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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Rock Hill Schools Information For Wednesday, September 30.

An estimated 25 school districts from across the Carolinas will have attendees at the ACTIVCarolinas Conference on Sat., Oct. 3, at Dutchman Creek. The educators will meet from 8:00-4:30 to share best practices. The event, hosted by Promethean and Rock Hill Schools, will be the first of its kind in the Carolinas. “We’re excited to host the conference,” states Chris Smith, director of staff development. "Rock Hill is one of only a few districts in the country with interactive whiteboard technologies in every classroom, and our teachers are leaders in the design of engaging work for 21st century students.”

School board members and the district administration will view a live teleconference on legislative advocacy at 6:00 p.m. Thurs., Oct. 1, in the Training Room in the district office. The teleconference is being provided state-wide by the S. C. School Boards Association. Members of the district's grassroots advocacy group have been invited to attend, and district employees and other citizens with and without children in the public schools are welcome to attend.

Dr. Lynn Moody on Straight Talk

Dr. Lynn Moody, Superintendent of the Rock Hill Schools, was on WRHI's (1340 am) Tuesday Straight Talk show. You can listen to the interview by clicking here.
The trouble with money, was one of the topics discussed.

Old English Festival of Bands on October 3rd.

The Rock Hill and Northwestern High School bands will be hosts this Saturday (October 3rd) for the Olde English Festival of Bands at District Three Stadium. Admision for adults will be $8.00, students will be $5.00 under 6 are free. Here are links to the Northwestern Band Web Site or the Northwestern High School Jaz Band web site or the Rock Hill High Band Web Site. The schedule for the event is below:



October 3rd 2009

12:45 Welcome & National Anthem

Indian Land 1:00

Chester 1:15

Great Falls 1:30

Lewisville 1:45

South Rowan 2:00

BREAK 2:15


Hartsville 2:30

Blythewood 2:45

BREAK 3:00


Manning 3:15

Lancaster 3:30

South Pointe 3:45

BREAK 4:00


Union 4:15

Ridge View 4:30

Dorman 4:45

Clover 5:00

Boiling Springs 5:15

NORTHWESTERN (Exhibition) 5:30


Dinner Break

Finalist #1 7:15

Finalist #2 7:30

Finalist #3 7:45

Finalist #4 8:00

Finalist #5 8:15

Finalist #6 8:30

Finalist #7 8:45

Finalist #8 9:00

ROCK HILL (Exhibition) 9:15


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Rock Hill School Board Faced a Lose/Lose Vote

The Rock Hill School Board faced a vote to either reduce the reserve fund by $1.6 million or reduce it by $0.8 million and reduce teacher pay by 2 days (while not reducing the work load). By a vote of 4:1: (Brown against and Vining abstaining, Reid away on business), the board approved 2 teacher furlough days (See bottom of post for explanations on furlough days). Furlough days will be on Friday, October 23, and Friday, March 19.

The Board had already pushed off teacher furlough days during the budget vote by dipping into the reserve fund by $2.5 million dollars but the prospect of more cuts during the year forced the board to take a conservative approach this time to preserve as much of the remaining fund balance as they could. It was felt the 2 furlough days was the most that could be taken without major disruptions to operations.

Folks need to look at the fund balance as the same as their checking account balance, not as a savings account balance.

Sherry East, president of the York County Education Assn., and citizen Betty Every spoke to the board asking that the board not furlough teachers.

The board also approved by a 6-0 vote, first reading of a new board policy, JCR (Reassignment of Students), which states the Board will commit to parents and students to make every reasonable and practical effort to avoid reassignment. However, if reassignment becomes necessary, the board will begin the reassignment process in the fall of the year preceding implementation of a new reassignment plan.

Voted 6-0 to put the Annex building at 507 E. Black Street (behind the former district office) on the market for sale at the appraised value of $200,000. A condition of the sale will be that whoever buys the building will have to honor the lease agreements of the agencies currently housed in the Annex.

Voted 6-0 to approve first reading of board policies JIHC/JIHC-R (Use of Metal Detectors) and JLCEE/JLCEE-R (Use of Automated External Defibrillator).

Voted 5-1 (Vining against) to approve first reading of board policy JIH/JIH-R (Searches, Student Interrogations and Arrests).

Voted 5-0 (Vining abstaining because he does not take a board stipend) to reduce the board stipend by the same percentage as the reduction in pay for teachers.

Principal Al Leonard and South Pointe High School will host the board's work session on Monday, October 12, beginning at 5:30 in the media center.

Furlough Questions and Guidelines

Who will be affected by the furlough?

All employees with the exception of school cafeteria employees and bus drivers will be affected by the furlough. In addition, part-time teachers who work only on instructional days will not be able to furlough.

