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Sunday, September 16, 2007

September 10 Work Session Notes

Notes From September 10, 2007 Work Session

  1. Board heard a presentation from Ebenezer Principal Tanya Campbell (and staff) about programs helping students to achieve
  2. Board heard a presentation about the intersection of Firetower Road and Porter Road. There was concern expressed about growth in the area with the new elementary school making the intersection obsolete. The Board Chair was asked to request the York County Council review this intersection again in light of the new elementary school opening up.
  3. After first stating his preference was to get the fund balance up to proper levels (2 months expenses), John Hair recommended the balance surplus from 2006-07 be spent as follows; $750,000 for security systems; $350,000 for Professional Development for all personnel; and $1,000,000 for artificial turf and scoreboard for District Three Stadium. Principal James Blake and Athletic Director Billy Parker spoke in favor of the proposal. Stated benefits; graduation in the stadium; soccer in the stadium; more band competition in the stadium; gray Y football in the stadium; Shrine Bowl in the stadium. John Hair reported the football field savings would pay for the new turf if you factored in the stadium field was worn out (due to age and not improper maintenance by the district) and would have to be replaced at a cost of $400,000. The scoreboard would pay for itself through advertising of up to $125,000 per year. Hair was asked for a copy of the calculations showing the savings. There was no explanation on how the field wore out after the district built another district stadium, which should have reduced the wear on one field.
  4. The Board was presented a map showing proposed reassignment changes
  5. A Brief review of PACT data was presented (no real changes from previous year)
  6. A review of the adequate facilities ordinance was made with the recommendation this was turning out to be an intrusion into school district capital programs
  7. A school Climate Report was given. Key highlights were:

In school suspensions decreased from 2459 to 2173

Expulsions decreased from 339 to 273

Arrests decreased from 144 to 81

Dropouts increased from 191 to 416

58 High School and 88 Middle School students had criminal incidents

Student figures so far this year are:


% In Senior Class

Anticipated Graduation Rate

Number of Students





Rock Hill




South Pointe









Anonymous said...

Statistics show that turf causes more injury than grass. Why not use some of that million to build a new lunchroom at Lesslie! Lesslie has the smallest lunchroom in the district!

DB said...

Since education is the primary function, can these funds be used to enhance student leaning? If you feel that the current budget meets the educational needs then the funds must be used to bring the fund balance to the correct level.

The board just approved and the district received the largest budget every. New security plans, new hires (large number requested, see budget) and professional development were all addressed in the current operating budget. As for the new turf, I would need a lot more information in order to give an informed opinion; but my initial reaction was since when are athletic activities more important that education? I love to watch football games and we certainly have gifted players within our district. A true cost savings will be needed since we are talking about replacing a well establish field.

As for the road system, let others with more knowledge of road capacity and state and local regulations hand that problem. Personally I think that parent dropping students at the new element will use the direct access ramp just above the school to gain access to I-77. It seems unreasonable to think that parents would by passing that ramp just to come into town to find another means of getting on I-77. So it is possible that the intersection will not have problems.

Okay PACT scores are about the same, but even at that level there is a lot of work to be done. There are students that don’t reach basic levels for English and math. We need to get back to the basics and let teachers actually teach. New initiatives are nice but basic skills are mandated. Student must learn reading, writing and arithmetic before they grasp other information like science, social studies, art, music or general life skills. We can not continue to accept mediocre test scores and graduate rates. Our students deserve better.

By the way, it is hard to believe that the school climate report shows any favorable changes given the amount of violence and bullying in our schools. Our administrators need to take matters more seriously and punish the offenders. Violence has certainly not decreased. Just read the paper. 15 students at South Pointe in a brawl but yet the administration can’t see the writing on the wall. This is definitely gang type activity. Now is the time to say we will not have these activities in our schools. If we fail to act it will get worst.

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