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Friday, June 28, 2013

SC Workforce Readiness Surpasses National Benchmarks #rockhill #rockhillschools #rockhillhigh

SC Department of Employment and Workforce

S.C.’s High School Workforce Readiness Program Surpasses National Benchmarks
COLUMBIA—Almost all high school seniors enrolled in the state’s Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG-SC) program received a diploma this year.
The program achieved a high school graduation rate of 95 percent, which is five percent higher than the
national standard. This marks the third consecutive year the rate has been at 93 percent or higher.
At 97.5 percent, JAG-SC’s 2012 extended graduation rate, which is measured after a one-year follow-up
period, is the highest in the program’s history.
Coordinated by the SC Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW), JAG-SC is a high school
dropout prevention program focused on academic success and career readiness skills. Currently in its
eighth year, it has served more than 5,500 students who face several documented barriers to success.
“JAG-SC is truly making a difference in our young people’s lives as it gives them the boost to succeed in
high school and prepares them for the next step in life,” said Kerry Paul, interim assistant executive
director of Employment Services at DEW. “Not only does JAG benefit students across our state, but it
also helps supply a job-ready workforce to our businesses.”
With the help of a dedicated career specialist at each school, JAG students work on skills identified by
businesses as essential to successful employment. The S.C. program has been consistently recognized at
the national level for its success in equipping young people for life beyond high school.
JAG-SC graduates of the class of 2012 exceeded all of the national standards. Ninety-one percent of last
year’s graduates attended college, enlisted in the military or accepted full or part-time job positions, an
outcome that is well above the organization’s national standard of 80 percent. Also, 80 percent of the
employed 2012 graduates received full-time jobs, a rate well above the national standard of 60 percent.
In addition to the statewide program exceeding national standards, nine schools achieved an individual
“five of five” designation, meaning they met or exceeded all the standards. They are:

  • Creek Bridge High in Marion 
  • Darlington High
  • Mullins High 
  • Manning High
  • Rock Hill High
  • South Florence High
  • West Florence High
  • Wilson High in Florence
  • Woodmont High in Piedmont

To learn more about JAG-SC, visit DEW’s JAG page

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Rock Hill Schools Update #rockhill #rockhillschools

It's A Small World
The following email was received this evening from Stephanie DiStasio, principal at Rosewood, who is currently in Washington, D.C., attending a conference:

Carolina Allen and Stephanie DiStasio
"Of all the amazing photos I took with the important people who represent SC on Capitol Hill, none is as meaningful as this one (attached).  While eating lunch in the noisy and busy Congressional cafeteria, I heard MRS. DISTASIO! I looked up to see my former IB Diploma student from South Pointe's first graduating class, Caroline Allen. We chatted and caught up.  I told her what I was doing to make sure educators had a voice, and she told me about graduating from Tulane University, being an intern on Capitol Hill and then about her job in Washington DC with a non-profit called OurTime, which is aimed at giving a voice to the issues 'Millenials' face (and where she regularly interacts with members of Congress).

"Before hurrying off we posed for a quick picture, and she honored me by posting it on social media with the caption: 'It is because of teachers like Mrs. DiStasio I am where I am today.'

"Caroline is an example of what Rock Hill Schools do every day--teach our children to learn, connect, grow and thrive. Caroline is making ALL of us proud in each of those areas.  Well done Rock Hill teachers!"

New Purchasing Director
Rock Hill Schools is proud to welcome Nicole Hatch as the district's new purchasing director. Nicole comes to Rock Hill Schools from Union County (NC) government.

Rock Hill Reads
At a news conference Monday morning at the York County Library, Mayor Doug Echols and Supt. Lynn Moody announced a community partnership where the focus will be on the importance of reading everyday by every citizen and how this will impact young readers.

The Mayor will use the City's communication channels to promote reading (such as electric bill notifications), and Supt. Moody announced that each of the district's 17 elementary schools will have a summer reading program--each different and at varied times. She encouraged every elementary parent to check out each school's website for dates and times.

Citizens were reminded that the York Count Library is an invaluable resource for finding books to read and only at the cost of acquiring a free library card!

At Monday's school board business meeting, the board . . .