What days are scheduled as furlough days?

October 23 and March 19 will be furlough days. All schools and offices will be closed on these days. Administrators will furlough two additional days to be selected by the administrator.

Who is classified as an administrator and will be furloughed four days?

All employees paid on the administrative salary schedule will furlough four days.

Will instructional assistants be required to take furlough days?

Instructional assistants will consider October 23 and March 19 furlough days, if possible. •Assistants who have one remaining teacher workday will take that day as a furlough day and will, with the approval of the principal, select an instructional day as the second furlough day. •Teacher assistants who have worked all possible teacher workdays will select two instructional days, approved by the principal, to furlough.

Substitutes may only be hired for special education assistants assigned to specific duties, and the day will be subtracted from the school's total allocation.

Will supplements be affected by the furlough?

Supplements for extra jobs and duties (ex: athletics, lead teachers, bus duty) will not be affected by the furlough.

Will National Board Certification pay be affected by the furlough?

In accordance with state regulations and funding, furlough reductions will be reflected in National Board Certification pay. National Board Certification checks will be paid on Nov. 24, Jan. 25, and May 25. Reductions will be reflected in the November 24 and May 25 payments.

The first furlough day on October 23 is a scheduled pay day for employees paid on the monthly payroll cycle. Will this be changed?

Checks and direct deposit notifications will be delivered to the schools by October 22. Checks will be dated October 23 and funds will be available in individual bank accounts for direct deposit by October 23.

The second furlough day on March 19 is a pay day for employees paid on the bi-weekly schedule. Will this be changed?

Checks and direct deposit notifications will be delivered to the schools by March 18. Checks will be dated March 19 and funds will be available in individual bank accounts for direct deposit by March 19.

Will sports games and practices be allowed on the furlough days when school is closed?

Games and practices will be allowed on furlough days.

Will personal leave days be allowed on the day before or after the furlough day?

While there is no policy concerning furlough days, requesting a personal day before or after the furlough day will be strongly discouraged. Administrators and all staff are asked to be sensitive to the needs of the schools and students.

When will the deductions from payroll checks begin?

For administrators, 260-day employees, and employees who begin the pay cycle on July 1, the deduction will come from nine checks, beginning with the Oct. 23 payroll and ending with the last check in June.

For teachers and other employees paid on the monthly payroll cycle, the deduction will come from nine checks, beginning November 24 and ending with the last check in July.

For all employees paid on the bi-weekly payroll the deduction will come from 18 checks, beginning with the November 13 payroll and ending with the July 2 payroll.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Rock Hill School Board September Business Meeting Agenda

Meeting of the Board of Trustees

Monday, September 28, 2009

6:00 p.m. – District Office Board Room


I. Call to Order

Approval of Agenda

(Under consent agenda, all action items will be voted on after one motion and second to approve them without discussion. If a board member wants any action item discussed or voted on separately, the board member, before the agenda is approved, must ask that the action item be moved to the discussion item section.)

II. Citizen Participation

III. Executive Session - None

IV. Special Business

A. Recognition of Rock Hill Elks Lodge

B. Recognition of Finance Department for Award in Financial Reporting

C. Recognition of Education Foundation

V. Consent Action Agenda

A. Approval of Minutes

1. August 24, 2009 business meeting

2. August 29, 2009 retreat

3. September 15, 2009 work session

B. Approval of Personnel Recommendations

C. Approval of Overnight Field Trip Requests (5)

D. Approval of York County Right of Way Request - Pennies for Progress

VI. Communications - None

VII. Report of the Superintendent

A. Announcements

B. Math Expectation Guide

C. Secondary Framework for Literacy

D. ParentPower (P2)

E. Food Services Budget

F. National Standards

VIII. Review of Work Session

IX. Action Agenda

A. Land Sale of Annex Property

B. Policy JCR 1st Reading

C. Policies JIHC, JIH, JLCEE – 1st Reading

D. State Revenue Reductions (Decide if budget will be met with furlough days)

X. Other Business

XI. Adjourn

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Vision of K-12 Students

This video is a couple of years old. Do you think things have changed?

Rock Hill Schools Answer Furlough Questions

The school district has posted questions and answers related to furlough days on their web site. You can get a pdf copy by clicking here. They are also listed below:

Questions and Answers Concerning a Possible Furlough

The South Carolina Budget and Control Board recently announced a state
revenue reduction of 4% for fiscal year 2009-2010. This is a decrease of
approximately $1.9 million.

