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Friday, April 30, 2010

Enough is Enough - Come to Photo Shoot on Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Weather permitting,  all South Carolina registered voters who are advocates for education are asked to gather at the Rock Hill District Three Stadium at 5 p.m., Tuesday, May 4, 2010 for a  large group photograph. This will be sent to legislators, informing them that  voters are  ready to support candidates who support public education.

If needed, a rain date will be determined for the following week.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Rawlinson Road Middle School Presents "School House Rock Live, Jr." Tonight and Friday

Northside Elementary School Of The Arts Does It Again!

Northside Elementary School of the Arts fifth grade students will travel to the Broadway Junior Celebration on April 30 at the Blumenthal Center. Students will participate in workshops and perform a five-minute number from the school's production of Broadway Kids Cinderella in the Knight Theater. The audience will include other participating schools, observers, and a distinguished panel of Broadway professionals from New York City.  This is the third year that Northside has participated in the celebration under the direction of Aron Rougeou, (theater), Jodi Williams, (dance) and Paul Nutter, (music) Kathe Stanley, (art)  and fifth grade teachers Stacey Lewis, Mabra Herlong and Nancy Pratt.

Greenville Teacher Kelly Nalley is South Carolina's 2011 Teacher of The Year

Greenville teacher Kelly Nalley was announced as S.C. Teacher of the Year for 2010-11 during an award ceremony Wednesday night in Columbia, SC.

Nalley, a Spanish teacher at Fork Shoals Elementary School,  receives a $25,000 cash award, a Dell computer and the use of a BMW X5 Sports Activity vehicle in addition to other prizes.
She will also participate in Leadership South Carolina and attend Notre Dame's prestigious Excellence in Teaching Symposium as part of her award.

Four finalists, including Oakdale Elementary School teacher Julia Goodman Marshall, received $10,000 each and other prizes. Mrs. Nalley will replace current state teacher of the year, and Northwestern High School Teacher, Bryan Coburn.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

South Carolina School Superintendent Candidates to Debate At Sullivan Middle School This Thursday!


Rock Hill Schools will host a public forumfor the candidates for the State Superintendent of Educationfrom 6:30-8:00 Thursday evening, April 29, in the Sullivan Middle School Auditorium.  Six  candidates will attend to promote their platform on public education and to answer questions from teachers, student teams, and York County school superintendents. Please plan to attend and invite your family, neighbors, and everyone who is interested in the future of the schools in this state. One of the most critical decisions S. C. voters will make on Nov. 2 is who will be the chief leader of public education. Come to find out if there are any cynics running.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Does Charlotte-Mecklenburg Lead the Way?

From Monday's "BoardBuzz"

Charlotte-Mecklenburg leads the way

While much of the attention in North Carolina centered around the visit by President Barack Obama over the weekend, another story about North Carolina caught our attention from The New York Times.
In an editorial, The New York Times recommends that urban districts around the country look closely at Charlotte-Mecklenburg as a model.  One of NSBA’s CUBE (Council of Urban Boards of Education) districts and a perennial presenter at our conferences, we’ve known about their innovative ways for quite some time.  But to have The New York Times call attention to some of their improvements, and encourage districts nationwide and the U.S. Department of Education to take note, is worth a special mention.  The editorial points out:
  • The district puts the best principals in the schools with the biggest challenges.
  • Principals are given bonuses when the school make academic gains and are able to recruit their new leadership teams.
  • Principals are allowed to remove up to five teachers who are considered “hostile to reform.”
Schools have already seen improvement in the short time the plan has been in place, and the district’s principals are wearing the opportunity to serve in difficult schools as a badge of honor.  In fact, the district was also recently named as one of five finalists for the Broad Prize for Urban Education.  As many urban districts search for ways to improve student achievement, take a close look at Charlotte-Mecklenburg for an urban success story.

Rock Hill School Board Hears Bad News at Monday's April Business Meeting

The Rock Hill School Board heard Monday night that current revenue projections for the 2010-11 school year, best case, will be around $1.5 million dollars short of the cuts already approved by the board. This could mean an additional reduction of 16 positions. Final numbers will not be known until the legislature finishes up - probably in June.

