Educators with the state Department of Education recently visited Scott's Branch High School to observe that entity's implementation of the latest project-based learning strategies.
The group, which visited April 6, was the second of three teams that will visit the school this spring.
"Scott's Branch New Tech students and teachers continue to amaze visitors who visit classes to witness the 21st century learning environment," said Clarendon School District 1 Superintendent Dr. Rose Wilder. "This school's program is a cutting-edge program that visitors are constantly coming to observe. They are discovering the secret of Scott's Branch's success."
Wilder said in a release that the state department team visited classes; observed student presentations; and spoke with students, teachers and the school principal.
"Not only were they impressed with the implementation of New Tech, they were (also) complimentary of the overall learning environment at Scott's Branch," Wilder said.
Those visiting from the Department of Education included Personalized Learning lead associate Lauren McCauley; Chief Strategy Officer Jennifer Morrison; Educator Servicer Mary Hipp; School Choice education associate Barbara Turner; training coordinator Linda Hutto; Education Services education associate Rachel Burns; Virtual South Carolina Curriculum team leaders Catayah Clark and Deidre Edwards.
"I'm very impressed with the positive learning community and positive relationships between the students and teachers," said Edwards.
Turner said she saw how New Tech "all ties together" after several classroom visits.
"I've been thoroughly impressed by the students' ability to make the connection to the next level in the college and workforce," she said.
After visiting English language arts, U.S. history, world history, music and art classes, the visitors all said there was something different about the learning environment at Scott's Branch, and they expressed amazement at how the performance and product connected with the students and impacted the overall learning environment.
"The culture of the school is indicative of excellence and tough standards focused on the profile of the South Carolina graduate," Edwards said.
World history teacher Tommy Hall bragged to the visitors about the job his students are doing in their study of Clarendon School District 1's historic role in the battle to desegregate schools nationwide in the mid-20th century.
Beatrice Rivers, who at age 8 was the youngest person to sign the petition calling for buses for black public school students, was working with Hall's students at the time of the educators' visit. Rivers frequently visit the class, and said she is always impressed with student performance.
"Students eloquently articulated and elaborated on the projects they were creating," said English language arts teacher Detrice Brown about the visit.