We began this school year with an unfunded budget of $2.4 million before this
reduction. The Board of Trustees will discuss and take action on how to deal
with this reduction at its September 28th board meeting. Since passing the budget
last year, we have said that furloughs would have to be a possibility if we
received another cut. Below are questions and answers concerning a possible

What is a furlough?
The word “furlough,” as described in current S.C. legislation, refers to the ability
of school districts to decrease the total number of contracted days for employees.
Instructional staff may be furloughed up to five days in fiscal year 2009-2010.
For each teacher furlough day, administrators must be furloughed at least two
days. Salaries are then decreased according to the number of days furloughed.

How much will it affect my salary?
Below are selections of salaries and the amount of gross pay subtracted for the
selected salary amounts. The net pay deduction will be less and will vary
according to individual tax status. If the furlough is approved, the deduction
amount will be divided by the remaining number of payroll checks for the year.

Administrators (260-Day Contract Employees) 4-Day Furlough Cost
SALARY of $50,000 would result in a REDUCTION of $768
●To calculate the net amount of reduction, divide total reduction by the number of remaining checks for the year.
●The actual net amount per check will be less than the total amount of the reduction.
●Each employee’s tax status will determine their net amount.

Teachers and Support Staff (190-Day Contract Employees) 2-Day Furlough Cost
SALARY of $50,000 would result in a REDUCTION of $526
SALARY of $30,000 would result in a REDUCTION of $316
●To calculate the net amount of reduction, divide total reduction by the number of remaining checks for the year.
●The actual net amount per check will be less than the total amount of the reduction.
●Each employee’s tax status will determine their net amount.

What days are being considered for furlough?
Legislative Proviso allows a furlough day for instructional staff only on a noninstructional
Teachers and all other support personnel will furlough October 23, 2009, and
March 19, 2010. Administrative staff will furlough October 23, 2009, and March
19, 2010, and two additional days determined by the administrator.

October 23 and March 19 are bad weather makeup days. What
happens if we have bad weather?
We will have two makeup days, February 15 and May 31. If we exceed that, we
will need to ask for a waiver by the legislature or make up the days at year end.

Who will be included in the furlough?
All employees will be included in the furlough with the exception of food service
employees and bus drivers. They are not included because they do not work on
teacher workdays.

How much will the furlough save the district?
The district will save approximately $850,000 in salaries and employer tax
payments. Additional energy savings will be incurred by the closing of our
buildings at an approximate cost of $20,000 for two days.

Will all schools and the District Office be closed on the furlough
Yes, the schools and the District Office will be closed for the October 23, 2009,
and March 19, 2010, furlough days.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Public Agenda Survey

The Public Agenda has survey data which suggests; administrators do not believe there is an issue with low standards; administrators believe there is an issue with getting rid of bad teachers and; teachers will take parent and administrative support over pay. Some of the survey responses are below. You can get all the survey responses and detailed findings by clicking here.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Rock Hill's Jonathan Meeks Intercepts Pass Against Boston College

Rock Hill High School's Jonathan Meeks, intercepts a pass against Boston College in Saturday's game. Jonathan is the freshman son of Wayne and Carlita Browning. Photo from the Greenville News.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bud Ferrillo's new film, State of Denial

This is a trailer of Bud Ferrillo's new film, State of Denial.
You may remember Ferrillo produced Corridor of Shame
several years ago. His new film will not make you proud to
be from South Carolina.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Check on South Carolina's Federal Stimulus Money

You can find out where all the federal stimulus money is going in South Carolina by clicking here.

Fort Mill Principal is on Twitter (From Fort Mill Times)

Fort Mill High's all a Twitter
(Published September 17, 2009)
Fort Mill High School Principal Dee Christopher tweets from his desk last week. The social network has replaced the school's newsletter.


Leaders at Fort Mill High School have abandoned their signature blog and newsletter.

Now, Principal Dee Christopher has a new vehicle through which to keep parents updated: He tweets on Twitter, a social networking Web site.

And he serious about it. So much so that he's posted nearly 100 messages since classes resumed in August.

“He's the grand tweeter,” Assistant Principal Donald Pittman quipped.

Using the social networking vehicle replaces the newsletter previously published and mailed to parents about four times a year. That endeavor coupled with postage fees cost the school about $2,000.

Now, school leaders are saving money with their new wave step.

“We're in the hip crowd,” Pittman said of the school's transition from a paper newsletter and blogging to the social network. “We're keeping up with the times.”

The effort started after Christopher made a commitment to keep ninth grade parents in the loop. Some communication was falling through the cracks with the traditional school newsletter and blogging, he said.

The principal, who once let his students duct-tape him to a cafeteria wall after making good on a fundraiser effort, issued a promise.

“When I met with parents, I told them (that) I'm personally responsible for the communication from this school to their home,” Christopher said. “That's a big statement. If anyone is going to get caught in that, it's me.”

So he stepped up his communication game, detouring from blogs and newsletters, and established the school's Twitter listing, WeAreFortMill.