...approved a balanced operating budget for school year 2013-14 totaling $129,100,000 (without a tax increase). This includes a year-of-experience step for most teachers, a two percent year cost of living increase for other staff, and a one percent bonus for all employees who are at their maximum step/pay grade.

...approved the purchase of the Winthrop Lodge, which is adjacent to Ebenezer Avenue Elementary, for  $96,400.

...recognized students at Richmond Drive Elementary School as the first winners of the district's Elementary Science Bowl.

...approved a technology request in the amount of $1.5 million and a capital request for $3.5 million.

...heard a comprehensive progress report from Supt. Lynn Moody on school year 2012-13.

...heard a report on math common core standards.

Elaine T. Baker
Director of Information Services
Rock Hill Schools

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Rock Hill School News #rockhill #rockhillschools #rhschoolboard

York Road Recognized for School Service
Congratulations to York Road Elementary School on being recognized at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Charlotte awards reception on June 18 for raising $2,000 for JDRF. Teacher Gemeta Anderson and floater assistant Phyllis Doherty accepted the award at the McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square.
Teaching in China
India Hook Elementary teachers Stacy Bunchman (grade 1) and Heather Rollings (grade 4) and Principal Crystal Guyton are now in China teaching Chinese students in two classrooms that they've set up that are similar to those at India Hook. Jennie Rakestraw, Dean of the Richard W. Riley School of Education at Winthrop, is a member of a professional organization where she learned about a group of Chinese educators who wanted to duplicate a U.S. high performing elementary school in Beijing.  Dr. Rakestraw recommended a number of our schools, and India Hook was chosen. Heather has written a wonderful blog on their experiences.    Click here to view.
June 24 School Board Meeting
The school board will hold its monthly business meeting at 6 pm Monday in the district office. The big item on the agenda will be the approval of the 2013-14 operating budget, but there will be other interesting reports and recognition of the Richmond Drive Science Bowl Winners. 

District to Co-Host News Conference
Supt. Lynn Moody and Mayor Doug Echols will co-host a news conference at 11 am Monday, June 24, to talk about a community reading partnership.  The news conference will be held in the York County Library.
Old Pointe Offers 4K Program
For the second year, Old Pointe Elementary will offer a tuition-based, full-day program for four-year-olds. The program will be open to York County residents and will be taught by a certified teacher and assistant. Space is limited, so those interested should call 803.980-2040 today.
New Education Reporter
Rock Hill Schools is pleased to welcome Rachel Southmayd as the Herald’s new education reporter. Rachel, who began her job on June 17, is a 2013 graduate of Elon University in N.C.
Free Camp Still Accepting Students
The Johnathan Joseph Foundation is offering a free football and cheer camp on Saturday, June 22, at Northwestern High School for the first 200 children, ages 7-15, who register. Joseph, a standout football player at Northwestern, now plays defensive back for the Houston Texans. The camp will be taught by professional football players, professional cheerleaders and coaches.  

Elaine T. Baker
Director of Information Services
Rock Hill Schools

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Graduation Decorum #rockhill #rockhillschools

How one should behave at graduation is debated all over the country. The Rock Hill Schools had that debate 16 years ago. After two graduations with air horns and rowdy behavior (from the audience), the Rock Hill Schools established what acceptable behavior was to be at graduations. Students are reminded before graduation, the information is printed on tickets, and an announcement is read at the ceremony that violators will be removed. This is the essence of the message: "The cooperation of the graduates and their guests in the following is greatly appreciated: No spectators are allowed on the coliseum floor at any time during the ceremony. Applause for the graduates should be held until all of the graduates' names have been read. The use of air horns, cowbells, noisemakers, etc. during the ceremony is prohibited. The audience should remain standing in place until platform guests and graduates have moved out of the coliseum." Uniformed police are used to enforce the procedures.

We've had 15 graduations since our debate. It is hard to describe the atmosphere when everyone erupts at the end of the ceremony - as if a national championship has been won. I suspect for a lot of those graduates, the atmosphere fits.

Below is a video of the celebrations from our high schools this year:

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Rock Hill High School Graduation #rockhill #rockhillschools

I enjoy graduations because we get to hear from some of our best students. Below are speeches from the recent Rock Hill High School Graduation:

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Rock Hill Schools to Present 2013-14 Budget on Monday Night #rockhill #rockhillschools #rhschoolboard

The Rock Hill Schools Administration will present their recommendation for the 2013-14 school year budget at Monday nights work session. Included in their recommendations will be a minimum 1% pay increase/bonus and no tax increase. A public hearing will be held for this beginning at 6 pm at the District Office.

