Inside Schools

A quick news break for employees

Recent KCSD Honors

Baron DeKalb Elementary teacher Robin Sowell received funding for her "Building a 21st Century Classroom" grant on Donors Choose. BDK Media specialist Abby Spitzer also received funding for a new camera for her school's morning show.

Bethune Elementary has received funding for a new school sign from Lynchwood Lodge No. 197 and from the town of Bethune.

Golden Apple Award honorees for November and December

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

Golden Apple Award honorees for November & December 2015:

ATEC: Walker Canada & Becky Teal

Baron DeKalb Elementary: Rebecca Double & Monica West

Bethune Elementary: Kimberly Smith & Debra Christmas
Blaney Elementary: Allison Burnham & Teresa McAvoy / Michelle Clark & Sharon Block
Camden Elementary: Jennifer LeGault & Nathan Greene / Stacy Lewis & Lisa Conrath
Camden High: Amy Speaks & Mona Raley / Jennifer Watts & Jackie Buckelew
Camden Middle: Leon Corbett & LaKeisha Lawrence / Lisa McCaskill & Delores Benjamin

Continuous Learning Center: Julia Johnson / Jackie Johnson & Greta VanDeCarr
Doby’s Mill Elementary: Janette Smith & Becky Thrall / Angela Mixon & Mikael Lofe
Jackson: Lynn Matthews & Jennifer Manuel
Lugoff Elementary: Brantley Smith & Annah Deal / Katey Hancock & Janet Robertson

Lugoff-Elgin High: Glenn Price & Patricia Edwards / Kathy Ross & Judy Scott

Lugoff-Elgin Middle: Melynda Ruff & Arthur Holmes / Sandy Hall & Brandon Huss

Midway Elementary: Anna Rhyne, Katie Morris & Aisha Gripper / Caitlin Molter & Kim McAllister

Mt. Pisgah Elementary: Ada Blackmon & April Mangum

North Central High: Katherine Hough & Deirdre McCaskill / Andy Johnson & Bryan Gaither

North Central Middle: Joseph Albright & Wendy Jones / Brian Leininger & April Johnson

Pine Tree Hill Elementary: Sarah Beltz, Linda Horton & Christie Webb / Dianne Farlett & Sahar Timbers
Stover Middle: Rose Stewart, Robert Suggs, David Stokes & Conja Larck / Alexis Jackson, Sharon Pharis & Gerald Cox
Wateree Elementary: Carol Bowling & Rhoda Proctor / Cora Young & Missy Catoe.

Teresa McAvoy (Blaney Elementary) and Katherine Hough (North Central High) 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.

Why does winter break for the 2016-17 school year start on a Tuesday? It seems like attendance will be low for the half day on Monday, December 19. Although local school boards set their own calendars, there are many state laws and local preferences that impact the details. For example, by state law, the school year cannot begin before the third Monday in August, and schools must be closed on general election days. In addition, feedback from families and the local community indicates a preference for the school year to end in May. In KCSD, a committee comprised of representatives from every school meets to develop possible calendar drafts, gather feedback and make a final recommendation to the school board. After much input and discussion, this year’s committee adjusted the 10-day winter break so that schools would be closed on Monday, January 2, which is a state holiday. (In looking back over past years, KCSD has not been open for students on January 2.) In providing this recommendation to the school board, the committee proposed that December 19 could be used for holiday programs and assemblies.

Many years ago, before the Great Recession and economic downturn, our TCPs (Technology Contact Persons), many of whom are also our district's librarians, Webmasters, Communications Contacts and Facebook Administrators, received a stipend for their work with technology. As technology on each campus has grown by leaps and bounds, the inventory of all equipment has become even more labor intensive, often necessitating closing the library for many days to accomplish the goal. While the new Edtech PD intitiative, coordinated through Derek Berry, has meant $600 stipends for those teachers, stipends for TCPs on campuses were deleted long ago. Will there be reconsideration for TCPs to receive stipends for their work much like coaches and EDTech PD teachers? This item can be considered by the school board when it develops its 2016-17 operating budget.

Although I like shirts tucked in, the idea came from baggie shirts and pants that gangs used to bring in weapons. Things have changed a little and less baggy pants are being worn but kids are wearing baggy jackets and hoodies over their shirts to keep us from seeing they are not tucked in. These jackets and hoodies are more likely to have a weapon than the pants. Is it time to revisit the policy? This is an idea that can be discussed with the principals.

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.