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Friday, July 26, 2013

IRock Meetings Announced #iRockrh #rockhill #rockhillschools

Community iRock Meetings
Community-wide iRock meetings will be held from 5:00-6:00 on Tuesday, July 30, at Castle Heights Middle School and from 5:00-6:00 Thursday, August 1, at Dutchman Creek Middle School. Members of the iRock Leadership Team will provide general information and answer questions on iRock to any interested parent or community member who wishes to attend.
These meetings, which will be held in each school's media center, are not for parental orientation on the use of iPads. Orientation meetings will be held in the schools on dates determined by the schools. 
Elaine T. Baker
Director of Information Services
Rock Hill Schools

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Rock Hill Schools Update #rockhill #rockhillschools

At Monday morning's Rock Hill School Board meeting, the following individuals were approved for employment:

Karen Price, research specialist (new position) (Karen is new to district.)
Heather Rollings, instructional specialist (new position) (teacher from India Hook Elementary)
Shemia Thompson, instructional specialist (new position) (teacher from York Road Elementary)
Kevin Wren, safety/security environmental manager (revised position) (Kevin is new to district.)
Heather Andrus, asst. principal at Northwestern High School(vacant position) (teacher from Northwestern)

The board also approved a new position of "Clinical Lead Nurse."

The board metin Executive Session to evaluate  last year's district performance  and issued the statement below:

Public Statement

This morning the Board of Trustees of Rock Hill School District Three met in Executive Session to discuss the Superintendent’s annual performance evaluation. This process is required by board policy and the district’s employment contract with the superintendent.

This year the board attempted to focus its attention, not just on Dr. Moody’s performance
but upon the overall performance of the district.

We have had a very rewarding year. Commitment to teacher excellence was again demonstrated as, for the fourth time in five years, we had a Teacher of the Year state finalist. We were prudent with tax dollars by balancing the 2013-14 operating budget and funding iRock without a tax increase. We have led the state in saving energy dollars, over $1 million a year, with efficiency improvements and with Energy Star designation for our facilities. Our staff continues to receive state and national recognition for outstanding work in their field. Our iRock initiative to improve student performance has been touted as a key to revitalization of the downtown Rock Hill community, and the partnership garnered in developing this process produced the largest fund-raising effort in the history of the Rock Hill School District Foundation.

We are extremely excited about the potential that iRock and challenge-based learning will have on improving academic performance. There should be no mistake: Improving academic performance is this board’s primary goal for next year. We support administrative plans to improve communication and implement training programs that will positively affect district academic achievement.

The board recognizes these events could not take place without committed and hardworking leadership. We wish to thank the Superintendent and her staff for a job well done. 

With respect to improved academic performance, our top priority, we will ask the Superintendent and her staff for specific recommendations as to areas of focus and specific measures of performance, which recommendations will be publicly discussed and implemented subject to the approval of the board.  The same process will be followed with respect to improved communications and the implementation of training programs.

Based upon the Superintendent’s leadership and performance, we have acted to extend her contract for an additional year or until June 30, 2018, and we have offered a one percent salary increase effective July 1, 2013, as provided in Dr. Moody’s contract and comparable to the increase that will be received by the district’s teachers, which increase Dr. Moody has declined.

________________________________                                                          July 22, 2013

Jim Vining

Board Chairman                                                            

Elaine T. Baker
Director of Information Services
Rock Hill Schools  

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Rock Hill School District Update #rockhill #rockhillschools

Congratulations to:
  • the PTO at The Children's School at Sylvia Circle on being selected as "Honorable Mention" by PTO Today in its search for the Parent Group of the Year. Names of all winners will be included in the Sept. issue of the magazine (
  • Kelsey Collins, a student at Saluda Trail Middle School, whose historical paper, Gray’s Anatomy...Not Just a Primetime Hit Show, received a national award for best junior entry in S.C. and placed 10th in the nation in National History Day competition at the University of Maryland in June. Kelsey (in photo) will attend Rock Hill High in August.

