What’s new (and cool) in school in the Midlands

08/15/2014 10:01 PM

08/15/2014 10:03 PM

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.

Lexington 1

NEW SCHOOLS OR RENOVATIONS

•  Deerfield Elementary 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 a Central Receiving Building off Pisgah Church Road and will be making renovations to Lexington High, Oak Grove Elementary and Lexington Technology Center.
• Renovations and improvements at Lexington 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 at Lexington Technology Center include finish improvements to locker rooms and bathrooms.

NEW PROGRAMS AND INITIATIVES

• Lexington Middle will be a candidate for the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme, applying for full authorization as an IB school for 2015-16.

• 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.

NEW TECHNOLOGY

• Two elementary schools, Deerfield and Red Bank, 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).

NEW FACES, NEW ROLES

• Principals: Pelion Middle, Jeffery A. Matthews; Rocky Creek Elementary, Brenda Boozer Nichols

• Assistant principals: Deerfield Elementary, Kelly R. Middleton; Pelion High, Erica H. Page; Pelion Elementary, Wendy Shumpert West

• Assistant administrators: Pelion Elementary, Kenneth L. Brazell Jr.; Rocky Creek Elementary, C. Andrew Brooks; River Bluff High, Howard S. “Tradd” Denny III; Pelion High, K. Tracy Gooding

• Assistant directors: Lexington Technology Center, W. Gordon Morris; FOCUS, Trina Offing; Forts Pond Elementary, Stephanie Gardner Taylor

BY THE NUMBERS

• 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.

Lexington 2

NEW SCHOOLS OR RENOVATIONS

• Brookland-Cayce High has a new stadium. An open house will be held from 3-5 p.m. Sunday, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 4 p.m. The school’s Vocation Wing was renovated for the new I2 Tech Academy@BCHS and the North Wing was painted and got new flooring.

• Airport High’s Eagle Stadium got a facelift, with artificial turf, paint and a new scoreboard.

• Portable classrooms were added to Brookland-Cayce Grammar No. 1 (2), Pineview Elementary (1), Saluda River Academy for the Arts (1) and Springdale Elementary (1). The additional portables handle increased enrollment and new programs.

NEW POLICIES

• 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.

NEW PROGRAMS AND INITIATIVES

• 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.

• Fulmer Middle will implement the AVID College Readiness System. Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) is a college readiness program to increase school-wide student performance.

• Pine Ridge Middle will implement a new choice program, L.E.A.D.S. (Leadership Education in Arts Design and STEM), designed to boost student interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) careers.

• Brookland-Cayce Grammar School No. 1 will launch Girls on the Run.

•  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.

• Pineview Elementary will focus on preparing students for college and career readiness, with programs including Roaring Readers and High Progress Literacy classrooms.

• Saluda River Academy for the Arts will offer new options in after-school classes, including engineering and technology.

NEW TECHNOLOGY

• Brookland-Cayce High will inaugurate the I2Tech@BCHS, a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) school-within-a-school, opening with its first freshmen cohort of about 100 students.

• Northside Middle is slated for the TransformLEX2 program implementation focus for 1:1 mobile learning initiative. Over the coming year, the district will be preparing for the receipt of instructional tablets for each of our students.

• Brookland-Cayce Grammar School No. 1 will continue phase two of the 1:1 technology initiative, with third-, fourth-, and fifth-graders receiving a Chromebook.

• Davis Early Childhood Center for Technology will offer one-to-one Chromebooks to all second-graders.

NEW FACES, NEW ROLES

• 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

BY THE NUMBERS

• 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)

Lexington 3

NEW SCHOOLS OR RENOVATIONS

• New tennis courts will be ready this fall at Batesburg-Leesville High.

NEW PROGRAMS AND INITIATIVES

•  Batesburg-Leesville Elementary 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.
•  Batesburg-Leesville Middle will participate in Girls on Track, an after-school program for grades 6-8.
•  Batesburg-Leesville High will have Project Lead the Way (PTLW) Biomedical Program and expanded AP course offerings

NEW TECHNOLOGY

•  Batesburg-Leesville Middle will have core instructional technology in the classrooms with students on iPads and Chromebooks, to be used as classroom sets.

NEW POLICIES

•  Batesburg-Leesville Middle Student dress code has been altered to no longer allow leggings and tights unless covered by a skirt or shorts at the fingertip level.

NEW FACES, NEW ROLES

•  Batesburg-Leesville Elementary, Samantha Trotter, reading coach
•  Batesburg-Leesville Middle, guidance counselors Niki Brown (full time) and Georgia Mason (part time)

• Batesburg-Leesville Middle and Batesburg-Leesville High,Lisa Allison, instructional coordinator

• Batesburg-Leesville High, Georgia Mason, guidance director

BY THE NUMBERS

• 2014-15 estimated student enrollment: 1,996 (up 27 from 2013-14)
• 2014-15 estimated teachers in classrooms: 149 (up 2 from 2013-14)

Lexington 4

NEW SCHOOLS AND RENOVATIONS

• No new schools or renovations

NEW PROGRAMS AND INITIATIVES

• The district has expanded Career and Technology Education by adding a welding program at Swansea 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.

