The Orangeburg County School District has conducted a complete audit of high school seniors’ transcripts to ensure graduating seniors have all the credits they need to graduate.
The district engaged the services of S.C. Department of Education Transformation Coach Dr. Carol Miner to review the transcripts.
The district conducted the audit to make sure that transcripts and documentation for the students were properly transferred during the district's consolidation process a couple of years ago.
The review of senior transcripts showed that students who participated in the JROTC program did not have the needed half health credit to graduate.
“The PE requirement fulfills the requirement for graduation, but there are also some health standards in there,” Miner said.
Miner noted for students that take PE, the health standards are part of the second half of the class.
“If they take JROTC, they don't get the health standards because the JRTOC teachers are only certified to teach JROTC,” Miner said. The district had to make sure those students would be able to get in the standards before the end of the year.
“Those students are fine,” she said.
The district is also conducting a review of junior transcripts to ensure next year's JRTOC seniors have that half health credit, Miner said.
She said professional development was also provided for school counselors and the district's curriculum and instruction division to ensure the district will be able to conduct future reviews on its own.
The State Department of Education will fund a summer school program for 347 pre-K students in the district.
The district also received approval from the SCDOE to expand its pre-K program for the upcoming school year by eight additional teachers if it meets the state-stipulated 500 program applicants.
At this time, the district has received 112 applications for the program.
In order to meet the 500 applications and to receive state funding, the district is encouraging parents who have children who turn 4 years old by Sept. 1 to stop by any elementary school or to visit the district's website to complete an application for pre-K.
Community Partnership Literacy grant
The school district has received a $66,762 S.C. Department of Education community partnership literacy grant to help fund its summer reading camp for third-graders.
The grant is titled "Literacy and Justice for All."
A number of community groups will help the district carry out the summer reading program, including the Cecil Williams South Carolina Civil Rights Museum, Call Me Mister, Kids Code Too and Opportunity Project, to name a few.
The application window to register for Orangeburg Online for the 2021-2022 school year opened April 21 and will close May 5.
Students will have to be enrolled in an OCSD school and have no more than 2 Ds on their report card during the school year to participate in the program.
The program is open to pre-K through ninth grade.
The district will review the applications and notify families and schools.
Teachers for the program will be selected through a lottery system. About 97 teachers have submitted an application to teach in the program.
In other business:
• Trustees were informed that about 25 individuals representing all sectors of the community gathered recently for a three-day school district strategic planning workshop held at the Orangeburg County Development Commission’s offices.
The district has engaged the services of Alabama-based The Cambrian Group to help it navigate the process.
The district plans to consult with all stakeholders, including community members, teachers, support staff, students, administration and board members.
The strategic plan will help formulate the district's vision for itself heading into the future and include such items as the district's beliefs, mission, strategic objectives, strategies and parameters.
The strategic plan is expected to be complete and come before the school board for a vote sometime in January or February 2022.
• Trustees agreed to allow 30 Holly Hill Elementary School students to attend the National Junior Beta Club Competition June 26-June 29 and 15 Branchville High School students to attend the National Beta Club Convention held June 25-June 28. The events are being held in Florida.
The matter was brought before the board because out-of-state trips were halted by the district last year due to COVID. Out-of-state field trips typically do not need board approval.
• Trustees approved transferring about 341 square feet of property alongside Robert E. Howard Middle School to the S.C. Department of Transportation to allow the department to grade and conduct drainage repairs.
The project will lessen runoff from U.S. 178 and U.S. 21 onto the school's property. A chain link fence will be installed upon completion of the project.
• Trustees were informed that the transfer of school property to Providence United Methodist Church is in the process of being completed.
The former Providence School was built near the church in 1926. The high school burned down in the 1950s and the property was used by the elementary school through 1989.
The former Orangeburg Consolidated School District 3 had voted to deed the final parcel of the property to the church, but the transaction was not completed before consolidation.
• The district will showcase its Career and Technical Education program during an event at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 29.
The event can be accessed on the district's website by clicking the showcase technology tab link.
An encore presentation will be shown April 30 during the district's virtual career fair.
• Trustees recognized a team of students from William J. Clark Middle School.
The students received the first place award in the South Carolina Division II Odyssey of the Mind virtual competition.
The student project entailed using baking soda to create works of art that told a story about a magic bean stalk and taught a life lesson.
The students will also compete in the 2021 Odyssey of the Mind Virtual World Finals scheduled for the middle of May.
• Trustees unanimously voted to approve Hub International as the district's insurance broker.
• School district employees raised about $31,435 as part of a March giving campaign for the United Way of the Midlands. The fundraising goal was $20,000.
The money will stay in the Orangeburg area and go toward such things as meals for seniors, school supplies for children and eye exams/glasses for uninsured individuals.
• Trustees approved hiring several teachers, including an English teacher at Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School; a reading coach at Edisto and Elloree elementary schools; a Spanish teacher at Carver-Edisto Middle School; a media specialist and school-level instructional technologist at Mellichamp Elementary School; a professional school counselor and French teacher at Edisto High School; and an English teacher at Robert E. Howard Middle.
• The next school board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 11 at 6:30 p.m. The board meeting will be streamed on the district's website at www.ocsdsc.org.