Search This Blog

Monday, June 28, 2010

Rock Hill School Board Approves $118.4 Million Budget

The Rock Hill School Board approved a $118.4 million dollar budget for the 2010-11 school year. This will be a balanced budget if the charter school does not open. If it does open, a decision will be made later if there will be a reduction in force to balance the budget. The budget requires a 3.5 mil tax increase for businesses. The actual increase, because of a reduction in capital debt, would be 1.7 mils. Homeowners would see a slight decrease in taxes because of the capital debt reduction. The vote to approve was 7-0.

The board voted to suspend its fund reserve policy to allow for the balance to drop below the minimum established in policy. This was done to pay for the shortage in revenue for the 2009-10 school year. Vote was 7-0.

In other action, (all 7-0 votes) the board approved; the hiring of Anthony Cox as the new Associate Superintendent of  Administrative Services; the consent agenda (including the elimination of regular July board meetings); several policies for second reading (GBI, KHC, BEDB, KHE, JICJ) and; policy JRA for first reading.  An interesting comment - policy JICJ (cell phone) is not working anywhere and it is doubtful the revisions will help. In fact, it may be better to have a policy which would require cell phones to be visible and punish the offenders. Why? with policies currently in place - this is going on - 65% of students take cell phones to school where they are completely banned,  58% of students admit to sending text messages during class where phones are banned (43% say they text at least once a day or more), 25% of students admit to making or receiving a call during class time.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Teaching Math To Boys

Edutopia has a lot of good information about integrating technology into the classroom. You can see  a short video on how one teacher applies technology to teaching boys about math by clicking here.

"I Am, Because You Are", Hoang My Nguyen

The Rock Hill High School Valedictorian, Hoang My Nguyen, gave a message to all parents during his graduation day speech, I am, because you are. What a powerful comment in just a few words. Hoang came to this country in 4th grade, unable to understand English. It is a remarkable story of how he worked hard to become the best in his class. How could he accomplish this when so many, with a better understanding of the
English language could not even finish?
Certainly, Hoang must take most of the credit, but as he says, parents also play a huge part....and lets not forget the teachers who helped along the way. The video song below pretty well sums it up for teachers and parents.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Rock Hill School Administration To Recommend Big Hit To Reserve Fund

The Rock Hill School board will receive (and most likely approve) a 2020-11 budget which will require a reduction in the reserve fund and a maximum tax increase. The meeting will be on Monday, June 28, 2010. Agenda is below:

Meeting of the Board of Trustees
Monday, June 28, 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.       Executive Session – Personnel Matters

IV.      Special Business

      V. Consent Action Agenda
            A. Approval of Minutes
            1.  May 24, 2010 business meeting
            2.  June 14, 2010 work session
            B. Approval of Personnel Recommendations
            C. Approval of Overnight Field Study Requests (2)
            D.   Approval of Use of Facilities – Impact Community Church
            E. Approval of No July Work Session or Business Meeting
VI.   Communications

    VII. Report of the Superintendent
A.      Announcements
B.      Summer Professional Development
C.      Public Auction Fundraiser

   VIII. Review of Work Session

  IX. Action Agenda
A.      Approval of Policies GBI, KHC – 2nd Reading
B.     Approval of Policy BEDB – 2nd Reading
C.     Approval of Policy KHE – 2nd Reading
D.     Approval of Policy JICJ – 2nd Reading
E.      Approval of Policy JRA – 1st Reading
F.      Approval of Funding Flexibility
G.     Approval of Suspension of Fund Balance Policy
H.     2009-2010 Fund Balance Reductions
I.        Approval of 2010-2011 Budget

X.   Other Business
XI.       Adjourn

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Get To Know Your SC Candidates

The Lucas Blog has some links for the Superintendent of Education and Governor candidates. You should take time to see if any of the candidates support your view of public education. You can reach the Lucas Blog site by clicking here.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Rock Hill Schools Chair Bob Norwood on Monday's Straight Talk

You can hear what Rock Hill Schools Chair Bob Norwood said on Monday's Straight Talk by clicking here.

Friday, June 18, 2010

When A News Story Isn't Complete

A local TV station recently ran a piece on the Rock Hill Schools Budget discussions. Of course, we don't know everything that Craig Craze (York Prep Charter) or Bob Norwood (Rock Hill Schools Chair) said, but the edited version implied there was controversy between the two groups. Craze is saying the school district blames York Prep for all their financial woes and goes on to say the district will be better off financially when students leave to go to York Prep.

