Bits and Pieces - FSD3 Happenings

A Newsletter from the Superintendent, Dr. Laura Hickson

September 22, 2023

JPTMS Students Take Kayaking Expedition on Black River

Nearly 40 students from Matt Luna’s high school physical education class at J. Paul Truluck Creative Arts and Science Magnet School had the opportunity to put what they have been learning in class to the test by kayaking the Black River in Andrews with the help of Coastal Expeditions of Charleston.

Before the field learning experience, the students learned about kayaking and water safety in their physical education class. They first were introduced to kayaking in class and had to demonstrate that they could properly enter, paddle and exit a kayak in the gym. Things were a bit more difficult in the water but the outfitter guides were impressed and said that the students did better than most first time kayakers. The students were told that they were welcome back any time.

While on the water, the students saw a variety of flora and fauna including a brown water snake, a possible alligator, love bugs, bald cypress and more. The students learned about the ecology of the Black River along with the importance of its preservation.

Coach Luna is looking forward to returning to the Black River in the spring with another group of students.


MSE Holds First Gentlemen's Club Meeting

This week marked the first official meeting of the Gentlemen’s Club at Main Street Elementary School. The Gentlemen’s Club is one of the most distinguished clubs at MSE. The school’s cohort strives to give meaningful experiences of scholarship, leadership, service, and character. The Gentlemen’s Club recognizes the entire student as a whole—one who goes above and beyond in all of these areas.

In order to maintain membership in the Gentlemen’s Club, gentlemen must:

  • Maintain at least a ‘C’ average in all subjects per nine-week period.
  • Meet all school-wide academic goals weekly (Lexia and Dreambox).
  • Attend all meetings and events.
  • Have an acceptable disciplinary record (no referrals).

Last week, the young men began the task of learning the Gentlemen’s Pledge and the correct way to knot a tie. The students enjoyed the activities and were quite successful with mastering their ties! Wednesday of each week is designated as “Dress for Success Wednesday.”

The Gentlemen’s Club will have its official Induction Ceremony on Tuesday, September 26 from 6-7:30 p.m. at Lake City High School Athletic Center.

The MSE Gentlemen’s Club is advised by John Battiste, Jacob Gilliard and Samuel Fulmore.


LCHS Students Learn About the Cultural History of Quilts

Two classes at Lake City High School combined to provide a cultural and creative lesson surrounding quilts on Tuesday, September 12.

Tressia Gibbs's English students were studying Everyday Use, a short story by Alice Walker. This story explores race and the meaning of heritage within a family. An essential part of the story is the relationship between a mother and her daughters and how the daughters value a quilt given to them by their mother. One sister wants them for display, and the other wants them for their intended purpose of “everyday use.”

Students received additional insight from LCHS's own Gullah master quilter and art teacher, Latoya Thompson. Ms. Thompson was able to share the original purpose of quilts dating back to Africa, where men were the primary creators of fabrics and quilts, and trace this tradition back to the Americas, where enslaved Africans would use their quilts as a map to freedom.

Ms. Thompson was able to present to students antique quilts made by her grandmother from scraps of worn dresses. She made her quilts for “everyday use” and explained how even these “bed quilts” were a creative expression. Ms. Thompson explained that she was only aware that she had grown up with an artist in adulthood when she truly understood the value of folk art, such as quilting. Students had the opportunity to view some of Ms. Thompson’s most recent pieces and learn more about the process of quilt making.

These two educators were brought together by Dr. Roslynn Elom, who recognized how the connection between their disciplines. This exercise was designed to emphasize the value of our creative & cultural expressions, even when made for “everyday use.”


LCECC Shutterbug Leaders Photography Workshop

Terese Patterson and Danielle Botticelli hosted the Shutterbugs in their first photography workshop at Lake City Early Childhood Center.

Abra Bolling, FSD3’s digital media coordinator, was the guest speaker. She introduced students to their devices and showed them the proper way to use them. These leaders were all hands-on as they learned the parts of the iPad. They took a stroll around the building to get some practice in taking pictures! The workshop wrapped up with students editing and sharing their favorite photos with the group.

