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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Pew, Sharp, Goodwin, and Steele to Talk About Standards Tonight At Winthrop #rhsd3 #winthrop

AAUW to host standards talks
Rock Hill’s chapter of the American Association of University Women is hosting a panel on “changing state education standards and the effects on the district, principals, teachers and students” on Tuesday night.
The panel will be held in Plowden Auditorium at Winthrop University at 7 p.m. Admission is free.
The panel includes Rock Hill school board member Jane Sharp, Rock Hill schools Superintendent Kelly Pew, Sullivan Middle School Principal Shane Goodwin and Dutchman Creek Middle School science teacher Jody Steele.
“We want to make sure the public is informed about the ramifications about the changes to the state standards after putting so much energy into training teachers in the Common Core (state standards),” said Trish Johnson, branch president.
Panels of educators from across the state are rewriting math and language arts standards after the state voted to withdraw from the use of the Common Core standards several months ago. 
RACHEL SOUTHMAYD, The Rock Hill Herald

Monday, September 15, 2014

Community Visit to Two Rock Hill Schools This Wednesday #rhsd3

Reminder
Sept. 17 Community Visit to Two Rock Hill Elementary Schools:
  • 8:30-9:30 am – Belleview Elementary with John Kirell, Principal
  • 10:00-11:00 am – Mt. Holly Elementary with Dr. Nakia Barnes, Principal

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Conservative Case for Common Core #rhschoolboard

By William J. Bennett

As the former Secretary of Education for President Ronald Reagan, I have been following the national debate over Common Core standards. The debate is getting hotter, but not always clearer. It's time to get clarity on some things that have been badly and sometimes mis-chievously muddled.

Let's begin with the ideas and principles behind the Common Core. These educational principles have been debated and refined over decades. First, we can all agree that there is a need for common standards of assessment in K-12 education. And we can all agree that there are common and shared truths in English, literature and math. Think of "We hold these truths to be self evident" as emblematic.

Nearly all Americans agree that to prepare a child for civic responsibility and competition in the modern economy, he or she must be able to read and distill complex sentences, and must be equipped with basic mathematical skills.

When I was chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities in the 1980s, I asked 250 people across the political spectrum what 10 books every student should be familiar with by the time they finish high school. Almost every person agreed on five vital sources: the Bible, Shakespeare, America's founding documents, the great American novel "Huckleberry Finn" and classical works of mythology and poetry, like the Iliad and the Odyssey.

The same goes for math. Certain abilities—the grasp of fractions, decimals, percentages, ratios and the like—should be the common knowledge of all.

That's the fundamental idea behind a core curriculum: preserving and emphasizing what's essential, in fields like literature and math, to a worthwhile education. It is also, by the way, a conservative idea.

Governors, state education administrators and teachers used these principles as a guide when they developed a set of common standards that were later presented to the country as Common Core. Forty-five states signed up originally. But the process was contaminated by politics, and that brings us to the debate we have now.

In 2009 the Education Department created Race to the Top grants, federal funding for states that met certain educational benchmarks. To qualify, states were required, for instance, to demonstrate that they had a common, high-quality set of standards. Common Core standards satisfied the criteria.

Critics accused President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan of dangling federal money to encourage states to adopt the Common Core. The administration never should have done this. It made a voluntary agreement among states look like a top-down directive from the federal government. But remember: The original Common Core standards were separate from the federal government, and they can be separated once again.

Conservatives have reason to be upset by this federal over-reach. The Obama administration has run roughshod over individual rights and state sovereignty, on issues ranging from health care to climate change. But the federal intrusion into Common Core, however unwelcome and unhelpful, does not change a basic truth: Common, voluntary standards are a good, conservative policy.

Call it Common Core or call it something else, as Arizona has done by renaming its standards "Arizona's College and Career Ready Standards," but public schools should have high standards based on a core curriculum that is aligned with tests that are comparable across state lines. The U.S. has several types of national exams that assume at least some common basis of knowledge and understanding. These exams— NAEP, AP, SAT and ACT-work and most of the country agrees that they are useful.

Why then is Common Core drawing such heavy fire? Some of the criticism is legitimate, but much of it is based on myths. For example, a myth persists that Common Core involves a required reading list. Not so. Other than four seminal historical documents—the Declaration of Independence, the preamble to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address—there is no required reading list. Textbook companies have marketed their books disingenuously, leading many parents to believe that under Common Core the government mandates particular textbooks. Also not true.

The standards are designed to invite states to take control and to build upon them further. The standards do not prescribe what is taught in our classrooms or how it's taught. That decision should always rest with local school districts and school boards.

The principles behind the Common Core affirm a great intellectual tradition and inheritance. We should not allow them to be hijacked by the federal government or misguided bureaucrats and politicos.

Mr. Bennett is a former U.S. secretary of education (1985-88).

Friday, September 12, 2014

South Pointe High School to be on WCNC-TV News Friday at 4 and 5 pm #spway #rockhill

WCNC-TV in Charlotte will air a story this afternoon at 4 pm and again at 5 pm on sanitation in high school football locker rooms. 

