Red Cross volunteers recognized at the District 1 School Board meeting

The Clarendon County District 1 School Board recognized the American Red Cross volunteers who worked at the shelter during Hurricane Florence. An award certificate was presented to each volunteer. Kathleen Gibson, the District Title One Parent and Family Engagement Coordinator at the Clarendon One Community Resource Center, headed up the Red Cross volunteer team at the shelter housed in the Community Resource Center in Summerton. She praised her team for their extreme efforts in preparing for the storm as well as the positive attitudes the team presented non-stop, even when they had little or no sleep for extended periods. Gibson gave special thanks to three of the Board members, Tony Junious, Harrold Morrow and Johnny Bonapart, for their grilling skills, which were highly appreciated during the storm. The Board voted to approve first reading for two new policies: Policy JJE – Student Fundraising Activities and Policy KDB – Public’s Right to know/Freedom of Information. The Board then voted to approve second reading of Policy BCB – Board Member Conflict of Interest, File BCB-E – Statement of Recusal, Policy BD – Organization of the School Board, Policy BDD – Board-Superintendent Relationship, Policy BEDC – Quorum, Policy BEDD – Rules of Order and Policy BG – School Board Policy Process, with the understanding that Policies BCB, BD and BDD would be further discussed at the next workshop. The Board voted to table the second reading for Policy ADB – Drug and Alcohol-Free Workplace and Schools, Policy GBEC – Drug and Alcohol-Free Workplace and Schools, Policy ADC – Tobacco-Free School District, Policy GBED – Tobacco-Free Schools/Staff and File EEAE-E – Drug and Alcohol Testing Program Acknowledgement Form. The Board voted to approve the second reading of Policy EEAE – Bus Safety Program, Policy AR EEAE-R – Bus Safety Program; Policy GBEB – Staff Conduct; The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which includes KDB – Public’s Right to Know/Freedom of Information (approved for first reading above), Sample – Schedule of Fees for Public Records/South Carolina Freedom of Information and Responding to Freedom of Information Act Requests; Policy ADA – School District Goals and Objectives; Policy AR-ADA-R – School District Goals and Objectives; Policy AR-JJE-R – Student Fundraising Activities and Policy FA – Facilities Development Goals/Priority Objectives. Holness Samuels, the Director of Office of Accountability and Federal Programs, gave an update on accreditation monitoring. The updates to the District Strategic Plan were completed in April and were sent to the Department of Education (DoE). The DoE reviewed the plan and returned it with a list of changes that needed to be made. The changed were made, and the deadline was met to complete the plan and return it to the DoE. Dean Laws-Bryant, the School Improvement Coordinator, offered an update on the gifted and talented program. She provided information on the South Carolina legislation as well as the district criteria used to identify the students and the instruction delivery methods. Priority is first given to academically gifted students in grades three through 12, then to artistically gifted students in grades three through 12 and finally artistically gifted students in grades one and two. Laws-Bryant provided a definition of a gifted child. “A gifted child demonstrates high performance in either academics or artistic abilities.” According to Laws-Bryant, there are three dimensions for identifying a gifted student in South Carolina. Dimension A discusses reasonability and aptitude, Dimension B discusses high achievement through the math assessment SC READY and Dimension C discusses intellectual and academic performance. Once a child is designated as gifted, they will be considered as gifted at any school in South Carolina, even if the child changes districts. Ethel Marshall, the Legislative Liaison, reported on the Regional Advocacy Meeting she attended in Darlington. The South Carolina School Board Association sponsored the meeting titled “There’s a Perfect Storm Brewing,” which discussed issues happening nationally and in South Carolina. A primary point was the shift giving greater authority to the state to take over local school districts through provisos attached to budget legislation. According to Marshall, provisos supersede existing law, even if it contradicts the law. Although only effective for one year, they are renewable and may later be made into law. Keith Bowman, a Board member, brought up the issue regarding juniors who are ready to graduate based on credit hours and grades. However, it was clarified that the current rulings state a junior who has a higher GPA than a graduating senior will not supplant that senior in class rankings. Superintendent Barbara Champagne discussed accreditation standards, ensuring each Board member had a copy of both the Accreditation Monitoring Instrument and the Desk Audit Instrument, so they can review them and understand what the State is considering. These documents outline what the State is responsible for as well as what the Board is responsible for with regard to accreditation monitoring. The Board will further discuss this at the next workshop. Champagne discussed changes to travel reimbursements. The District will now pay for any plane tickets, rental cars or hotel reservations, but all mileage, gas and food costs will be reimbursed after the employee returns from the trip and provides a trip report. Champagne submitted a School Safety and Facility Grant in September. This grant, roughly worth $300,000, will provide a monitoring system in the schools for assistant principals’ offices, at a cost of $147,800. The second priority in the grant was for bus cameras.    


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