“I told our ninth grade parents (about tweeting),” he said. “They were like ‘what?' They just thought that was different. I had a few come up and ask, ‘Are you really going to tweet on the first day of school?'”

And tweet he did just to make good on that promise.

“I probably did 20 entries that first day of school,” he said as he fired off a tweet from the computer on his desk. “I've done 84 tweets since I started the account. I've done 64 since Aug. 4.”

The school staff favors the innovated initiative that made its debut in July before gaining full steam last month.

“It's neat,” said Melissa White, Christopher's administrative assistant. “It's just another way he (Christopher) can get information to our parents.”

It's also a hit with students, including 17-year-old Karlie Smith.

“It keeps the students updated,” said Smith, a senior. “We can see times of games or other things that are going on. I know students who have told me that they've gotten information off it.”

Minutes later, Christopher fired off another message, alerting parents that a member of the media was visiting the school. His messages – like all tweets – are limited to 140 characters, meaning he is forced to hit just the message's high point before posting.

“With the blog, I was too long worded because I didn't do it often enough,” Christopher said. “I was always catching up. With Twitter, I can be very brief; I can update it very quickly. I can do it from my cell phone. I like the short blurbs. It's a quick, easy way to get information out.”

In addition to posting game start times, Christopher offers various messages, ranging from rallying the school's football team, to ACT and SAT scores and school and student accolades. Still, Christopher had reservations, he said.

“We've been wary about social networking,” he said. However, “as we learned more about the technology, we've learned that it's safe. We've gotten more comfortable.”

Reservations aside, some parents are joining their children and making the move to social networks. Yet, Some parents are having difficulty embracing the technology, he said.

“We're digital immigrants,” Christopher said of some parents and himself. “But our students are digital natives. They've grown up with it. The more we get comfortable with using their technology, the more you will see it used in our schools.”

And he has a challenge for parents and students alike.

“Visit us a,” for all the news relating to Fort Mill High School,” he said.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Questions For Rock Hill School Board

These excellent questions were sent in after our work session on Monday. The answers are mine and do not represent the views of the board or the administration.

1) When administrators are moved out of their current positions do they go back to the lower salaries or do they keep the higher salaries? Why to whatever the answer is? It seems obvious to me that even if they stay at the same salary level the cost of the teacher or principal is saved but this is apparently not obvious to some people. I think the important issue is that a position was eliminated and I hope we treat the employee fairly. Salary is not a motivator, but can be a demotivator, and the eliminated position is where the savings are. The short answer is I do not know what happens to the salary.

2) If we have a reserve fund "for a rainy day" isn't this a rainy day? Why should we keep any money there at all? Especially why do we need to keep money there when people are likely to be laid off? A few people seem to think we should have reserve funds but cannot explain why to the rest who don't see the need. "Rainy day" is not a very good name for the reserve fund. We need to keep some money in the fund for good accounting practices. When we meet reserve fund targets (a little less than two months reserve), we get favorable financing for short and long term bonds for operations and capital projects. Our district ran out of money in the early 90's when there was an accounting error by the County (and there was no reserve fund). Positions went unfilled and I'm sure some jobs were eliminated in mid-year. You need a fund to cover unexpected expenses which may come up and unexpected revenue shortages as we are going to experience this year (and last). Because the process to build the reserve fund is slow (took 15 years to get up to a desired level) we should be careful that we draw it down only for emergencies which come up during the year. We must remember that revenue is not an exact science, nor does it come in during the year in equal amounts each month. It is difficult to predict what the number will be each year and we need reserve funds to pay bills during the year as well as years end.

3) What is not happening now that we have fewer administrators? This must be publicized if we ever hope to get the positions back. It would be impossible to give an answer that would cover every position. But, either the work has been eliminated or someone else is doing more work.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Rock Hill School Board Gets Discouraging Revenue Information @ Work Session

The Rock Hill Schools learned late Monday that state revenue (BSC) would be $1910 per pupil, down from the $2034 which was budgeted. When you figure there are 300 more students than budgeted, this means about a $1.5 million revenue shortfall for the year, or a reduction in 25 employee positions. The administration and school board do not want to lay off employees in the middle of the year, so the decision to be made at the September Business meeting will be to furlough (reduce all salaries) 2 days (4 for non teachers) or to take money from the reserve fund, or a combination of both. The shortage cannot be made up only with furlough days. There are only 2 possible furlough days left in the year and each furlough day reduces expenses about $400,000. This comes on top of a budget which was not balanced in the amount of $2.5 million.

The other bad news received during the meeting was the district will see a reduction in stimulus funding in the amount of $1.33 million for the 2010-11 year. This brings the total shortage anticipated for next year up to $5.33 million, or 89 employee positions.

