Schools to get new report card

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By David Meade
The Anderson School District One Board recently heard about a new report card grading system that replaces Every Child Left Behind Act, approved a construction manager for a new building program and recognized District One Band Directors.

Pictured – Anderson School District One Band Directors were recognized by the Anderson School District One Board. All three District One Bands placed first in separate competitions held on the same Saturday. Pictured are Chuck Hamlett, Wren High, Board Chair Nancy Upton, Gary Frasier, Palmetto High Band Director, Superintendent Robbie Binnicker, Trey Ferrell, Powdersville High Band Director and Superintendent of Instruction Jane Harrison.

The Board also held first reading on new and revised board policies including two related to content and credit recovery and one on nondiscrimination/equal opportunity.
Following an executive session lasting approximately 40 minutes, the board returned to open session and unanimously approved a contract with Harper Construction to act as the Construction Manager at Risk for the new District One building program.
Superintendent Robbie Binnicker said the District received eight responses to an RFP for a building construction manager. That was narrowed to three and they conducted an intensive interview process and considered information and references. According to Binnicker, Harper Construction “really rose to the top.”
District One is planning to hold a bond referendum in the spring on a building program which will include new Palmetto and Wren Middle Schools being built on the current school sites.
Superintendent of Education Jane Harrison updated the Board on the new SC School Report Cards. The new grading system uses performance indicators and an overall rating.
The program was developed over a three year period for an accountability system that informs the public of the status of public school while meeting the mandates of state and federal law.
Indicators are Academic Achievement, Student Progress, Preparing for Success, College and Career Ready, English Learners Proficiency, Graduation Rate, School Quality, Classroom Environment, Student Safety and Financial Information.
The indicators are designed to show students reading levels of proficiency as well as the growth students are making in one academic year..
It also encourages graduating on time and meeting the expectations of college and career readiness. The program also meets the profile of the SC graduate, making sure they are ready to start a career or enter a two or four year university.
The program is based on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) which replaces No Child Left Behind Act, Harrison said.
The state of South Carolina submitted an ESSA plan to the US Department of Education which was approved May 2, 2018. The plan includes measuring the progress of English Learners and measuring the high school graduation rates.
It is based on ratings of Excellent, Good, Average, Below Average and Unsatisfactory, which are determined by a points system.
For schools having 20 or more English Learners.
Goals include: By 2035 the ontime graduation rate of the state, each district and head high school should be at least 90 percent.
By 2035, 90 percent of students will score at Level 2 or higher and a C or higher on End of course assessments in English Language, Arts and Math.
By 2035, 70 percent of students will score at level 3 or higher, meets and above on SC Ready and a C or higher on end of course assessments, in English language arts and math.
Beginning with the graduating class of 2020, the state must increase annually by 5 percent of students who graduate ready to enter postsecondary education to pursue a degree or national industry residential without the need for remediation.
Financial information will include information collected about schools and districts including average salaries to the percent of money spent on classroom instruction.
To be college and career ready a student must score 20 or above on the ACT, score a composite score of 1020 or higher on the SAT. Score a 3 or higher on Advance Placement Exam, Score 4 or higher on International Baccalaureate assessment or complete at least six credit hours in dual enrollment courses with a grade of C or higher.
Harrison said the report card scores will be released Nov. 15.

Harrison also recognized the band leaders for the three area high schools. All three District One Bands placed first in separate competitions held on the same Saturday.
Band leaders in District One include Gary Frasier, Palmetto High, Trey Ferrell, Powdersville High and Chuck Hamlett, Wren High.

Palmetto Golfer Logan Hawkins was also recognized during the meeting. Hawkins participated in an international competition held at Kiawah Island recently in which his eight member team won a competition with golfers from Scotland in the Watson Invitational Tournament.

Pictured left – Anderson School District One Board Chair Nancy Upton (left) and Superintendent Robbie Binnicker (right) recognized Logan Hawkins for his recent participation in an international golf competition held at Kiawah Island recently.

District One Financial Director Travis Thomas reported that auditors with Greene Finney & Horton are working on district financials and are expected to present the annual audit at the next meeting in November.
Assistant Superintendent Kelly Pew reported the student nutrition program served approximately 398 more meals and increased participation with adults.
Wren High will be getting new tables over the fall break and Palmetto High will get new tables during the Christmas break, she said.
The board approved the following personnel:
Recommendations – Kelli McNeail, TBA; Paula Holder Tollison, teacher, District One.
Leave – Stephanie Brown, Vision, District One; Renee Geddings, Fourth Grade, Wren Elementary; Hayden Woerner, Math, Powdersville High.
Retirement – Steve Foster, History, Wren High.