New Security Procedures For Rock Hill Football Stadiums Starting September 19 #rockhill #rhsd3

The Rock Hill Police Department requested additional security procedures for the Rock Hill School District Football Stadiums. As a result, the following procedures have been developed by the Rock Hill School District Planning Department:

Procedures for Fans Attending Events at District 3 Stadium and District 3 South Stadium
Rock Hill Schools
Effective September 19, 2014

Beginning with the September 19 varsity football game, fans will not be permitted to bring backpacks into either stadium.  No outside food or beverages will be permitted.  Fans should plan accordingly before arriving at stadium events.

 Guidelines for Gate Attendants:
  • If a fan arrives with a backpack or knapsack, inform the fan that it is not permitted and ask that he/she take it to their car. 
  • If it is a younger student and he/she indicates there is not a car (they were dropped off at the event) or he/she is staying over at a friend’s house and this is the overnight bag, ask student to open the bag and move contents around so that gate attendant can look into the bag.  Inform the student to leave the bag at home in the future and make other arrangements for an overnight bag.  He/she will not get in with a bag at the next event.
  •  If something suspicious is viewed in the bag, ask the police officer to intervene.
  • If a fan arrives with a water bottle, beverage, McDonald’s bag, etc., ask the fan to consume before entering the gate or discard in the container at the gate.
  • Gate attendants should not place hands inside a backpack to search.  The owner of the backpack needs to open and move contents around to be viewed.

NOTE: The above guidelines do not apply to ladies’ purses, adults with seat cushions/blanket holders, diaper bags, medications, or food needed for those with medical conditions.

The statement below should be read at athletic events beginning Sept. 12 and forward:
To create a safer environment, fans attending events at District 3 Stadium or District 3 South Stadium are not permitted to bring backpacks into the stadium, effective Sept. 19.  No outside food or beverages will be permitted.  Please plan accordingly before arriving at stadium events.  Thank you for your cooperation.


Planning Department / Sept. 2014

Sunday, August 24, 2014

When Do We Start Letting Our Children Go?

From Joanne Jacobs Blog:

Poll: No unsupervised play for pre-teens

Sixty-eight percent of Americans think it should be illegal to let kids 9 and under play unsupervised at a park, according to the new Reason/Rupe poll.
Recently, a South Carolina mother was thrown in jail for dropping off her 9-year-old at a popular playground.Swing
Forty-three percent of those polled said 12-year-olds shouldn’t be outside without a caregiver, writes Lenore Skenazy of Free Range Kids on Reason. “They would like to criminalize all pre-teenagers playing outside on their own (and, I guess, arrest their no-good parents).”
Sixty-two percent of Americans agreed that “kids today face more threats to their physical safety,” the poll reported.
In reality, the U.S. crime rate is the lowest it’s been in decades, Skenazy writes. Some neighborhoods may be unsafe, but most are just fine.
“I doubt there has ever been a human culture, anywhere, anytime, that underestimates children’s abilities more than we North Americans do today,” says Boston College psychology professor emeritus Peter Gray, author of Free to Learn.
- See more at: http://www.joannejacobs.com/2014/08/poll-no-unsupervised-play-for-pre-teens/#sthash.dBbmrH1V.dpuf
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My grandfather was on his own at 12. Have our children regressed that much in 100 years? 

We rarely have unscripted recess at school. How long has it been since children have had to figure out, and organize, activities for themselves?

How can we produce leaders if we don't allow them to practice leadership during their developmental years? JBV

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Rock Hill Schools Update for August 21 #rhsd3

First Day of School
From all indications, the first day of school had few glitches. With the largest transportation system in York County, our school bus transportation complex was the busiest location, trying to ensure that all 13,000+ riders were picked up and then delivered home safely. 
August 22 Northwestern/Byrnes Football Game on ESPNU
District Three Stadium will be the place tomorrow for Friday night football. Two of the most powerful football teams in the state will play—the Northwestern “Trojans” and the Byrnes (Spartanburg) “Rebels.” Kick-off time is 6:00 p.m. and no district-issued passes will be honored due the district’s contract with ESPN which will televise the game “live.” Tickets, at $6, can be purchased in advance in the Northwestern Athletic Dept. Thursday until 4:00 pm and tomorrow until noon.  
School Fundraisers
  • Rock Hill High Softball Team – August 23, huge yard sale from 8:00-3:00 in the parking lot. There will be designer clothes, furniture, electronics, etc.
  • South Pointe Band of Thunder – August 23, pancake breakfast at Fatz on Herlong from 8:00-10:00 am. Tickets will be $7/adults and $4/children age 11 and under.
Mascot Training
Rock Hill High will offer a mascot training workshop for middle and high school mascots on Saturday, September 6
August 25 School Board Meeting
School board work sessions and business meetings are open to the public, and district employees are always welcome to attend. At Monday night’s meeting, elementary students who made perfect PASS scores this past spring will be recognized along with new Teachers of the Year, S.C. Coaches of the Year, Kyle Richardson and Calvin Hudgins, and NHS Resource Officer Scott Eller.

Elaine Baker

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