This past year, the district experienced 129 vacancies and filled back 64 (reduced 65 positions). This means it is possible to meet a balanced budget with normal vacancies at year end. The decision would be to either raise class size by reducing positions or to reduce all salaries with furlough days. The administration is set to present their plan for balancing the budget in two years at an October Board meeting.

In other business, the board made no changes to the proposed reassignment policy which will be presented at the September Business meeting for first reading approval (takes two readings for the change to become official). The administration will contact the state School Board Association about changes to several other policies which were presented. These may be on the September Business meeting agenda for first reading approval. There was general agreement to sell land near South Pointe High School to the state for road improvements (Pennies for Progress). This will be added to the consent agenda.

Lesslie Elementary School Students gave a demonstration of a "fast math" computer program for learning math and the board watched a video of a computer program on learning to count money.

The board heard a report on the Annex Building Appraisal ($200,000) and the cost for necessary repairs (about $100,000). The building is currently being used by several community groups. The board will make a decision at the September business meeting on whether the property should be sold.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

SAT Scores and Family Income

The D-Ed Reckoning blog has an interesting take on comparing SAT scores to Family Income - including a comparison to the number of bathrooms in a home. Read the comments by clicking here.

Rock Hill's Coburn on WBTW TV

By Aisha Khan
WBTW Reporter
Published: September 14, 2009

A new program to prepare students for college and potential engineering careers will be coming to Horry County Schools pretty soon.

Teacher of the year Bryan Coburn is behind the initiative “Project Lead the Way,” which he said is designed to help schools give students the knowledge they need to excel in high tech fields.

“We need to bring up the rigor in the state of South Carolina across the board and when we do in any way possible that’s wonderful,” said Coburn, “we have a lot of manufacturing and two year degree opportunities for our students that this program supports because not all kids are going to want to get a four year engineer degree but a two year engineering degree for a manufacturing base and how students can use those skills is very valuable.“

Coburn says right now the program is being presented to Horry County School District. He says it needs money to be implemented in local high schools so that students can receive an in-depth, hands-on knowledge of engineering and technology-based careers. The program should be avialble to students within in the next two years he said.

Coburn made his first stop at Conway High School Monday morning to explain the benefits of the program.

High school junior Jagjit Singh said he might be young but it’s not too soon to decide that he’s going to be an engineer.

“I wanted to take this engineering class because I think it’s the future of tomorrow,“ said Singh, “I think that the program would make it better because students could know how the job world is out there and they could know what it’s like to be in engineering and how it feels.“

Tenth grader Tamara Thompson said she always wanted to be an engineer and said that the stereotype of only boys excelling in such a rigorous field shouldn’t be the case anymore.

“I feel like it’s important for girls to be able to do stuff that boys can do, I mean it’s just fun so why should girls not do it,“ Thompson said.

Coburn said that South Carolina is one of the top states to have one hundred schools running the program.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Rock Hill Schools To Discuss New Interrogation Policy

The Rock Hill School Board will be discussing revisions to several policies at the Tuesday work session. One of those is policy JIH and the companion Administrative Rule JIH-R (new). Those policies, with proposed revisions are below:





Code JIH Issued 06/04

Purpose: To establish the basic structure for conducting searches of students or their property.

Students do not lose their constitutional rights upon entering school premises. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects all citizens, including students, from unreasonable searches.

However, students and their belongings are subject to reasonable searches and seizures when administrators have a belief considered to be reasonable under these circumstances.

· A student committed a crime or a violation of a school rule.

· Such a search will reveal contraband or evidence of a violation of a school rule or a criminal law.

Any search conducted must be reasonable in scope given the age and sex of the student and the nature of the alleged infraction.

Only the principal or his/her designee may conduct such searches within the constitutional parameters outlined above unless exigent circumstances exist that require another staff member to take immediate action for safety reasons.

The Board by this policy recognizes that both State law and the Fourth Amendment to the United

States Constitution protect citizens, including students, from unreasonable searches and seizures.

The Board accordingly directs all District personnel to conduct searches and seizures on District

property or during District sponsored events in accordance with applicable federal and State law.

The Board's express intention for this policy is to enhance security in the schools, prevent

students and other persons on school grounds from violating Board policies, school rules, and

State and federal laws, and to ensure that legitimate privacy interests and expectations are

respected consistent with the need of the District to maintain a safe environment conducive to



As authorized by State law, District and school administrators and officials may conduct

reasonable searches on District property of lockers, desks, vehicles, and personal belongings such

as purses, book bags, wallets, and satchels, with or without probable cause, subject to the

limitations and requirements of this policy.