NEW TECHNOLOGY

• The district is expanding its one-to-one intensive to three grades at Swansea High Freshman Academy and Swansea High using Chromebooks.
• Third through eighth grades have classroom sets of Chromebooks, with a goal of a 2-to-1 ratio to students by next fall.

NEW FACES, NEW ROLES

• Principals: Swansea High, Bryan Evans; Swansea High Freshman Academy, Craig Baker; Sandhills Primary, Leslie Hightower

• Assistant principals: Swansea High, Shaun Jacques; Frances Mack Intermediate, Bucky Stroud

• Director: CATE, Dawn Patterson

BY THE NUMBERS

• 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)

Lexington-Richland 5

NEW SCHOOLS AND RENOVATIONS

• At Chapin 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.

• Dutch Fork High improvements include a new health science building and new middle/high school connector to improve traffic flow.

• Irmo High’s new performing arts center is taking shape, coinciding with debut of the international arts magnet program. Other construction improvements include a new corridor to connect one part of the campus to another, as well as upgraded classroom space.

• Also worth noting: In May, the district held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new middle school in Chapin, which will open in fall 2015 to serve seventh- and eighth-graders.

NEW PROGRAMS AND INITIATIVES

• 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.

NEW TECHNOLOGY

• 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.

NEW FACES, NEW ROLES

• Principals: Irmo Elementary, Tina McCaskill; Seven Oaks Elementary, Harriet Wilson; Chapin Elementary, Lauren Prochak

BY THE NUMBERS

• 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)

Richland 1

NEW SCHOOLS AND RENOVATIONS

• No new schools or renovations

NEW PROGRAMS AND INITIATIVES

• Richland 1 is opening a Middle 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.

NEW TECHNOLOGY

• Richland 1 is launching its Digital 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.

NEW FACES, NEW ROLES

• Principals: Bradley Elementary, Kezia Myers (acting); Carver-Lyon Elementary, Michelle Kennedy; Caughman Road Elementary, Teresa Turner; Gadsden Elementary, Monica Owens; Hyatt Park Elementary, Andrea Adams; Meadowfield Elementary, Christine LeBlanc; Satchel Ford Elementary, Kevin Hasinger; W.A. Perry Middle, Robert Smalls; W.S. Sandel Elementary, Claudia Brooks

• Assistant principals: Alcorn Middle, Shana Harper-Brice; Brennen Elementary, Janet Campbell; Hand Middle, Charles Seamans and Robin Coletrain; Hopkins Middle, Tara Kelly; Lower Richland High, Angela Palmer; Pine Grove Elementary, Tracy Pickett; W.G. Sanders Middle, Stephanie Gregg

BY THE NUMBERS

• 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)

Richland 2

NEW SCHOOLS AND RENOVATIONS

•  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 called Lake 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 at Ridge View High. The school board is considering options for additional renovations.

NEW PROGRAMS AND INITIATIVES

•  STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) Magnet School programs will be implemented at Killian Elementary, Longleaf Middle and Westwood High. 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.
•  R2 Innovates 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.

NEW TECHNOLOGY

• 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.

NEW FACES, NEW ROLES

• Principals: Blythewood High, Brenda Hafner; Blythewood Middle, Karis Mazyck; Center for Achievement, Sabina Mosso-Taylor; Kelly Mill Middle, Mark Sims; Lake Carolina Elementary Upper, Jeff Williams; Spring Valley High, Jeff Temoney

• Assistant principals: Blythewood Academy, Latonya Freeman; Blythewood High, David Coyne and Matt Sherman; Dent Middle, James Boone; E L. Wright Middle: Stephen Sutusky; Lake Carolina Elementary Lower, Shane Bagwell; Lake Carolina Elementary Upper, Shannan Bright; Lonnie B. Nelson Elementary, Rashad Adams; North Springs Elementary, LeCinda Jennings; Round Top Elementary, Will Moody

BY THE NUMBERS

• 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

SCHOOLS AND RENOVATIONS

• 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 at North 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.

PROGRAMS AND INITIATIVES

• 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.

NEW TECHNOLOGY

• 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.

NEW POLICIES

• 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.

NEW FACES, NEW ROLES

• Principals: Lugoff-Elgin High, Worth Thomasson; North Central High, David Branham; Bethune Elementary and Mt. Pisgah Elementary, Theo Jackson

• Assistant principals: Lugoff-Elgin High, Jeff Carraway; Camden High, Judith McCray

• Directors: Continuous Learning Center, Tommy Gladden
• Assistant directors: ATEC, John Thompson

BY THE NUMBERS

• 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)

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