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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Rock Hill School News For December 17, 2014 #rhsd3

Congratulations to . . .
  • Cindy Koon, English teacher and newspaper advisor at South Pointe High School, whose print newspaper (SPiN, on twitter) students recently earned three first-place and two third-place awards (out of 10 categories) in the state-wide fall competition sponsored by the S. C. Scholastic Press Association.  
  • Alice Hinton, in Facilities Services Work Control, who has been invited by Schooldude to assist the Product Management Team with new Schooldude designs for the Maintenance Direct System.
  • Rock Hill High’s mascot, Rocky the Bearcat, who has been invited to perform in pre-game festivities at the 2015 Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl in Orlando on January 1Jacob Strickland, who’s Rocky, is a senior who earned All-American status through the Universal Cheerleaders Assn. summer camp in Auburn, Alabama, this past July. He is also the son of Rebecca (Becky) Strickland, instructional coach at Castle Heights.

 Breakfast with Santa
The PTO at Sunset Park Elementary School will host “Breakfast with Santa” this Saturday, Dec. 20, between 8:00-10:00 at Fatz CafĂ© on Herlong Avenue. The cost will be $7/adults and $4/child. There’s a rumor that Santa may bring Mrs. Claus this year, so this would also be a great photo opportunity!  

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Rock Hill School District News for December 10, 2014 #rhsd3

Holiday Greetings from the ATC
The ATC wants to share holiday greetings, especially since the beautiful card was designed by one of its students, Cashton Christensen. Christopher Valk’s Digital Art and Design 1 students competed to create a card to represent ATC. About 90 entries were voted on by students and staff, and Cashton’s design was chosen as the winner.

National Recognition for Energy Management
Rock Hill Schools has received notification from Energy Star that it’s in a select group of school districts across the country for having five schools certified as Energy Star schools in one year (Actually, we had six—4 elementary schools and two middle.) Of 27 schools in the district, 19 are certified as Energy Star Schools, and the District Office has the Energy Star designation. Our district attributes such success to the awareness of its employees and students to the importance of energy conservation. However, special tribute goes to Kim Melander (Energy & Systems Mgr.),Brian Vaughan (Director of Facilities Services), Bryan Gordon (building automation) and each school’s energy team.

Holiday Performances
  • Northside Elementary School – Second-graders will perform “Jingle Bell Jukebox” at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 12 in the sanctuary at Eastside Baptist Church. Third-graders will perform “Dig It: The Musical” at 7:00 p.m. Dec. 18 in the Saluda Trail Auditorium. Performances will be directed by Kelly Passmore.
  • Saluda Trail Middle School – Choruses, directed by Pamella Johnson, will present their winter concert at 7:00 p.m. Dec. 11 in the school auditorium.  

Bearcats Christmas Project
Hats off to Anita Benfield, registrar at Rock Hill High. For the eighth year, Anita has coordinated the Bearcats Christmas Project which, this year, has raised $1,800. Faculty members donate items for a silent auction. The money raised goes to buy Christmas gifts for RHH’s needy students and younger siblings. For the past two years, Teacher Cadets have volunteered after school to shop and wrap presents because of the volume of gifts.  

Championship Gear

The South Pointe Stallions, the new 3A State Champion Football Team, has lots of championship gear for sale. To place an order, contact Coach Gerald Peake at  

Upcoming Community Events
  • The City of Rock Hill Community Relations Council will host the 12th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Interfaith Prayer Breakfast from 7:30-9:00 at First Baptist Church (off Dave Lyle Blvd). on Monday, January 19. Carl L. Solomon, of the Columbia Solomon Law Group, will be the keynote speaker. Tickets, at $15, are available at City Hall, 155 Johnston Street.
  • The 19th Annual Rock Hill Police Charity Ball, the proceeds of which support the summer Worthy Boys and Girls Camps, will be held on February 7 at Events at Manchester. The cost will be $75/person for this semi-formal event, and entertainment will be provided by “Peace and Love.” For more information or tickets, call 803.329-7285 or 803.329-5583.