The District administration is directed to ensure compliance with S.C. Code Ann. § 59-63-1150,

which requires that administrators must receive training in the "reasonableness standard" under

existing law and in District procedures regarding searches. The District administration is further

authorized and directed to establish procedures to be followed in conducting searches. The

Board further directs the District administration to ensure that notice is posted in compliance

with S.C. Code Ann. § 59-63-1160 advising that any person entering the premises of any school

in the District shall be deemed to have consented to a reasonable search of his or her person and


All searches must comply fully with the "reasonableness standard" set forth in New Jersey v.

T.L.O., 469 U.S. 328 (1985). This reasonableness standard recognizes that balancing the privacy

interests of students with the substantial need of teachers and administrators to maintain order in

the schools does not require that searches be based on probable cause to believe that the subject

of the search has violated or is violating the law. Rather, the appropriateness of a search depends

on the reasonableness, under all the circumstances, of the search. Determining the

reasonableness of any search shall involve a two-fold inquiry. First, a District or school

administrator or official must determine that the search is justified at its inception, and second,

that the scope and conduct of the search is reasonably related to the circumstances justifying the

search at its inception. In other words, all searches hereunder must be determined to: (1) have

reasonable grounds for suspecting that the search will disclose evidence the student, or other

person, has violated or is violating either the law or the rules of the District or school; and (2) be

limited in scope and conduct to the extent that the measures utilized to carry out the search are

reasonably related to the objectives of the search and not excessively intrusive in light of the age

and sex of the person searched and the nature of the suspected infraction of the law or District or

school rules.

The Board further prohibits any District employee, including District administrators and officials,

from conducting a strip search.

Searches involving the use of metal detectors shall be conducted in accordance with the

procedures outlined in Policy JIHC (Draft) and Administrative Rule JIHC-R (Draft).

School lockers and desks

All lockers are the property of the school district. School officials may conduct searches of lockers in accordance with publicized administrative rules.

Motor vehicles

The privilege of bringing a student-operated motor vehicle onto school premises is conditioned on consent by the student driver to allow a search of that motor vehicle when there is reasonable suspicion for a search of that motor vehicle. School officials may conduct searches of motor vehicles in accordance with publicized administrative rules.

Interrogations by school personnel

Teachers and principals may question students about any matter pertaining to the operation of a school and/or enforcement of its rules. The staff member will conduct the questioning discreetly and under circumstances that will avoid unnecessary embarrassment to the person being questioned. Any student who answers falsely or evasively or who refuses to answer a proper question may be disciplined.

Interrogations by school personnel and school resource officers

Administrators and teachers, as well as school resource officers, may question students about any

matter pertaining to the operation of a school and/or enforcement of its rules. The questioning

shall be conducted discreetly and under circumstances which will avoid, to the extent practical

under the circumstances, unnecessary embarrassment to the person being questioned. School

resource officers shall act consistently with law enforcement guidelines should any routine

questioning turn into a criminal investigation. Any student who answers falsely or evasively or

who refuses to answer an appropriate question may be disciplined.

Interrogations by police

When law enforcement officers find it necessary to question students during the school day, the school principal or his/her designee will be present. The police will conduct the questioning in the principal's office with the principal or his/her designee present. The principal or his/her designee will attempt to contact the parent or legal guardian and request his/her attendance.

If police intend to take a student into custody or arrest a student, they must present an official warrant. The principal will assist the law enforcement officer in assuring that all procedural safeguards as prescribed by law are observed.

Interrogations by law enforcement

When law enforcement officers find it necessary to question a student during the school day

regarding matters not connected to the school, the principal or his/her designee shall cooperate

with law enforcement and shall request to be present, so long as his/her presence does not impede

the investigation. The principal or his/her designee should make a reasonable attempt to contact

the student's parent/legal guardian and request his/her presence. Should this attempt fail, the

principal or his/her designee shall continue to make a reasonable attempt to notify the student's

parent/guardian that law enforcement questioning took place on school grounds. However,

school officials shall not act in such a manner which will interfere with an ongoing law

enforcement investigation. Additionally, normal visitor's protocol must be followed by law

enforcement officials at all times. Interrogations of students by law enforcement officials should

generally take place in a private area, whether or not the principal or his/her designee is present.

Contacting law enforcement

School administrators will contact law enforcement authorities immediately upon notice that a person is engaging in, or has engaged in, certain activities on school property or at a school sanctioned or sponsored activity. Those activities are ones that may result, or do in fact result, in injury or serious threat of injury to the person or to another person or his/her property.