First, let me state, I have heard no one blame the current financial situation on York Prep!

Second, there is some truth to Craze's comment about more local tax dollars left per student when students leave. However, the problem is in budgeting/planning. York Prep has so far refused to give the Rock Hill Schools the number of District 3 students who will be attending. Because of this, the district must budget and plan for the number of students who were enrolled last year. This means the district must have teachers on staff available at the start of the year. If the students don't show up, the state money doesn't come in, and there is not enough money to pay for the teacher salaries. The district would then have  a reduction in force - which is not fair to the teachers who have been hired - or to take money from the reserve fund - which weakens the district financial position. A little communication from York Prep would prevent this from happening.

Additionally, there needs to be some discussion on what happens when/if students want to move between schools during the year. Since York Prep says they will be maxed out - what we are talking about - would we allow students to come back to our schools - because we wouldn't have the teaching staff to handle them - causing class size to increase or at least disrupt the already established classes.

I believe thse are mostly start-up issues and over time will not have an impact - but it would be nice to share a little information.

Rock Hill Schools on Channel 3 from Jim Vining on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Professional Development? How About A Road Trip!

I often hear educators talk about the need for professional development - but nothing works better than seeing something in application. Jay Mathews writes about a successful principal (and the schools success) in today's posting. It appears there is accountability and strong goal setting. I wonder how our principals compare? Read the article and see if you agree a road trip may be in order.

Rock Hill Schools 2010-11 Budget Presentation

To view the Rock Hill School District's 2010-11 budget presentation, click here.

Bobby Norwood Field @ District Three Stadium - Not Going To Happen!

The Rock Hill School Board told the administration during Monday's June Work Session to drop attempts of revising the naming policy to allow for selling naming rights after 4 board members said they were against the change because of potential problems which might occur. However, the board did approve 7-0 a fast track policy change to allow for cell phone use at the middle and high schools during lunch time and with special permission during classes. A final vote on the policy will occur at the June Business meeting in two weeks.

The board voted 7-0 to suspend policy which requires a 15 day notice for a public hearing on the school budget. The actual notice was 14.5 days in advance. During the public hearing for the budget, the administration went over the $8 million dollars in cuts, the potential lost revenue because of the new charter school, and the items started to increase revenue (academic and athletic fees). Even with those efforts, the budget is still between $700,000 and $1.9 million dollars short of being balanced. There are currently about 15 teaching positions which have not been filled. The administration was directed to not fill those positions (except for critical needs) allowing class size to increase and to take the rest from the reserve fund. There will be more discussion during the June Business meeting.

The administration reported on how hard it was to find additional cuts after taking out $8 million - however - those hard decisions must be made for next year when an additional $5 million in cuts must be made. There was some discussion that those decisions needed to be made by August or September. The administration would like to have a board retreat to discuss.

The administration expressed a desire to not have a work session in July and only have an executive session for the July business meeting. This will largely depend on pressing matters left after the June Business meeting.

You can view a "State of The District" presentation by clicking here.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What To Do With Senior Year in High School?

CBS Reports on "senior" year in high School:

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Supporters of Public Education Need to Speak Out!

Supporters of Public Education need to speak out. Remaining silent should not be an option. Why?....because the enemies of public education are shouting out - and there are a lot of people believing them because there is silence from the public education folks. There are numerous errors in the video below - but how many people will take this as gospel? It is time.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

More Rock Hill School District News for June 4, 2010

Michael Belk (South Pointe High School), James Daigle (Ebenezer Avenue Elementary School), and Stacey Lewis (Northside Elementary School) have been named as  Outstanding Social Studies Teachers. They  will be formally recognized at the SCCSS conference this fall.
A wrestling camp has been scheduled for the mornings of June 16-19. For more information or to enroll, contact Michael Biddix at 803-322-3088 or Eddie Cook at South Pointe.
School's Out!
The 2009-10 school year has come to a close. Graduations will take place this Saturday  in the Winthrop Coliseum. All graduations will be shown "live" on Cable 18 and via streaming on Cable News 2.

Rock Hill Schools Update For Thursday, June 3, 2010

Rock Hill Schools will soon honor the members of the Class of 2010 Retirees, which is the largest class ever.  A luncheon will be held in the Palmetto Room in downtown Rock Hill on Wednesday, June 16,beginning at noon.