District Partner in the “Spotlight”
The administration of Rock Hill Schools would like to say “Thank You” to the following employees from PPG Industries in Chester who have requested 2014 grants from the PPG Industries Foundation for our schools:
=Christopher McKee - $1,000 for Castle Heights Middle School
=Peggy Dunn, Bennix Currence, Tammy Davis – $4,000 for Lesslie Elementary
=Christopher McKee - $1,000 for Mount Gallant Elementary
=Gerald Moore - $1,000 for Mount Holly Elementary
=Jens Schoenfuss - $1,000 for Northside Elementary School of the Arts
=James McManus - $1,965 for Oakdale Elementary School
=Bennix Currence - $1,000 for Old Pointe Elementary School
=Joshua Perkins - $1,000 for Rosewood Elementary School
=Amanda Adams, Karen Bailey, Jens Schoenfuss, Alan Toney - $3,995 for Saluda Trail Middle School

Monday, November 17, 2014

Vote For Dupree Hart for Mr. Football #rhsd3

The SC Athletics Coaches Association established the Mr. Football award in 1995. Seven former recipients have played or are currently playing in the National Football League.
“This year’s finalists have outstanding credentials,” says Keith Richardson, co-director of the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Bowl and former head coach at Clinton High School. “And I also think it is a group that displays great character off the field, too. That is an important aspect of the award taken into consideration when we make these selections.”
This year, fans are invited to cast an online vote for their favorite Mr. Football finalist. To participate, vote
The 2014 Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Bowl, North vs. South All-Star game is played at noon December 13 at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium in Myrtle Beach.

Dr. Pew to Host Town Hall Meeting #rhsd3 #rockhill

Friday, November 14, 2014

Rock Hill School News For November 14, 2014 #rhsd3

“Choice Fair”
Parents who are interested in “choice” schools for their children will want to attend the “Choice School Fair” from 6:30-8:00 on Thursday evening, Nov. 20, in the gym at Sullivan Middle School. For information on the admission process or the dates when each school of choice will host its own information night (FAQ’s), go to

“Gobble Wobble”
If you’re a runner or enjoy watching others run, you may want to participate in the 4th Annual “Gobble Wobble” on Saturday, Nov. 22, sponsored by the Rock Hill Junior Welfare League. Proceeds will go to the Rock Hill Fire Department for its Fire Prevention Museum. 

“A Night of Jazz”
The family of Dwayne Mattison, a former football and track coach at Saluda Trail Middle School, will host a “Night of Jazz” from 6:00-9:00 this Saturday, Nov. 15, in the gym at Saluda Trail to support the Coach Dwayne F. Mattison Scholarship Fund. Tickets are on sale now at Saluda Trail, but they will be available at the door. 
Coach Mattison, who passed away in March 2013 and who had also coached at Oakdale Elementary and at South Pointe High School, was dedicated to the success of student athletes. The scholarships in his memory will be made available to a deserving student athlete each year in the Rock Hill area.

Sunset Park to Host Town Hall Meeting
The second of four “Town Hall” meetings with Supt. Kelly Pew will be held from 6:00-7:00 Tuesday evening, Nov. 18, at Sunset Park Center for Accelerated Studies. The meeting will be open to all Rock Hill citizens who are interested in the progress of Rock Hill Schools and its challenges and who would like to provide input on the district’s operating budget for next school year.

Sodexo and “Stop Hunger” Campaign
Sodexo recently held a food drive in our schools and collected 1200 pounds of canned goods and cash for the Second Harvest Food Bank of the Carolinas. The work they’re doing is commendable, and we’re proud to have Sodexo in our district.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Rock Hill School District Meetings For Community #rhsd3

As someone who is always interested in and supported of our schools, you are being Just a reminder of the next community school visits and Supt. Kelly Pew’s upcoming “Town Hall” Meetings. The community school visits below will give you an opportunity to tour our schools to see what’s taking place daily in our classrooms. To attend, you need only to have a photo ID with you when you arrive in the school office.

Wednesday, Nov. 19
India Hook Elementary,  8:30-9:30 a.m. and Rosewood Elementary, 10:00-11:00 a.m.