Contacting law enforcement

As required by S.C. Code Arm. § 59-24-60, school administrators shall contact law enforcement

immediately upon notice that a person is engaging or has engaged in activities on school property

or at a school sanctioned or sponsored activity, which may result, or results in, injury or serious

threat of injury to the person, another person, or his/her property. Such reportable activities or

conduct may include, but are not limited to, the examples of criminal conduct referenced in Level

III of Board Policy JICDA-R and Administrative Rule JICDA-R.

The Board recognizes that, when law enforcement authorities are contacted pursuant to S.C.

Code Ann. § 59-24-60, the law enforcement authorities must make the determination whether

they will conduct an investigation into the matter. If the law enforcement authorities determine

an investigation is appropriate, school officials will make reasonable efforts to discuss the scope

and methods of the investigation with the law enforcement authorities as they affect school

operations in an effort to minimize any disruption to the school and its students.

School officials may contact law enforcement authorities for assistance in addressing concerns

other than those which must be reported pursuant to § 59-24-60. In such circumstances, the

principal or his/her designee shall confer with the Superintendent or his/her designee prior to

involving law enforcement authorities, other than a school resource officer. The Superintendent

or his/her designee shall consult with appropriate school officials and law enforcement

authorities to determine that the proposed involvement and methods of law enforcement are

reasonable, consistent with this policy, and will have a minimally disruptive effect on school

operations and student rights.

Custody or arrest

Law enforcement authorities have the right to enter the school to take a student into custody or to

make a lawful arrest of a student provided that they act pursuant to lawful procedure. If a student

is arrested or taken into custody at school, school officials will make a reasonable effort to notify

the parents/legal guardians immediately.

Adopted 7/23/79; Revised 5/28/90, 06/28/04


Legal references:

A. U. S. Supreme Court Cases:

1. New Jersey v. T.L.O.. --U.S.--, 105 S. Ct. 733 (l985).

B. United States Constitution, Fourth Amendment.

C. South Carolina Constitution:

1. Article I, Section 10.

D. S.C. Code, 1976, as amended:

1. Section 59-5-65 Minimum standards for student conduct, attendance and scholastic achievement; enforcement.

2. Section 59-24-60 - Requires administrators to contact law enforcement.

3. Section 59-63-1110 et seq. - Search of persons and effects on school property.

4. Section 20-7-7205 - Requires law enforcement to notify principal of child’s school for certain offenses; confidentiality of information.

E. S. C. Acts and Joint Resolutions:

1. 1994 Act #393, p. 4097 - Allows searches.

Administrative Rule


Code JIH-R Draft 09-2009

In order to recognize and protect student rights and expectations to privacy, safety, and an

educational environment conducive to learning, as well as to enhance security in schools and prevent students from violating Board policies, school rules, and federal and State laws, District officials, including principals and their designees, are authorized to conduct reasonable searches according to the procedures outlined herein and in Board policy JIH.

If a search yields evidence that a Board policy, school rule, or federal or State law has been violated, appropriate disciplinary action shall be taken, and in cases where the evidence suggests conduct which must be reported to law enforcement under S.C. Code Ann. § 59-24-60, the appropriate law enforcement authorities shall be immediately notified.

Document JIH-E(2), Checklist For Student Interrogations, Search and Arrest may be used as a checklist for administrators who are considering conducting a search of a student or the student's effects, locker, desk or motor vehicle.

For all searches of a person, a vehicle, a locker, or of property, there must be an adult witness with the administrator.

Searches of a person or a person's belongings or effects

Procedures for searching a person or a person's belongings must be reasonable. A reasonable search is one which is both based on a reasonable suspicion and is reasonably related in scope. For reasonable suspicion to exist, school officials conducting a search must be able to articulate why, based on all the circumstances, they objectively and reasonably suspect the search of me person or personal property is likely to yield evidence of a violation of law or District or school rules. In formulating a reasonable suspicion, a school official may rely on information he or she considers reliable, including reports from students, as well as the official's own observations, knowledge, and experience; however, a mere hunch or guess that a search will uncover evidence of a violation of law or District or school rules is insufficient to justify a search.

Additionally, the search must be reasonable in its method and scope. A search must be earned out in such a manner that it targets the object of the search or the suspected evidence of a violation of law or District or school rules. The proper scope of me search is a case by case determination and is generally limited to the places in which it is reasonably suspected that me object of the search may be found. A search may be as extensive as is reasonably required to locate the object(s) of the search and may extend to all areas, containers, and personal effects in which the object of the search may be found. In addition, when determining the reasonableness of the scope and manner of search, the school officials must take into account the age, sex, and other special circumstances concerning the object of the search and the person involved, as well as the nature of the suspected infraction. Should the school official determine that a pat-down search is necessary, the school official, who must be the same sex as the person searched, shall escort the person to a private area to conduct the pat-down search. A witness must be present during all such searches. If a student refuses to comply, the student's parent/guardian and/or the police will be contacted. Under no circumstances, however, is a strip search by a school official permitted.