Dr. Linda Recio representing Evergreen Solutions made a report on their findings of the school district's Operations Department. She presented a number of recommendations which the administration will review and report back to the board in a couple of months. Some significant findings were:
  • District owns unnecessary equipment (should be rented instead)
  • District has too many custodians and not enough employees for grounds maintenance (both should be outsourced)
  • Energy costs are excessive (compared to other districts)
  • External communications need to be improved
  • Cleanliness of the schools and facilities management were some of the best seen
After an executive session for personnel discussions, the board voted 5-0-1 (Douglas abstaining and Silverman absent) to approve the administrations recommendations for Reduction in Force (RIF). The administration will now begin notifying employees who will not be returning next year because of revenue reductions. The district will be guided by policy GCQA/GCQB in making the reductions.

The Board voted 7-0 to approve final reading for policy changes to IJOA (Field Study) and for the consent agenda (minutes and 2 overnight field trips).

Monday, April 26, 2010

Rock Hill School News For Monday, April 26, 2010

Don't forget the School Board Business meeting tonight at 6:00 PM.

Rock Hill Schools High School dramatists join together for the first all-district Honors Play at 7:30 pm on April 29 & 30 at Rock Hill High School. Children of a Lesser God, directed by Stephanie Daniels (Rock Hill High) is about the deaf culture. To authenticate their roles, students learned sign language. 

Congratulations to:
  • Brooke Rice and the Rawlinson Road Middle School 6th grade and combined 7th-8th grade choruses for receiving all superior ratings at the Carowinds Music Festival. Brooke and Lisa Kania (Sullivan Middle School) recently had students invited to perform with the Winthrop University Chorale at its spring performance of Carmina Burana.                              
  • Director Jeremy Shaw and the Rock Hill High School concert, honors, and chamber orchestras which all received superior ratings at the 2010 South Carolina Concert Festival. 
  • Lee Pearson (Old Pointe Elementary) on her selection by the Rock Hill Branch of the American Assn. of University Women as a 2010 AAUW Named Gift Honoree. 
  • Rosewood Elementary has been awarded a $1,000 grant and pedometers for all students and staff from S. C. Action of Healthy Kids. The school will implement nutrition and physical activity components which include a walking trail added to the campus.  
  • Northside Elementary raised $3,518.23 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Classes competed to see which one could collect the most money, and then they gathered together on the field to participate in a walk-a-thon. The fundraiser was coordinated by Laura Adkins and Sally Jackson.  
  • Oakdale Elementary will present "Oakdale's Got Talent" at  7:00 pm April 29 at South Pointe High School. The all-school music revue, directed by Joan Keever, will feature singing, dancing, instrumental pieces, improvisation, and a piece by second-graders. Oakdale's Dynamic Dragon Step Team will also perform.  
  • The Northwestern High School Jazz Combo, under the baton of Mark Yost, will provide music during dinner at the S. C. Teacher of the Year Banquet in Columbia on April 28. The combo will perform a featured selection after the dinner which will be taped by ETV for broadcast later in the year. 
  • Saluda Trail Middle School's Lauren Yon (drama) and Pam  Johnson (music) will take the Music Man Junior cast to the Broadway Junior Celebration on April 30 at the Blumenthal Center. Students will participate in workshops and perform a five-minute number from the school's production in the Knight Theater. The audience will include other participating schools, observers, and a distinguished panel of Broadway professionals from New York City.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

"What Can You Do For Public Education?", Julia Goodman Marshall

Rock Hill Schools, and Oakdale Elementary School's teacher Julia Goodman Marshall can be seen in this video. The 2011 SC Teacher of the Year will be announced on Wednesday, April 28, 2010.

