Inside Schools

A quick news break for employees

Recent KCSD Honors

Three KCSD SchoolsCamden Middle, Camden High and Lugoff-Elgin Highare participating in the state championships for the Academic Challenge "Quiz Bowl" Competition sponsored by the Olde English Consortium.

Golden Apron Winner/Food Service Employee of the Month for March 2015 is Suzan Carmichael from Blaney Elementary. Ms. Carmichael was nominated for the award and voted upon by her fellow food service employees.

Wateree Elementary Principal Gail Stehle was named KCSD Principal of the Year.

Doby's Mill Elementary Principal Ginger Catoe was named SCASL Administrator of the Year by the SC Association of School Librarians.

Chief Financial Officer Donnie Wilson was named Outstanding School Business Official by the SC Association of School Business Officials.

Wateree Elementary received $1000 from Labels for Education Grand Stand for Schools Sweepstakes.

Blaney Elementary's archery team won 1st place in the elementary division and Stover Middle won 1st place in the middle school division of the regional National Archery in Schools (NASP) tournament held at Lugoff-Elgin High School. ATEC finished 3rd in the high school division.

Golden Apple Award honorees for February:

The Kershaw County Teacher Forum’s Golden Apple program honors employees who are doing outstanding jobs.

Golden Apple Award honorees for February 2015:

ATEC: Becky Teal & Derek Napper

Baron DeKalb Elementary: Abby Spitzer & Patty Snipes

Bethune Elementary: Johnnie Walker & Dawn West
Blaney Elementary: Allison Wilks & Teresa McAvoy
Camden Elementary: Tristany Horton & Donna Driggers
Camden High: Ann Hough & Kenny Lawson
Camden Middle: Keith Tolen & Allison Stephens

Continuous Learning Center: Karen Smith

Doby’s Mill Elementary: Vickie Norton & Mandy Freeman

Jackson: Alisha Avant & Deborah James
Lugoff Elementary: Pam Hollmon & Barbara Keith

Lugoff-Elgin High: Sharon Albert & Brandin Burn

Lugoff-Elgin Middle: Tammy Small & Chris Meiler

Midway Elementary: Denise Phillips & Denee Hayes

Mt. Pisgah Elementary: Amy Rivers & Sheryl Barrett

North Central High: Erik Densmore & Maggie Bracey
North Central Middle: Joseph Albright & Deborah Pate

Pine Tree Hill Elementary: Emily Cameron & Gail Luqmaan
Stover Middle: Grace Robinette & Conja Larck
Wateree Elementary: Melissa Smith & Missy Catoe

Pam Hollmon (Lugoff Elementary) and Keith Tolen (Camden Middle) were the winners of the district drawing to receive $20 gift certificates from Fatz Café.

Q and A with Dr. Morgan and Staff

Questions for this column are questions of general interest submitted each month in Superintendent's Cabinet meetings.

A student parking half a year pays the same fee as a student who parks the entire year. Why? Also, where is that money spent since the schools do not get to keep the money? All of the district’s fees (not just parking) are based on the service provided as opposed to the length of time a student attends school. In addition, the parking fee is not one of the fees that is mandatory; it is only required for students who choose to drive to school. The collection of fees was implemented to replace money in the district’s operations budget that was lost from state and local revenue during the recession. Unfortunately, although our operating budget has returned to the 2008 level, that does not accommodate the rising price of operating costs so that we have not been able to return all of the items that were previously cut.

Why is our district considering paying for a replacement for eChalk when we already have Google accounts that allow class websites for free? The five-year contract that we have with eChalk has expired so a panel of school district employees comprised of administrators, teachers and technology staff has been reviewing proposals from website providers to determine the company that can best meet our instructional and communication needs. Lugoff-Elgin High School piloted Google several years ago and, although many components such as Gmail and Google Docs were determined to be beneficial, most teachers had difficulty editing and formatting their sites as compared to templates that are designed for school websites because the Google Sites are not as robust as true HTML5 platforms. While Google Classrooms provide an easy platform for teachers and students to exchange files, they are not easily accessible to parents. Parents have come to expect to access homework and assignments online easily, and we need a platform that is easy and quick for teachers to update.

What are the bus assistants’ responsibilities on the special needs bus?
To assist with the safety, loading, securing, and unloading of the students with special needs on the bus.

Why do the middle schools track by math scores? The goal of the school district is to make sure that we have a curriculum that addresses the needs of all students. The mathematics curriculum in the middle school is designed to prepare students for the rigors of the more advanced math program they will encounter at the high school level. Students are placed in middle school mathematics classes based upon their classroom performance from the previous year, their standardized test scores from MAP and SCPASS, and their scores on a placement test. Specific questions concerning mathematics courses and student assignment can be answered by the school's principal and teachers.

What is our time frame to fully implement 1 to 1 computing? What plans are in place to upgrade the networking infrastructure at Camden Elementary to accommodate the bandwidth necessary for 1 to 1 to take place? Are Chromebooks being considered for elementary student devices to implement 1 to 1? We are currently putting our resources towards updating the wireless infrastructure districtwide in order to accommodate online testing. Once these upgrades have been completed, options for additional K-8 technology will be considered.

Why is Fox News blocked? Fox News was not blocked; it was unavailable but has been fixed. If you still have problems accessing it, please contact Bill Oden at ext. 1223.

When we had a 2 hour delay for students and staff, students were let in 45 minutes early. There were no teachers on duty then, and students were left in the hallways alone. Is there something we can do so this doesn't happen the next time? Even though the staff is on a delay, the expectation is that school administrators should have a plan to receive students who may arrive early.

Why do some principals allow teachers to choose a day off in exchange for working registration while other principals don’t allow this exchange of days? Dr. Morgan will work with principals to develop a consistent structure for this area, as it has been an ongoing area of concern.

Kershaw County School District

Nestled in the heart of the Palmetto State, KCSD is home to over 10,300 students and more than 1,200 employees.