By Stan Welch
Things seem to be rolling right along at Anderson School District One, based on reports from various sources at the school board’s meeting last week.
Among the matters aired before the board and a small audience was Spearman Elementary School’s selection as a Blue Ribbon School for the state of South Carolina. Jane Harrison reported that the award, which is a tiered award, with nine separate criteria, usually requires several efforts to satisfy all those criteria.
Spearman School, however, satisfied every criteria on its first attempt, and received the award, making the achievement even more remarkable, said Harrison.
Harrison also reported that the district graduation rate had reached ninety two per cent, well above state average. That rate was fueled in part by Powdersville High School’s ninety six point two per cent.
The board also heard a report on the allocation and use of the revenues being created by the recently approved local option sales tax. In the first four months of the tax, it has generated $1.9 million.
Superintendent David Havird told the board that funds are being used to address safety and security issues at the district’s various facilities, with the various stadiums to begin receiving attention next.
Technology issues, such as improving online testing and upgrading computer labs are also underway, and the fourteen media centers are also being upgraded to the tune of $560,000.
Roof repairs and improvements at several locations are underway. Physical education, band and fine arts programs are also receiving significant funding. The Anderson Districts One & Two Career and Technology Center has recently received its new welding machines.
Assistant Superintendent Robbie Binnicker reported on the district’s self assessment efforts, conducted in advance of the coming accreditation renewal process. He reported that the in house committees had been especially tough on the assessments, leading to some ratings that were lower than might be expected. But Binnicker expressed his confidence that the actual accreditation ratings organization would likely apply less stringent standards.
Scott Powell reported that he is hopeful that construction on additions at Concrete Elementary School will begin in July of next year. The project will include a minor expansion of the parking lot, eight additional classrooms, and a new hard surface play area. Powdersville High School will also receive four tennis courts and the Hurricane Creek courts will also be refurbished.
District auditors Greene, Finney, and Horton, once again gave the district the best rating possible, an unmodified opinion. Audit highlights include an increase in the fund balance of $2.1 million, which was a noticeable improvement over the budgeted decrease of $254,000.
Long time Board Chairman Fred Alexander was welcomed back by the board, following a series of radiation treatments for the cancer he is battling. Vice Chairwoman Nancy Upton conducted the evening’s business.