  • Wilson Mew (Saluda Trail Middle School) who has been selected by the S. C. Council for the Social Studies as an outstanding social studies teacher. Wilson will be honored at a luncheon during the SCCSS conference in October.  
  • Christi Beard (Ebinport Elementary School) who has been awarded the 2010 Dr. Elizabeth Gressette Professional Development Scholarship. Christi will use the $1,300 toward her advanced degree. 
  • Independence Elementary on raising the most money of District Three schools for the recent Dolly Parton Imagination Library bowl-a-thon. Northside Elementary School of the Arts was a top "Battle of the Pins" award-winner. The $41,000 raised county-wide will provide 1,366 York County children with 16,392 books for a year.                
  •  Haley Whyte, varsity cheerleading coach at Rock Hill High School, will offer a Bearcat Cheer Camp this summer. Click here for details.  
  • Head Coach Mitch Walters and his assistants will offer a baseball camp at Northwestern High School for ages 7-14 during the mornings of June 7-10. Contact Mitch or Christopher (Cory) Hyslop for more information. 
  • Calvin Hudgins, head track and cross county coach at Northwestern High School, is proud of former athletes Atyan Kennedy who finished 5th in the National Junior College Track and Field championships and Mary Kate DuBard and Emily Smith who have qualified for the NCAA Super Regionals.  
  • The South Pointe High School Stallions will hold a basketball camp June 14-17. Click here for details.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Some Amazing Stories of School Law

The cartoon at left doesn't have anything to do with this posting - other than it shows who things have changed since my generation was in school.

The American School Board Journal has some interesting "school law" stories from the past year. A couple of them are below:

Student capers
Standardized tests are a really big deal these days and the contents are secure, right? Consider the story of a 10-year-old Pennsylvania boy who faxed an order to a test maker from his house using two special codes he plucked from the Pennsylvania Education Department’s website.
The tests were mailed to the school’s warehouse, which officials interpret as a good sign the security system worked. And what about the creative kid? A district spokeswoman said the boy was not trying to cheat.
“He purposely requested the tests to come on the last day [of testing] because he didn’t want to see the test before he took it,” Rebecca Costello, director of pupil services for the Hempfield School District, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “He wants to be a teacher. He wanted to play school.”
Bus drivers gone wild
A Loudoun County, Va., school bus driver was charged with seven misdemeanor counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Her offense: offering $20 to anyone on the bus who would pelt wayward passengers with snowballs.
Two students were arguing on the way home, and the driver tried to intervene. Frustrated, she allegedly grabbed a microphone and announced a reward for anyone who would throw snowballs and push snow down the 13-year-old boy’s shirt. At his stop, the boy’s fellow riders grabbed handfuls of snow and the barrage was on.
The snowball throwers are not facing criminal charges, but they also didn’t collect any cash.
Making ends meet?
Police in Bellefontaine, Ohio, accused a fourth-grade teacher of holding a second job as a prostitute, posting sex-for-money ads on the craigslist website. The 35-year-old teacher, Amber Carter, allegedly once even used a school district computer to arrange an afternoon delight.
When the 13-year teacher took half of a sick day to fulfill the commitment, police waited for her in the motel parking lot. Police charged Carter with misdemeanor prostitution and a felony for unauthorized use of school property. The district sent letters home to parents about the incident. 

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Rock Hill Schools Graduations Start This Saturday

The three Rock Hill School District High Schools will have graduation exercises this Saturday and Adult Education will have theirs on June 21. As in years past, the decorum for the events will be as follows:

  • Appropriate Dress Required: - Semiformal (No shorts, tank tops or T-shirts allowed). 
  • Appropriate Behavior - Guests who disrupt risk being removed and officially charged. 
  • No admission after ceremony has started.
The above instructions have been printed on the tickets (you must have a ticket to attend), these instructions have been given to each graduate to take home to family and friends, and they will be read to the group at the beginning of the ceremony. 

Never-the-less, a few folks, without many branches in their family tree, will miss-behave and still be "shocked" when something happens to them.
Rock Hill High School will graduate at 10 AM, Saturday, June 5, 2010 at the Winthrop Coliseum
Northwestern High School will graduate at 2 PM, Saturday, June 5, 2010, at Winthrop Coliseum.

South Pointe High School will graduate at 6 PM, on Saturday, June 5, 2010 at Winthrop Coliseum
Adult Education will graduate at 7 PM, Monday, June 21, 2010, at The Flexible Learning Center Cyber Cafe

Blog Archive


Subscribe Now: Feed Icon