Technology, mentoring having impact in District One schools

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By Daivd Meade

During their meeting Tuesday, Anderson School District One Board members were updated on the District’s IPad technology instruction, a Mentoring program and the one cent sales tax referendum.

Associate Superintendent and Director of Instruction Jane Harrison showed an example of use of the new IPad technology with a movie trailer format book report put together by a student. Harrison said district personnel received a week of training on the Airwatch filtering software being used with the IPads.

The program includes content filtering and teacher tools and applications including an “All eyes on me” app with bring attention of students on IPads “back to the teacher”.

Harrison reported staff development including 100 sessions on new apps and how to better use them.

She said student achievement has already risen and students are having to do the work with the new technology. There have been numerous instances of non motivated students now being very motivated, Harrison said. The technology is also allowing special education students to reach more goals, she said.

Kenny Gilliland, President of APEX Ventures, LLC, presented information on a mentoring program he is heading in Anderson District One.

Gilliland, who also works with the FRaZEE Dream Center in Greenville, is partnering with local business, churches and civic organizations and individuals on the mentoring program which works with struggling students.

Gilliland said the program is already working with at risk students among the 3000 in the elementary schools to increase their circle of influence.

He presented information on how the one on one program is impacting students, teachers and mentors resulting in a reduction in discipline, absence and classes failed. The program has 103 mentors in District One Elementary Schools, 16 in High Schools and 24 in Middle Schools, he said.

Superintendent David Havird said the District is “Very appreciative of their time and effort and that it does make an impact.”

Harrison said District One students showed improvement on End of Course Exam scores with District One finishing third in the state on Algebra scores.

The District also showed great improvement over the last two years on U. S. History.

The Board approved the purchase of 3.3 acres of property on Roe Road. The property, which is adjacent to the Powdersville High property will be purchased for $60,000. It adjoins 15.2 acres recently purchased in the area and brings the total acreage in the Powdersville complex to 108, Havird said.

Havird presented information on the Local Option Sales Tax including wording that will appear on the ballot in November, a fact sheet and a question and answer sheet.

The information is posted on the Anderson School District One website which can be accessed from a direct link on The Journal website.

The Board apporoved four requests for leave including: Whitney Broderick, Grade 3 Teacher West Pelzer Elementary; Maryanne Hintson, English, Wren High; Rachel Wayne, Grade 5, Powdersville Elementary and Andrea Williams, Grade 6 Math, Wren Middle.

Board members Dr. Doug Atkins, Melissa Hood and Board Chairman Fred Alexander were selected as delegates to the SCSBA meeting later this year. Nancy Upton will serve as an alternate.