We can't wait to see our leaders in action this year.


SESA Celebrates Constitution Day

It was a sea of red, white and blue as students at Scranton Elementary STEAM Academy celebrated Constitution Day on Monday, September 18. Students wore patriotic colors, completed activities about the Constitution and even recorded a vocal performance.

The day started with students dressed in their most patriotic clothing attire. They were seen wearing all combinations of red, white and blue. Accessories included leis, extra hair and tattoos everywhere. Children enjoyed having the opportunity to display their patriotism.

As the day progressed, students completed standards based Constitution activities. Many used context clues to determine the meanings of lines in the Preamble and some even made representations of the flag.

A performance of the song, We the People, was recorded and can be viewed on the school’s Facebook page. If you haven’t seen it, you are missing something truly spectacular!


Leadership Amplified “Men”torship Club Begins at LCECC

“Building Leaders: Every Chance, Every Day” is the mission for Lake City Early Childhood Center, and that is exactly what they are doing.

Leadership Amplified “Men”torship Club has officially begun at LCECC under the direction of first grade teacher Rashard Burrows. LCECC hosted a parent meeting and ribbon cutting ceremony for all members to what Mr. Burrows calls a “new era.”

There is a commitment to serve young males at LCECCA as the staff are committed to work with the community and stakeholders in ensuring this program is a success.

Leadership Amplified has a diverse group of young men who are committed to growing and developing in making positive choices in and outside of school. As a proud mentor, Mr. Burrows is committed to working alongside our supportive Principal Jonte' Singletary to ensure that these young men are Learning, Engaging, Achieving, and Developing daily.


Four FSD3 Board Members Recognized For Participating in State-Level Training

Four members for Florence School District 3’s Board of Trustees have earned recognition by the South Carolina School Boards Association (SCSBA) for achievement in the association’s 2022-2023 Boardmanship Institute.

SCSBA Boardmanship Institute, established in 1982, offers a year-round training curriculum to help board members develop skills and stay abreast of state and national education issues. Workshops focus on school law, advocacy and legislation, improving board operations, leadership for improving student achievement and other timely topics.

Board members can achieve up to six levels of recognition by earning points that are accrued annually from July through June for participation in statewide conferences and training provided onsite in their district.

Board members recognized and their levels of achievement are:

  • Jason Kirby - Level 2
  • Paula Morris - Level 3
  • Rutha Frieson - Level 4
  • Mattie Thomas - Level 4

Each year, about 80 percent of board members statewide attend at least one training session.

SCSBA is the statewide professional organization serving as a source of information, training and advocacy for the state’s 79 school district boards, county boards and state special schools.

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At J.C. Lynch Elementary School, we always consider our Office of Exceptional Children teachers superheroes, but this week we want to spotlight Helen Gardner for Demonstrating leadership both in and out of the classroom. Mrs. Gardner saw a need for directing dismissal foot traffic and jumped in without question! Equipped with her safety vest and a smile, she makes sure our hallways are in order and students are getting where they need to be. Thank you, Mrs. Gardner, from your Wildcat Family!


Golf Ball Drop to Raise Funds for Sports Complex

Florence School District 3 is raising funds to build a new sports complex at the Lake City High School campus. All community members are encouraged to participate in a golf ball drop fundraiser.

Anyone may purchase a golf ball for $10 with the winner receiving 20% of the net profits from the fundraiser. The winner will be announced after all golf balls are dropped on Alumni Day, Saturday, September 30, behind J. Paul Truluck Creative Arts and Science Magnet School.

We are challenging Lake City High School, J. Paul Truluck and Carver high School alumni to purchase and sell as many entries as possible. The alumni class that makes the most sales will win a free tailgating sport for homecoming 2024 and a free dinner.

Anyone can purchase an entry at or in person from any of fundraising committee members. Anyone who has questions or would like to sell golf balls, email

We encourage our community to join us in our efforts to create this new opportunity, our students deserve the best!

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