  • School Board Member Terry Hutchinson who has reached Level 1 of the Boardmanship Institute of the S.C. School Boards Assn. Trustee Hutchinson was elected to an at-large seat on the school board in November 2012.
Calendar Planners
Once again, Family Trust Federal Credit Union will provide calendar planners for district employees. Schools and offices should receive them on or by August 1.
iRock Community Meetings
Community-wide iRock meetings will be held from 5:00-6:00 on Tuesday, July 30, at Castle Heights Middle School and from 5:00-6:00 Thursday, August 1, at Dutchman Creek Middle School. Members of the iRock Leadership Team will provide general information and answer questions on iRock to any interested parent or community member who wishes to attend.  These meetings, which will be held in the media center, are not for orientation on the use of iPads. Orientation meetings will be held in the schools.
Free Tdap Clinic
Rising seventh-graders in S.C. are now required to have a Tdap vaccination before they begin school in August. Tdap protects students against whooping cough (pertussis), tetanus and diphtheria.  A free Tdap clinic will be held at the York County Health Dept. (1070 Heckle Blvd. in Rock Hill) from 9:00-4:00 on Saturday, August 10. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 1-800-403-4047.
Summer Building Projects
  • Roofing work at Rosewood and Oakdale Elementary Schools
  • Traffic/stacking enhancement at Northside Elementary School
  • HVAC work at Northwestern High School, Ebenezer Avenue Elementary School and Applied Technology Center
  • District-wide card access installation 
  • Safety vestibules at York Road Elementary, Old Pointe Elementary, Independence Elementary, Mount Gallant Elementary, Castle Heights Middle, Dutchman Creek Middle, Central Child Development Center, Saluda Trail Middle and The Children's School at Sylvia Circle
  • District-wide Installation of cameras
  • Parking lot improvement at Richmond Drive Elementary School 
Complimentary Passes
  • Gold Apple - Updated cards will be distributed to the schools in early August to provide to all employees.
  • Club 65 - These cards for senior citizens have been updated and will be available in the district office and at high school football games in August. The cards now allow seniors to attend all district-sponsored athletic events.
July 22 School Board Meeting
The July 22 school board meeting will not be the typical business meeting of the board, and it will be held at 10:00 a.m. in the district office rather than the usual hour of 6:00. The board will meet briefly in Open Session to approve  personnel recommendations and then enter Executive Session to discuss the annual evaluation of  the district leadership. The board is then expected to return to Open Session with a statement.
Elaine T. Baker
Director of Information Services
Rock Hill Schools

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Education Puns

  1. The fattest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.
  2. I thought I saw an eye-doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian .
  3. She was only a whisky-maker, but he loved her still.
  4. A rubber-band pistol was confiscated from an algebra class, because it was a weapon of math disruption.
  5. No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.
  6. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.
  7. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.
  8. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.
  9. A hole has been found in the nudist-camp wall. The police are looking into it.
  10. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
  11. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
  12. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other: 'You stay here; I'll go on a head.'
  13. I wondered why the cricket ball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.
  14. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: 'Keep off the Grass.'
  15. The midget fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.
  16. The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.
  17. A backward poet writes inverse.
  18. In a democracy it's your vote that counts. In feudalism it's your count that votes.
  19. When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.
  20. If you jumped off the bridge in Paris , you'd be in Seine .
  21. A vulture carrying two dead raccoons boards an airplane. The stewardess looks at him and says, 'I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger.'
  22. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. One turns to the other and says,'Dam!'
  23. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft.Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.
  24. Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, 'I've lost my electron.' The other says,'Are you sure?' The first replies, 'Yes, I'm positive.'
  25. Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root-canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.
  26. There was the person who sent ten puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.

Rock Hill Schools Update #rockhill #rockhillschools

Congratulations to . . 

  • Tonya Jones, school resource officer  at Castle Heights, on her selection by the S.C. Assn. of School Resource Officers as the Upper State Region SRO of the Year.
  • Castle Heights Middle School on its health and wellness efforts. Because of its high level of activity and involvement with its community/grant program, Castle Heights has been asked to be one of only two schools to attend the S.C. “Fuel Up to Play 60” Leadership Training Forum on July 11. Becky Strickland, instructional coach, and Sharon Templeton, PE teacher, will attend with selected students.