Wednesday, December 3
Sunset Park Center for Accelerated Studies, 8:30-9:30 a.m. and South Pointe High, 10:00-11:00 a.m.

Wednesday, December 17
Oakdale Elementary, 8:30-9:30 a.m. and Saluda Trail Middle School, 10:00-11:00 a.m.

“Town Hall” Meetings
Supt. Kelly Pew will host four “Town Hall” meetings this school year. Each meeting (dates below) will be held from 6:00-7:00 p.m., and the topics, with one exception, will vary slightly from meeting to meeting. The one exception involves the district’s day-to-day operating budget. Dr. Pew wants to  know what the priorities of the community are in reference to the budget; and she will, of course, share with the school board the comments she receives from community members.

Please join us at any or all of these “Town Hall” meetings; they have been planned with you in mind.

Tuesday, Nov. 11, City Council Chambers
Tuesday, Nov. 18, Sunset Park Center for Accelerated Studies, 1036 Ogden Road
Tuesday, Dec. 2, The Cotton Factory, 300 Chatham Avenue
Tuesday, Dec. 16, Brakefield at Riverwalk, 111 Brakefield Drive

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Monday, November 3, 2014

Competitive Cheer Competition #rhsd3

Tuesday, Nov. 4Class AAA Upper 6:00 pmChapin HS
Wednesday, Nov. 5Class AAAA Upper 6:00 pmNorthwestern HS

South Pointe's 2014 Football Playoff Bracket #spway #rhsd3

Friday, October 31, 2014

Rock Hill School District News For Friday, Octobrer 31, 2014 #rhsd3

Members of the Public Safety Flag Football League--the Rock Hilll Police Dept., the Rock Hill Fire Dept., the Chester Co. Sheriff's Dept. and the York County Sheriff's Dept.--will  each play two games in District Three Stadium, beginning at 1:00 pm, and ending with a championship game. Admission will be FREE!

Each department will provide handouts, and police cars and fire trucks will be on display.  There also will be a Bounce House, and concessions will be open.  

Below is information from the schools that you may find interesting:

South Pointe High School
Congratulations to the girls’ golf team which won the 3A state championship.  Hats off to head coach, Kimberly Case.

Lesslie Elementary School
Lesslie Elementary will hold a Fall Festival  November 1, 11 am to 2 pm.

Saluda Trail Middle School
Principal Brenda Campbell has been invited by the S. C. Oversight Committee to attend a conference in Wisconsin on personalized learning.  During the conference Brenda will sit with developers of ACT Aspire and will have input on the new assessment.

Karen Vinson

Boy Scout Eagle Project Needs Workers #rhsd3

Peyton Smith Eagle Project
Help Needed!

Peyton Smith will be completing his Eagle Scout project this Saturday, Nov. 1 and could use your help!

Peyton will meet with volunteers at Central Child Development Center (address below) at 9:00 AMThe project involves building three benches, planting shrubs, bushes, bulbs, spreading mulch and doing beautification to existing plants at the school. The plants that have been chosen will be used to make a sensory garden for developmentally delayed and autistic students at Central.

This project is a great way to get service hours and help students with disabilities.  
If you can help with the project, please contact Peyton at
Central Child Development Center is located at:
414 E. Black Street, Rock Hill, S.C. 29730

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Investing in Technology #iRockrh #rockhill


The Technology Incubator @ Knowledge Park (or TI Center) is hosting an Angel Investing Orientation on Thursday, October 30th at 4 pm.

This free, educational event is open to individuals interested in learning about the process of investing in technology startup companies.  There will be no pitches made, nor opportunities to invest, at this event.

The featured presenter for the Angel Investing Orientation is Matt Dunbar, Managing Director of the Upstate Carolina Angel Network (UCAN) based in Greenville, SC.  Since 2008, when he joined UCAN, the group has invested more than $9 million in 32 companies. Mr. Dunbar is a Rock Hill native who holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from Clemson University and both a MBA and Masters in Education from Stanford University.