Julia Goodman Marshall, Finalist For SC 2011 Teacher of Year from Jim Vining on Vimeo.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Children's School at Sylvia Circle in latest SIC News

The Children's School at Sylvia Circle is written up in a recent edition of the South Carolina School Improvement Council News. You can read the newsletter by clicking here.  Below is a copy of what was said about Sylvia Circle:

Rock Hill School Board To Hear Consultant's Report On Operations This Monday

In a meeting with very few action items, the Rock Hill School Board will hear a report from the consultant hired in January to review the Operations Department. The agenda is below:   

Meeting of the Board of Trustees
Monday, April 26, 2010
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. Special Business

     IV. Consent Action Agenda
            A. Approval of Minutes
            1.  April 12, 2010 business meeting
            B. Approval of Personnel Recommendations
            C. Approval of Overnight Field Trip Requests (2)
V.       Communications

    VI. Report of the Superintendent
A.      Announcements
B.      Operations Report
C.      Preliminary Budget Report
D.      Response to Intervention
E.      Race to the Top, Round 2

    VII. Review of Work Session - None

VIII.        Action Agenda
A.      Approval of Policy IJOA, Field Study – 2nd Reading

    IX.    Other Business
   X.    Executive Session - Personnel Matters

       XI.    Adjourn

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Rock Hill Elementary Honors Choir To Perform on Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Rock Hill Schools Elementary Honors Choir and the Winthrop Collegiate Chorale, under the direction of Dr. Randy Imler, will perform the John Rutter Mass of the Children on Sunday, April 25, at 4 pm in the sanctuary of Oakland Baptist Church. There is no admission.
Adrine Weaks, media specialist at South Pointe High School,  is representing South Carolina at a meeting in New Orleans. Dr. Weaks was selected to the DREAM TEAM of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Program.

Can Social Media Be Used To Help Teach School?

Can Social Media be helpful? That's the question the New Hampton School folks wanted to find out. See what this school is doing by clicking here.

Greenville TV Station Has Informational Report on School Financial Crisis

 The Greenville TV station WYFF Channel 4 has a very informative report on the current public school funding crisis. You can see it by clicking here.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Julia Goodman Marshall To Be One of 5 Finalists Featured on SCETV, Sunday, April 25, 2010

“In Our Schools” Features Five Teacher ofYear Finalists

The “In Our Schools” television program for April features the five finalists for 2010-11 South Carolina Teacher of the Year honors.
The one-hour show airs from 1 to 2 p.m. Sunday, April 25 on South Carolina ETV statewide.  “In Our Schools” is a special series designed for parents, educators and community partners and produced by ITV, which is part of the State Department of Education, with ETV’s assistance.

This edition features interesting interviews with the finalists about their teaching styles, changes and challenges in public education, and what has made each of them successful in their teaching career.

The five teachers, listed alphabetically by school district, are:

●       Kelly H. Nalley,  a second –fifth-grade Spanish at Fork Shoals School, Greenville County
●       Melody Johnson, a fourth-grade teacher at Lugoff Elementary School, Kershaw County
●       Julia Goodman Marshall, a fifth-grade teacher at Oakdale Elementary School, Rock Hill School District (York Three)
●       Dr. Samantha Maddox, an English/language arts teacher at Spartanburg High School, Spartanburg School District Seven
●       Olivia “Libby” Ortmann, a six-eighth-grade at Alice Drive Middle School, Sumter School District 17

 The announcement of South Carolina’s 2010-11 Teacher of the Year will be made at the corporate-sponsored Teacher of the Year celebration Wednesday, April 28 in Columbia.  During the next school year, that teacher will participate in a one-year residency program at the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention and Advancement (CERRA) and serve as a statewide ambassador for the profession.

 South Carolina’s new Teacher of the Year also receives a $25,000 cash award and a BMW X5 48i to use for a year.   She will also participate in Leadership South Carolina, attend Notre Dame’s prestigious three-day Excellence in Teaching Symposium and receive a SMART board.

The April 25 broadcast will be repeated April 27 and 30 from 10:30-11:27 a.m. on ETV Channel 1 for taping by schools (unlimited rights).

The 2011 winner will be announced at a banquet on Wednesday, April 28, 2010.
Rock Hill's Bryan Coburn is South Carolina's 2010 Teacher of the year.

Rock Hill Schools Recognize 2010 Partnerships and Volunteers

The Rock Hill Schools recognized 2010 Partnerships and Volunteers in an awards ceremony on Tuesday, April 20, 2010 at Rawlinson Road Middle School. Below is a list of those recognized:

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Rock Hill High's Asa Watson Scores Touchdown in NC State's Spring Football Game

Former Rock Hill Bearcat Asa Watson, and current NC state tight end, broke behind the second-team defense on an out-and-up route for an 86-yard touchdown pass and a 21-7 Red team lead Saturday at Carter-Finley Stadium.