Teaching in China
Rock Hill Schools now has 15 teachers and 3 administrators teaching in China this month: Roma Stutts, Keisha Gaskin, Rebecca Chevere, Corey Washington and Michael Waiksnis, Sullivan; Anita Wilson, The Children’s School; Mary O’Grady Jones, Sunset Park; Shemia Thompson, York Road; Martha Menchinger, ATC; Cassie Cagle, Exceptional Student Ed.; Sarah Zion, Northwestern; Wally Blankenship, Rock Hill High; Elizabeth Hood and Emily Warner, Saluda Trail; Stephanie DiStasio, Rosewood; Jermaine Evans, Castle Heights; Kelli Ferment, Lesslie; and Jacob Moree, Old Pointe.

Sam’s Club Offers Free Membership
Rock Hill Schools is pleased to announce that Sam’s Club is now an official partner and will be investing into several district programs, which will be announced later. However, Sam’s Club is now offering all employees a year-long FREE membership to those who sign up by Sept. 25. To take advantage of the free membership offer, employees must visit the Rock Hill Sam's Membership Center on Cherry Road in the shopping center where Office Depot and Honey Baked Ham are located.

Free Books
The Friends of the York County Library organization has received another grant from the Renee B. Fisher Foundation which will provide vouchers to 20 teachers in each York County School District. With the voucher, teachers can purchase $25 worth of books or media for classrooms at the book sale July 25-27. Vouchers will go fast, so interested teachers should complete the  application pronto.

Countdown to Kindergarten
Main Street Children’s Museum (133 E. Main) will present “Countdown to Kindergarten” from 5-8 pm on Friday, August 9, for rising kindergarten students and their families. Parents will receive a helpful school readiness checklist of things children need to know before starting kindergarten, and they’ll be able to connect with reps. from school districts, state agencies and community organizations to learn about community resources. In addition, health personnel will be on hand to provide free dental screenings to children.  The event also needs volunteers, especially kindergarten teachers, so anyone interested should contact Cate at

Health Issues
District employees should be aware of an important change involving the distribution of over-the-counter medication to students.

South Carolina’s first “unconference” will be held from 9:00-3:00 at Sullivan Middle School on Sat., Sept. 7. There is no agenda at an “unconference;” participants simply mention K-12 issues and ideas in which they’re interested and groups form and collaborate. Principals Michael Waiksnis (Sullivan) and Latoya Dixon (Mount Gallant) are the organizers of the camp, so to attend, let Michael or Latoya know. To see short videos that explain an unconference, go to

Points of Pride
The district’s newest publication, Points of Pride, with lots of honors and photos from this past year, can be found on the district’s website listed as “Achievements.” The Community Report, with an overview of school year 2012-13, will be published later this month.

Elaine T. Baker
Director of Information Services
Rock Hill Schools

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

South Carolina Schools To Watch #rockhill #rockhillschools

SC Middle School Association

All of the SC Schools to Watch open their doors to visitors who want to see at close hand what an effective middle school program looks and feels like.
Contact the principals at each of these schools and arrange visits.

2007,  2010, 2013   Lugoff-Elgin Middle- Kershaw County School District

2008, 2011   Blythewood Middle - Richland School District 2

2008, 2011  Palmetto Middle - Anderson School District 1

2009, 2012   Belton Middle - Anderson School District 2

2010, 2013    Indian Land Middle - Lancaster County School District

2011    Castle Heights Middle - York School District 3

2011    College Park Middle - Berkeley County School District

2011    League Academy - Greenville County School District

2011    Mabry Middle - Spartanburg School District 1

2011    Pickens Middle - Pickens County School District

2012    R.H. Fulmer Middle - Lexington School District 2

2013    Dutchman Creek Middle - York School District 3

2013    South Middle School - Lancaster County School District

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