Purpose of this event is to gather individuals who may be interested in becoming angel investors for technology startups, such as those companies working in the TI Center.  The intent is to generate discussion and cultivate interest in building a funding resource for local and regional entrepreneurs.

Please forward this email to anyone that could be interested in the Angel Investing Orientation. If you are interested and cannot make the orientation, please fill out our form at .
157 E. Main Street, Suite 500 in Old Town Rock Hill

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Rock Hill Volleyball Teams Make State Playoffs #rockhill #rhsd3 #spway #trojannation #gorhbearcats

Northwestern High School's Dubree Hart is a Finalist #trojannation #rockhill

WSOC-TV has a contest each year for the “community” to vote for the best football player in the BIG 22.  Dupree Hart, from Northwestern and in the center top row photo, is one of five finalists. The school of the winner is awarded $10,000. 

2014 Big 22 5 finalists announced     

Please go to the website below as many times as possible between now and November 3rd and vote for Dupree, a former student at Sunset Park Elementary and Dutchman Creek Middle School.

·         Voters must register. Once a voter registers, it will take less than two minutes to vote each day. 
·         Click on the Big 22 logo and then under Dupree’s picture, click the button and hit save vote.  
·         Voters may cast nine votes per day per email address. 
·         Voting closes on Monday, November 3rd

Monday, October 6, 2014

Vote Dupree Hart Player of the Year #rockhill

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Northwestern Athletic Booster Golf Tournament #trojannation

The 5th annual Northwestern baseball team golf tournament is going to be held at Pinetuck on Tuesday, October 14.  We are currently seeking hole sponsors and teams that would be interested in playing in the tournament.   Forms can be submitted to the athletic department or you can contact Craig Shipman by calling 803-517-5502 to have your form picked up or to ask any questions that you might have.  Hole sponsor forms must be submitted by October 12.  Teams can be accepted up to tee time on October 14
Hole Sponsors will have their family or business name displayed  for $100.
For $400, teams of four will receive lunch and dinner, as well as an appreciation bag and a round of golf in which they will compete for over $900 in prizes. 
The event is always a lot of fun and the money raised will be used to help get the baseball field in shape for the upcoming season.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Pew, Sharp, Goodwin, and Steele to Talk About Standards Tonight At Winthrop #rhsd3 #winthrop

AAUW to host standards talks
Rock Hill’s chapter of the American Association of University Women is hosting a panel on “changing state education standards and the effects on the district, principals, teachers and students” on Tuesday night.
The panel will be held in Plowden Auditorium at Winthrop University at 7 p.m. Admission is free.
The panel includes Rock Hill school board member Jane Sharp, Rock Hill schools Superintendent Kelly Pew, Sullivan Middle School Principal Shane Goodwin and Dutchman Creek Middle School science teacher Jody Steele.
“We want to make sure the public is informed about the ramifications about the changes to the state standards after putting so much energy into training teachers in the Common Core (state standards),” said Trish Johnson, branch president.
Panels of educators from across the state are rewriting math and language arts standards after the state voted to withdraw from the use of the Common Core standards several months ago. 
RACHEL SOUTHMAYD, The Rock Hill Herald

Monday, September 15, 2014

Community Visit to Two Rock Hill Schools This Wednesday #rhsd3

Sept. 17 Community Visit to Two Rock Hill Elementary Schools:
  • 8:30-9:30 am – Belleview Elementary with John Kirell, Principal
  • 10:00-11:00 am – Mt. Holly Elementary with Dr. Nakia Barnes, Principal

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Conservative Case for Common Core #rhschoolboard

By William J. Bennett

As the former Secretary of Education for President Ronald Reagan, I have been following the national debate over Common Core standards. The debate is getting hotter, but not always clearer. It's time to get clarity on some things that have been badly and sometimes mis-chievously muddled.

Let's begin with the ideas and principles behind the Common Core. These educational principles have been debated and refined over decades. First, we can all agree that there is a need for common standards of assessment in K-12 education. And we can all agree that there are common and shared truths in English, literature and math. Think of "We hold these truths to be self evident" as emblematic.