Friday, April 16, 2010

South Carolina State Report Cards Are Finally Out!

The South Carolina Public School report cards have been released. You can go to the web site to see explanations and data by clicking here.

Or, for those of you who would like to see area school results on a spreadsheet, click here.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

9 Rock Hill Schools Are Medal Winners!

The S.C. Department of Education announced today that nine of the Rock Hill Schools will receive Palmetto Gold or Palmetto Silver awards based on overall performance on both the absolute and growth ratings and the growth index found on school report cards. Ratings are determined by PASS scores for elementary and middle schools and on Exit Exam results, graduation rate, and percentage of students passing end-of-course tests at the high school level.
Congratulations to this year's honorees:
Palmetto Gold Recipients
India Hook Elementary
Mount Holly Elementary
Old Pointe Elementary
The Children's School at Sylvia Circle
Northwestern High School
Palmetto Silver Recipients
Belleview Elementary
Ebenezer Avenue Elementary
Rosewood Elementary
South Pointe High School

Rock Hill School District News For April 14, 2010

Carie Hucks, assistant. principal at Castle Heights Middle School, is the Relay for Life event chair for York County East, which includes Rock Hill, Fort Mill, and Tega Cay. The June 11 Relay for Life event will take place on the track at Castle Heights, but more teams from our area are needed to raise money.

Carie will hold a meeting from 4:15-5:00 on Mon., April 19, in the Rock Hill School District Office Training Room for employees who are intersted in forming or joining a team.
In observance of April being Child Abuse Awareness Month, the York County  Consortium of School Social Workers are inviting district employees to walk with them on Sat., April 24, from 10:00-noon on the track at Sullivan Middle School. The mission of the walk is to bring about an awareness of abuse and its impact on children and communities. Participants are requested to wear white t-shirts.                            


  • Will (Northwestern High School) and Elise Archie (Rawlinson Road Middle School), directors of the Northwestern High School winterguards, whose Cadet guard placed first in the state and whose JV and Varsity guards finished third and fourth, respectively. 
  • Derek McQuiston (India Hook Elementary School) and Kay McKinney (Sullivan Middle School) whose students placed first in the district in the State Supt.'s Writing Award competitions for fifth and eighth grade students.      
  • 16 staff members at Sunset Park Elementary School  competed in a 12-week "Biggest Loser" challenge and lost a total of 176.4 pounds. Challengers matched their weight loss pound for pound with  non-perishable food items which were donated to Pilgrim's Inn. 
  • Rawlinson Road Middle School Student Council and its sponsors, Debbie Cabaniss, Robin Ellison, Kathy Smith, Liz Marsh, and Maurice  Herrington on being #2 in the state on raising $9,025 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Dutchman Creek Middle School and Sunset Park Elementary School were named as Honorable Mention for raising $6,442 and $5,056. Rawlinson Road Middle School also recently presented a check for $1,775 to one of its custodial employees to help family members who survived the recent earthquake in Haiti. 
  • Belleview Elementary School students and their families on raising over $1,700 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, $1,775 for the American Heart Assn., and for donating over 2,000 articles of clothing to the Hait Relief Fund.   

Noteworthy :

  • South Pointe High School will host its 4th Annual Stallion Football Camp for ages 6-13 during the mornings of June 7-10. Parents can sign up participants by contacting Bobby Carroll.
  • South Pointe High School's Track Team, in partnership with the Ford Motor Corp. and Clinton Family Ford, will host a U-Can Drive fundraiser at South Pointe from 9:00-3:00 on April 17. There is no cost to drive a car, but there can only be one driver per household and the driver must be age 18 or older.  
  • Lynn Bogan, a math teacher at Rock Hill High School, is one of  three final contestants in a national Promethean Board competition. Help Lynn win by going clicking here to vote.  Choose Math Blast with Promethean...and Beyond (pink sweater).  
  • Rawlinson Road Middle School will present "A Dancing Symphony" on April 16 at 6:30 in the school auditorium. The concert, directed by Elise Archie, will feature Rawlinson Road Middle School dancers, the Northwestern High School National Dance Honor Society, and second graders at Finley Road Elementary School. Admission will be free, but donations will be accepted. 
  • Patricia Horn, a teacher of the deaf/hard of hearing, has received a kitchen set from the Donors Choose organization for the project "Little Chefs Love to Cook." 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dance Team News From Elise Archie