Searches of lockers, desks, and other school property

The District provides lockers, desks, and other school property to students for their use. Because the District retains ownership of this properly, school officials may conduct searches of such property, including random and unannounced searches, with or without reasonable suspicion, when such search is determined by school officials to be otherwise reasonable in light of the needs of the school. However, objects belonging to students contained in such school property shall not be opened or searched except as provided in the section above. Students shall be notified expressly in writing in the student handbook that such school property may be searched at any time. In conducting searches of school property, student property shall be respected and not damaged.

Searches of vehicles on school property

Students are permitted to park on school premises as a matter of privilege, not of right.

Accordingly, all students desiring to park their vehicles on school premises must first obtain a parking permit from the designated school administrator, m order to obtain a parking permit, the student must sign a form acknowledging that he/she understands and agrees to the terms regarding the use of parking lots set forth below. Vehicles which do not have a permit in plain view are subject to being towed at the student's expense.

Because parking on school premises is a privilege, the school retains authority to conduct routine inspections of the exterior of vehicles parked on school property at any time. In conducting an inspection of the exterior of a vehicle, school officials may observe those things inside vehicles which are in plain view.

The interiors of student vehicles, including such things as trunks, glove compartments, and personal belongings within a vehicle, may be searched whenever a school official has reason to believe a student is violating Board policies, school rules or federal or State law, as described in the "reasonableness standard" set forth in the section above. When a school official needs to gain access to the interior of a vehicle parked on school premises, for purposes of conducting a search in compliance with the "reasonableness standard," he/she shall first ask the student to provide access. If a student refuses to provide the school official with access to the interior of his/her vehicle, he/she

may be subject to disciplinary action, including loss of all parking privileges, and the possible towing of me vehicle at the student's expense.

Use of trained dogs

The exposure of student containers, packages, lockers, vehicles, desks, book bags, satchels, and other similar personal belongings to a reliable and trained "dog sniff," when not in a student's possession, in most circumstances is neither a search nor a seizure. This is so because a dog sniff of the above items only does not expose non-contraband items into view and discloses only the presence or absence of contraband. Sniffing of an individual by trained dogs, however, may constitute a search, and their use on school property may be disruptive and threatening to students and school personnel.

Accordingly, school officials shall only utilize trained dogs on District property under the following circumstances:

• Only trained and proven reliable dogs may be utilized on school grounds;

• Dogs shall be under the control, direction, and supervision of a trained dog handler and shall be on a leash or subject to appropriate restraint at all times;

• Dogs shall only be utilized when determined to be reasonable under all the circumstances by me school principal or his/her designee;

• Dogs shall not sniff an individual unless determined to be reasonable in all respects under Section A above; however, actual physical contact between dogs and individuals should be avoided.

In all circumstances, school officials shall make reasonable efforts to minimize the exposure of students to dogs. Should a dog alert its handler to the presence of any contraband, school officials may conduct a search in accordance with the procedures set forth in the section above.

A Canine Search Document (JIH-E(l)} must be completed and sent to the Office of Student Services within 48 hours of the search being completed.


The form will be completed each time the drug dog is used on property of Rock Hill Schools of York County District Three for the purpose of detecting the presence of drugs. This form must be sent by courier or mail to The Office of Student Services. If drugs are found on the school property, it should be reported immediately by phone to the Office of Student Services in addition to the submission on this form.

Date dog was used on school property _

Time dog was on the property _____

Name of principal or assistant principal who accompanied the dog handler during the search

Brief report of any significant incidents related to this search for drugs __

School Date


The following exhibit may be used as a checklist for administrators who are considering

conducting a search of a student or the student's effects, locker, desk or motor vehicle.

What factors cause you to have a reasonable suspicion that the search of this student or his/her effects, locker or automobile will turn up evidence that the student has violated or is violating the law or the rules of the school?

- Eyewitness account

- by whom

- date/time

- place

- what was seen

- Information from a reliable source

- time received

- how information was received

- who received information

- factors that make source reliable

- description of information

- suspicious behavior (explain)

There must be an adult witness with the administrator when the search takes place. Write the witness' name on the written documentation.

Note time of search.

Describe location of search.

Was student told purpose of search?

• Was consent requested?

• Was consent given?

Was the search you conducted reasonable in terms of scope and intrusiveness?

- What are you searching for?

- Note sex of the student.

- Note age of the student.

- Describe exigency of the situation.

- What type of search is being conducted?

- Who is conducting the search (include name, position, sex)?

Explanation of search

- Describe the time and location of the search.

- Describe exactly what was searched.

- What did the search yield?

- What was seized?

- Were any materials turned over to the police?

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