The Anderson School District One Board recognized two board members, a teacher and heard updates on the start of school and the building program during their regular monthly meeting Tuesday.
The meeting was the first of the new school year.
Pat Cox and Wendy Burgess were recognized for completing school board curriculum training through the South Carolina School Board Association. Established in 1982, SCSBA’s Boardmanship Institute offers a year-round training curriculum focused on leadership skills for board members on state and national educational issues. Board members are recognized for reaching each of six levels. Burgess was recognized for reaching Level 2 and Cox for reaching Level 3.
Board members complete training
Anderson School District One Board members Wendy Burgess and Pat Cox were recognized for completing another level of curriculum training with the SCSBA’s Boardmanship Institute. Burgess was recognized for reaching Level 2 and Cox for reaching Level 3 in the six level curriculum training program. Pictured (l-r) are Boardmembers Pat Cox, Wendy Burgess and Superintendent Robbie Binnicker.
Superintendent Robbie Binnicker said the first full week of school went very well. “There was lots of great stuff going on, the kids were really involved and working on meaningful things.”
Binnicker said the schools had the typical fall traffic issues which settled down after the first few days. He said the new traffic system at Wren Middle took some adjustments for those dropping off and picking up students. “Parents, Administrators and staff from the District Office made it work,” he said.
Two car lines have been combined into one as construction on the new Wren Middle is underway.
Binnicker said five day enrollment for District One was 10,250 students. This is 143 more students than day one of 2018-19” he said.
Historicially the district has between 120 and 250 new students each year, according to Binnicker.
He said the district is expecting between 175 and 190 this year.
Binnicker said there are some big classes this year, “but not overly big.”
“We feel pretty good with the numbers we have right now.”
The district has 2704 students qualified for free and reduced lunches and expect that number to increase by the deadline in mid September.
“Overall we had a great opening,” he said. We feel really good about it.”
Board member Wendy Burgess thanked Binnicker for visiting each school during the opening.
Board member and vice chair Brenda Ellison commended all the work the teachers did the night before.
District One Finance Director Travis Thomas reported that the Local Option Sales Tax revenue for July has not come in. The LOST fund balance is currently $1,796,000 with $46,000 in expenses, leaving a balance of $1,750,000.
$7 million has been transferred from the General Fund into the Building Fund as the District moves forward on the the new building program. There were approximately $5 million in expenses for an ending building fund balance of $1,943,000.
During her instructional report, Superitendent of Education Jane Harrison recognized Powdersville High History Teacher Leslie Martin, who Harrison said is “A leader in our district.”
Martin is a District One Teacher of the Year (2017) and was named the 2019 South Carolina History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.
Powdersville High History Teacher Leslie Martin was recognized during the AD1 Board meeting. Martin is a District One Teacher of the Year (2017) and was named the 2019 South Carolina History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Pictured are (l-r) School Board Vice-chair Brenda Ellison, Leslie Martin and Superintendent Robbie Binnicker.
Harrison reported that a new German language class has been added to the district course catalog and new computer science classes in middle schools. She also reported on improvements seen in students attending the Camp IRock summer reading program.
Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kelly Pew reported the Student Nutrition program operating balance was higher than it needed to be and proceeds will be used on equipment and quality of food for the program.
She reported that cart sales had increased by $96,000 and adult/teacher sales increased by $18,000.
Students apparently liked the addition of new menu items including hummus which had 200 servings sold last week and yogurt parfait which had 1500 servings sold last week. The program is still accepting free and reduced applications and seventeen people applied for positions open in the program, Dr. Pew said.
She also said that Pepsi is now the provider for the program. Coke will remain the provider for athletics and teacher lounge areas.
Binnicker reported that the building program is going “incredibly well.” “We counldn’t be more pleased with Harper Construction,” he said.
Steel is being installed at Wren Middle and the last concrete pour at Palmetto Middle was made last Saturday. Steel will begin being installed at Palmetto Middle next Wednesday, he said. “It will go up fast.”
Construction on the two new middle schools will be ongoing over the next 32 months.
Secure vestibules have been constructed at Hunt Meadows, Powdersville Elementary, Spearman Elementary and West Pelzer Elementary schools. Binnicker said electronic controls for office areas are in the works and will be completed soon.
Building additions will begin next year for Cedar Grove Elementary, Spearman Elementary, Powdersville Elementary, Powdersville Middle and Powdersville High.
The superintendent said West Pelzer Elementary School was on high alert Monday due to a suspect who fled a nearby traffic stop, but there was no danger to students. He said four large classrooms at the school had been redone and are now eight classrooms.
The Board approved second reading on two policy changes: IKA-R Grading/Assessment Systems and JH-R Student Absences and Excuses.
The following personnel recommendations were approved:
Transfer – Rebecca Cothran, Grade Two, Cedar Grove Elementary to Reading Coach, Cedar Grove Elementary.
Leave – Caitlan Scroggs, Speech/Language Pathologist, Concrete Primary.
Resignations – Haley Head, Speech therapist, Palmetto Elementary; Krystin Vargo, grade Four Palmetto Elementary.