Eight members of the Northwestern High School National Dance Honor Society will be performing at Winthrop University in the Choreography Showcase April 23 at 8 p.m., April 24 at 2 and 8 p.m., and April 25 at 8 p.m. 
All eight students involved in this venture found their start in dance at Rawlinson Road Middle School, and have continued their journey  through high school. For 3 of these girls, it will be one of their final performances as members of the National Dance Honor Society they helped to create 3 years ago.
The other members of Northwestern's National Dance Honor Society, along with the  members of the Rawlinson Road National Dance Honor Society, will be volunteering at Sundeas with Glen during this year's Come-See-Me Festival. In addition, on April 20th, the new members of Rawlinson Road's National Dance Honor Society will be performing at Glencarn Garden in the evening.
I just thought I would share some good that is going on!
           Elise Archie
        Dance Educator &
  Musical Theatre Director
Rawlinson Road Middle School

Rock Hill School Board Approves Superintendent's Recommended Budget Reductions

The Rock Hill School Board approved by a 7-0 vote, the Superintendent's recommended budget reductions during a meeting held on Monday, April 12, 2010 in a room full of parents, teachers, and administrators. The vote came after the board heard 6 requests to restore band funds and one to restore benefits for school bus drivers. You can find a list of the recommended reductions by clicking here

Board members stated the difficulty of this decision because jobs will be eliminated and programs  impacted negatively. However, revenue is not available to continue to operate the district as has been done in the past. Citizens were asked to make sure their state legislative representatives were supporting public education in ways outlined in the resolution with can be found by clicking here. 

This, most likely, will not be the last round of reductions. Some experts believe there could be another $2 million reduction (on top of the $10 million already announced) for next years budget and almost $5 million in stimulus funds will have to be made up in the 2011-12 budget.

In other action, the board approved first reading of policy IJOA by a 7-0 vote.

Special recognition was made for students Nathan Myers, an India Hook Elementary 5th grader, and Christopher McKinney, a Sullivan Middle School 8th grader, who were winners of the State Superintendent's Writing Competition.  Also recognized was Laney Burris, who has been selected for a state award from the SC chapter of the national Public Risk and Insurance Management Association.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Rock Hill School Board to Hold The March Business Meeting on Monday, April 12, 2010

The main topic of the meeting will be the Superintendent's recommendations for budget cuts for the 2010-11 school year. A guide to how personnel reductions and pay may be handled can be found by clicking here.
The proposed agenda is below:

Meeting of the Board of Trustees
Monday, April 12, 2010
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. Special Business
A.       Recognition of Laney Burris for 2010 Risk Professional Award
B.       Recognition of District’s State Superintendent Writing Award Winners

     IV. Consent Action Agenda
            A. Approval of Minutes
                  1.  February 22, 2010 business meeting
            2.  March 8, 2010 work session
                  3. March 22, 2010 work session
            B. Approval of Personnel Recommendations
            C. Approval of Overnight Field Trip Request (1)
            D. Approval of Changes to Occupational Diploma for Exceptional Student Education
V.       Communications

    VI. Report of the Superintendent
A.      Announcements
B.      Education and Economic Development Act (EEDA)

    VII. Review of Work Sessions

VIII.        Action Agenda
A.      Approval of Financial Crisis Plan
B.     Approval of Policy IJOA, Field Study – 1st Reading

    IX.    Other Business
   X.    Executive Session – Personnel Matters

       XI.    Adjourn

An interesting video about budget cuts in California from the website:  Shouldn't we be doing this in South Carolina. Telling our legislators to find a way to keep moving forward.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Number One Question

Rock Hill's spring edition of The Number One Question: Is It Good For The Children can be read by clicking here.

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