had been deferred during the economic downturn– for example, painting and replacing carpet with tile.
• Google Apps for Education is being implemented for all employees. This will allow employees to have a more reliable email system as well as to better collaborate by sharing information.
• In 2005, the district became the first in the state to provide technology, such as laptops, to all high school students as part of the iCAN one-to-one initiative. This year, the district is using HP ElitePads. Our elementary and middle students have access to iPads on carts.
• School nurses and other trained personnel will have access to a supply of epinephrine (“epipens”) if they determine that someone on campus is experiencing anaphylaxis.
• The district has added four early dismissal days back to the calendar for staff development/training time for teachers. These days were on the calendar prior to the economic downturn, when those times had to be turned into furlough days for employees.
• Directors:Continuous Learning Center,
• Assistant directors:ATEC,
• 2014-15 estimated student enrollment: 10,336 students (excludes pre-kindergarten; up 133 from 2013-14)
• 2014-15 estimated teachers in classrooms: 625 (up 5 from 2013-14)