Nearly all Americans agree that to prepare a child for civic responsibility and competition in the modern economy, he or she must be able to read and distill complex sentences, and must be equipped with basic mathematical skills.

When I was chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities in the 1980s, I asked 250 people across the political spectrum what 10 books every student should be familiar with by the time they finish high school. Almost every person agreed on five vital sources: the Bible, Shakespeare, America's founding documents, the great American novel "Huckleberry Finn" and classical works of mythology and poetry, like the Iliad and the Odyssey.

The same goes for math. Certain abilities—the grasp of fractions, decimals, percentages, ratios and the like—should be the common knowledge of all.

That's the fundamental idea behind a core curriculum: preserving and emphasizing what's essential, in fields like literature and math, to a worthwhile education. It is also, by the way, a conservative idea.

Governors, state education administrators and teachers used these principles as a guide when they developed a set of common standards that were later presented to the country as Common Core. Forty-five states signed up originally. But the process was contaminated by politics, and that brings us to the debate we have now.

In 2009 the Education Department created Race to the Top grants, federal funding for states that met certain educational benchmarks. To qualify, states were required, for instance, to demonstrate that they had a common, high-quality set of standards. Common Core standards satisfied the criteria.

Critics accused President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan of dangling federal money to encourage states to adopt the Common Core. The administration never should have done this. It made a voluntary agreement among states look like a top-down directive from the federal government. But remember: The original Common Core standards were separate from the federal government, and they can be separated once again.

Conservatives have reason to be upset by this federal over-reach. The Obama administration has run roughshod over individual rights and state sovereignty, on issues ranging from health care to climate change. But the federal intrusion into Common Core, however unwelcome and unhelpful, does not change a basic truth: Common, voluntary standards are a good, conservative policy.

Call it Common Core or call it something else, as Arizona has done by renaming its standards "Arizona's College and Career Ready Standards," but public schools should have high standards based on a core curriculum that is aligned with tests that are comparable across state lines. The U.S. has several types of national exams that assume at least some common basis of knowledge and understanding. These exams— NAEP, AP, SAT and ACT-work and most of the country agrees that they are useful.

Why then is Common Core drawing such heavy fire? Some of the criticism is legitimate, but much of it is based on myths. For example, a myth persists that Common Core involves a required reading list. Not so. Other than four seminal historical documents—the Declaration of Independence, the preamble to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address—there is no required reading list. Textbook companies have marketed their books disingenuously, leading many parents to believe that under Common Core the government mandates particular textbooks. Also not true.

The standards are designed to invite states to take control and to build upon them further. The standards do not prescribe what is taught in our classrooms or how it's taught. That decision should always rest with local school districts and school boards.

The principles behind the Common Core affirm a great intellectual tradition and inheritance. We should not allow them to be hijacked by the federal government or misguided bureaucrats and politicos.

Mr. Bennett is a former U.S. secretary of education (1985-88).

Friday, September 12, 2014

South Pointe High School to be on WCNC-TV News Friday at 4 and 5 pm #spway #rockhill

WCNC-TV in Charlotte will air a story this afternoon at 4 pm and again at 5 pm on sanitation in high school football locker rooms. 

New Security Procedures For Rock Hill Football Stadiums Starting September 19 #rockhill #rhsd3

The Rock Hill Police Department requested additional security procedures for the Rock Hill School District Football Stadiums. As a result, the following procedures have been developed by the Rock Hill School District Planning Department:

Procedures for Fans Attending Events at District 3 Stadium and District 3 South Stadium
Rock Hill Schools
Effective September 19, 2014

Beginning with the September 19 varsity football game, fans will not be permitted to bring backpacks into either stadium.  No outside food or beverages will be permitted.  Fans should plan accordingly before arriving at stadium events.

