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DENMARK - The Bamberg School District 2 Board of Trustees approved the first reading of the district’s proposed $8.3 million balanced budget for fiscal year 2018-2019 at its May meeting.

Rodney Anderson, district director of finance noted that in regards to a tax millage increase for the coming year, the district has very little room to seek an increase.

“The recommendation from the state is an increase of .0123, and that would only give us a $270.61 difference,” Anderson said.

Dr. Ruby Johnson, director of curriculum and instruction, reported the district had begun spring testing.

“All of the schools are testing online except the elementary school,” she said.

Johnson reported there are some exemptions related to the implementation of Read to Succeed.

“Read to Succeed legislation provides seven considerations for students who may be exempt from mandatory retention and promoted to fourth grade," she said, adding that those exemptions are posted on the district’s website and have been distributed to parents by way of newsletters, at awards programs and individual meetings.

Superintendent Dr. Thelma Sojourner, in her report, said the State Legislature ratified several bills related to South Carolina schools. She said the bills address: fiscal accountability; adoption of policies related to certified and uncertified district personnel; allowing students to take band as an alternative to physical education; and scholarships for exceptional needs students.

Also during the meeting, the district recognized three teachers who have taught in the district for a total of 85 years:

  • Sandra Moody, who is retiring after teaching advanced English for 44 years.
  • Diana Bailey, who has served the district for 30 years in various capacities.
  • Mickey Pringle, who is retiring after serving as principal of Denmark-Olar High School for 11 years.

In other business, the superintendent reported that:

  • The high school was awarded a $25,000 grant for upgrades to its cafeteria. Sojourner said a milk cooler had already been purchased.
  • The district will host a summer program for up to 40 4-K students.
  • The district will host a summer program for K-8 students.
  • Graduation is scheduled for June 8.

Also during the meeting, the trustees approved special summer hours for the district office. The office will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday and will be closed on Friday.

Recognized as Students of the Month at each school were: Shawnae Murray, Denmark-Olar High; Kavonia Owens, Denmark-Olar Middle and Destiny Dotson, Denmark-Olar Elementary.

Bernadette Montes, the district’s music teacher, was recognized as Teacher of the Month.

The board voted to go into executive session to discuss employment recommendations, personnel matters, student discipline and contractual and legal matters.

Contact the writer: stok1156@bellsouth.net.

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