The administration will also be presenting their capital request and justification for their technology requests. The board will be getting updates on grading and our Montessori School.

Click here to get a copy of the meeting documents.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Rock Hill Schools Graduations This Saturday #rockhill #rockhillschools

The three Rock Hill School District High Schools will hold graduation on Saturday, June 8, 2013 at Winthrop Coliseum. The schedule is as follows:

10 am - Rock Hill High School

2  pm - Northwestern High School

6  pm - South Pointe High School

You will need a ticket to attend the events but the graduations will be broadcast live on the Comporium local access channel.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Rock Hill School News #rockhill #rockhillschools

Public Forum on Budget
A public forum on the proposed operating budget for 2013-14 will be held at 6 pm Monday, June 10, in the District Office Board Room. Elaine Bilton, Executive Director of Finance, will make the presentation. A tape of the forum will be shown on Cable 114 at 6 pm June 11, 13, 18 and 20. The board is expected to approve the budget at its business meeting on June 24.
Supt. Prepares for Congressional Briefing
Supt. Lynn Moody will be in Washington, D.C., early next week, including Capitol Hill, to seek continuing funding from Congress for strong teacher education programs. She will specifically request that legislators continue funding for the Teacher Quality Partnership program at Winthrop University.
Principals' Retreat Slated for June 12, 13
For the second year, the district's principals will spend their annual retreat at the Milliken Company in Spartanburg on June 12 and 13. Milliken, with 39 manufacturing facilities worldwide, has long led the way for "knowledge-based" investment, employing over 100 PhDs and accumulating over 2,200 U.S. patents and more than 5,000 patents worldwide since its founding in 1865.
Northside Receives ABC Grant
Northside Elementary School of the Arts has received an ABC Grant in the amount of $5,625 for continued funding of arts-related activities.  Each year at Northside every grade level performs a musical production, and the grant money provides funding. White Northside has received this grant for over 10 years, the school is also awaiting news concerning the $18,000 ACIG (Arts Curricular Innovation Grant) that assists in bringing artists in residence to work with grade levels throughout the year.
Band of Distinction Golf Tournament
The Rock Hill High School Band of distinction will host a golf tournament on Tuesday, June 11, at the Tega Cay Golf Club. Proceeds will be used to help purchase new instruments and to help students pay for marching shoes and gloves and for repairs to instruments.

Seat Belt Check
Find out if your child's seat belt is safe by attending a free safety check at the Rock Hill Family Resource Center (410 E. Black Street) on Friday, June 14, from 9:00-1:00.

Elaine T. Baker
Director of Information Services
Rock Hill Schools

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Rock Hill School District News #rockhill #rockhillschools

Congratulations to . . .
  • Saluda Trail Middle School on officially been deemed as an Arts in the Basic Curriculum (ABC) site by the South Carolina Arts Commission. The arts team and steering committee led by Myra AmlerPam JohnsonAngie Copley and Lauren Yon, with the help of Christine Fisher, Director of the ABC Project, have been working diligently since Dec. 2011 toward this goal. The Arts Dept. also received the S.C. Distinguished Arts Program grant earlier this year and is appreciative to the Saluda Trail administration, faculty and community leaders for their constant support.
  • Ebinport Elementary on receiving a Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Grant for Classroom Gardens in the amount of $4,500. The grant will be used for improvement and expansion of their existing classroom gardens. 
Favorite Teacher Contest
Please remember  the Herald is sponsoring a 2013 Favorite Teacher contest for students. Nomination forms are appearing almost daily in the newspaper, and the form below can also be used. The deadline for submitting entries is midnight of June 7.

Public Forum on Budget
District employees are invited to attend a public forum on the district’s operating budget at 6:00 p.m. Monday, June 10, in the District Office. Board Room.
Summer Camp
South Pointe High School Stallion Football Camp – June 10-13 for ages 6-13 (brochure attached)

Elaine T. Baker
Director of Information Services
Rock Hill Schools

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