 Guidelines for Gate Attendants:
  • If a fan arrives with a backpack or knapsack, inform the fan that it is not permitted and ask that he/she take it to their car. 
  • If it is a younger student and he/she indicates there is not a car (they were dropped off at the event) or he/she is staying over at a friend’s house and this is the overnight bag, ask student to open the bag and move contents around so that gate attendant can look into the bag.  Inform the student to leave the bag at home in the future and make other arrangements for an overnight bag.  He/she will not get in with a bag at the next event.
  •  If something suspicious is viewed in the bag, ask the police officer to intervene.
  • If a fan arrives with a water bottle, beverage, McDonald’s bag, etc., ask the fan to consume before entering the gate or discard in the container at the gate.
  • Gate attendants should not place hands inside a backpack to search.  The owner of the backpack needs to open and move contents around to be viewed.

NOTE: The above guidelines do not apply to ladies’ purses, adults with seat cushions/blanket holders, diaper bags, medications, or food needed for those with medical conditions.

The statement below should be read at athletic events beginning Sept. 12 and forward:
To create a safer environment, fans attending events at District 3 Stadium or District 3 South Stadium are not permitted to bring backpacks into the stadium, effective Sept. 19.  No outside food or beverages will be permitted.  Please plan accordingly before arriving at stadium events.  Thank you for your cooperation.

Planning Department / Sept. 2014

Sunday, August 24, 2014

When Do We Start Letting Our Children Go?

From Joanne Jacobs Blog:

Poll: No unsupervised play for pre-teens

Sixty-eight percent of Americans think it should be illegal to let kids 9 and under play unsupervised at a park, according to the new Reason/Rupe poll.
Recently, a South Carolina mother was thrown in jail for dropping off her 9-year-old at a popular playground.Swing
Forty-three percent of those polled said 12-year-olds shouldn’t be outside without a caregiver, writes Lenore Skenazy of Free Range Kids on Reason. “They would like to criminalize all pre-teenagers playing outside on their own (and, I guess, arrest their no-good parents).”
Sixty-two percent of Americans agreed that “kids today face more threats to their physical safety,” the poll reported.
In reality, the U.S. crime rate is the lowest it’s been in decades, Skenazy writes. Some neighborhoods may be unsafe, but most are just fine.
“I doubt there has ever been a human culture, anywhere, anytime, that underestimates children’s abilities more than we North Americans do today,” says Boston College psychology professor emeritus Peter Gray, author of Free to Learn.
- See more at:
My grandfather was on his own at 12. Have our children regressed that much in 100 years? 

We rarely have unscripted recess at school. How long has it been since children have had to figure out, and organize, activities for themselves?

How can we produce leaders if we don't allow them to practice leadership during their developmental years? JBV

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Rock Hill Schools Update for August 21 #rhsd3

First Day of School
From all indications, the first day of school had few glitches. With the largest transportation system in York County, our school bus transportation complex was the busiest location, trying to ensure that all 13,000+ riders were picked up and then delivered home safely. 
August 22 Northwestern/Byrnes Football Game on ESPNU
District Three Stadium will be the place tomorrow for Friday night football. Two of the most powerful football teams in the state will play—the Northwestern “Trojans” and the Byrnes (Spartanburg) “Rebels.” Kick-off time is 6:00 p.m. and no district-issued passes will be honored due the district’s contract with ESPN which will televise the game “live.” Tickets, at $6, can be purchased in advance in the Northwestern Athletic Dept. Thursday until 4:00 pm and tomorrow until noon.  
School Fundraisers
  • Rock Hill High Softball Team – August 23, huge yard sale from 8:00-3:00 in the parking lot. There will be designer clothes, furniture, electronics, etc.
  • South Pointe Band of Thunder – August 23, pancake breakfast at Fatz on Herlong from 8:00-10:00 am. Tickets will be $7/adults and $4/children age 11 and under.
Mascot Training
Rock Hill High will offer a mascot training workshop for middle and high school mascots on Saturday, September 6
August 25 School Board Meeting
School board work sessions and business meetings are open to the public, and district employees are always welcome to attend. At Monday night’s meeting, elementary students who made perfect PASS scores this past spring will be recognized along with new Teachers of the Year, S.C. Coaches of the Year, Kyle Richardson and Calvin Hudgins, and NHS Resource Officer Scott Eller.

Elaine Baker

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