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Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Brave New World-Wide-Web

An interesting video on a teachers experience with technology.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Local School Boards

Dr. Britt Blackwell had a "To the Contrary" piece in Saturday's Rock Hill Herald (Education must have open communication). As a follow-up to this, I'd like remind parents their communication link is to the teacher, principal, district administration, and then the school board...and since this is an election year, I thought it would be good to review what Boards and Board members are charged with below:

Governance Standards

The Board

School districts are governed by boards, not by individual trustees. While always respecting their different roles, the board and superintendent work together as a "governance team." This team assumes collective responsibility for building unity and creating a positive organizational culture in order to govern effectively.
To operate effectively, the board must have a unity of purpose and:
  • Keep the district focused on learning achieving for all students.
  • Communicate a common vision.
  • Operate openly, with trust and integrity.
  • Govern in a dignified and professional manner, treating everyone with civility and respect.
  • Govern with board-adopted policies and procedures.
  • Take collective responsibility for the board's performance.
  • Periodically evaluate its own effectiveness.
  • Ensure opportunities for the diverse range of views in the community to inform board deliberations.
  • On a regular basis, review student performance measures, gauging accomplishment of District goals in order to effectuate more rapid identification of obstacles and implement solutions to them.
  • Sets the goals and a timetable for achievement of District learning achievement goals, and determines annual milestone measurements to the achievement of goals.

The Board's Job

The primary responsibilities of the board are to set a direction for the district, provide a structure by establishing policies, ensure accountability and provide community leadership on behalf of the district and public education. To fulfill these responsibilities, there are a number of specific jobs that effective boards must carry out:
Effective Boards:
  • Involve the community, parents, students and staff in developing a common vision for the district focused on learning and achievement and responsive to the needs of all students.
  • Adopt, evaluate and update policies consistent with the law and the district's vision and goals.
  • Maintain accountability for student learning by adopting the district curriculum and monitoring student progress.
  • Hire and support the superintendent so that the vision, goals and policies of the district can be implemented.
  • Conduct regular and timely evaluations of the superintendent based on the vision, goals and performance of the district, and ensure that the superintendent holds district personnel accountable.
  • Adopt a fiscally responsible budget based on the district's vision and goals, and regularly monitor the fiscal health of the district.
  • Ensure that a safe and appropriate educational environment is provided to all students.
  • Provide community leadership on educational issues and advocate on behalf of students and public education at the local, state and federal levels.

    Governance Standards

    The Individual Trustee

    A trustee is a person elected to serve on a school district. Individual trustees bring unique skills, knowledge, and values to their board. In order to govern effectively, individual trustees must work with each other and the superintendent to ensure that a high quality education is provided to each student.
    To be effective, an individual trustee:
  • Keeps learning and achievement for all students as the primary focus.
  • Values, supports and advocates for public education.
  • Recognizes and respects differences of perspective and style on the board and among staff, students, parents and the community.
  • Acts with dignity, and understands the implications of demeanor and behavior.
  • Keeps confidential matters confidential.
  • Participates in professional development and commits the time and energy necessary to be an informed and effective leader.
  • Understands the distinctions between board and staff roles, and refrains from performing management functions that are the responsibility of the superintendent and staff.
  • Understands that authority rests with the board as a whole and not with individuals.
  • Believes that the District's student achievement focus is driven best by the establishment of learning achievement goals for all students. Goals should be set in collaboration with the Superintendent and Staff, who are responsible for formulating the actions/tactical plan to achieve the goals. Goals should be measurable in order to gauge District performance and tactical plan effectiveness.
  • Believes that the primary role of the Superintendent is to implement tactical plans to achieve the goals and the Superintendent must be given a consistently high level of support and encouragement in this difficult responsibility.
  • Understands that clear goal-setting helps to prevent the Board and Superintendent from being diverted from their primary student achievement goal. Wishy-washy goals undermine the rate of progress.
  • Understands that his/her performance is tied to the District goal performance and achievement. The Board is a team that fails or succeeds together.
  • Represents the entire Board in public, explains the Board's goals, and explains why non-goals need to be rejected in order to maintain focus on student achievement. The District "cannot be all things to all people" and also achieve its primary focus.
  • Understands that obstacles will come along in the implementation of tactical plans to the achievement of goals, portions of the community may or may not support every decision or the goals themselves, but after gaining public input on the matter as appropriate, it is the duty of the Board to move to a solution involving Board action, or support the Superintendent's actions.
  • Agrees that the "public process" should not be an excuse for ineffective untimely leadership in addressing obstacles. In short, time is of the essence in building a much stronger student-performance result for the children in the District.
  • Understands that advising the Superintendent on matters that he/she brings to the Board for feedback is not an invitation to Trustees to make the decision, removing Superintendent responsibility for the decision and action.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Education, Blogs, and Web 2.0

I am not an educator - though I have an interest in education. I am always impressed with the dedication and time teachers spend to educate our children. Most teachers do not have time (or maybe the energy) to use Web 2.0 tools to network with other teachers. The beauty of Web 2.0 is networking with the world. I'm including information from Sarah Ebner (England) because when you read her stuff, you realize everyone faces some of the same issues - if you only check with US sources, you'd think we were the only ones. When you have time, check out some of her recommendations below.

Sarah Ebner
is an experienced journalist who has been shortlisted four times at the British Press Awards, in 2008 for feature writer of the year. She was a producer and occasional reporter for BBC Newsnight, and also edited Sarah has two children and lives in London.

The 7 best teacher blogs

School Gate is nearly three months old - it's a kind of quarter birthday, and time, I think, to flag up some other education blogs that I have come across, this time based more in the UK than across the pond.

There are so many great blogs out there (some greater than others!) Many are quite wonk-ish, featuring experts dissecting education policy; few, as far as I can tell, are like School Gate and written from the parental point of view. But what I have found particularly enjoyable is all the brilliant teacher blogs available. Anyone interested in education should take a look at these...
Please note that I haven't repeated any of the blogs mentioned in my original post on the ten
best education blogs but still enjoy them!

1) To Miss with Love
Miss Snuffleupagus is a black teacher in inner city London. She writes honestly, with wit and passion, and is not afraid of controversy (except of course that she obviously is, a little, or she would use her real name). Her blog is never dull. Go and read it - you won't be disappointed
Sample post:
"Racism does exist in schools. But it often has little to do with the achievement or underachievement of black pupils. Unfortunately however, in our modern world, the race-card must be played to further certain people’s careers and to make others simply feel better about themselves. And so the madness goes on. And my kids are indeed made into victims. But they are not victims of racism. They are victims of the racism debate."

2) My
Well, I had to include a few American examples, and I truly enjoy reading Carol Richtsmeier's views and news about education. She's a teacher in Texas, very well informed and writes beautifully, with a lovely light touch.
"My daughter, who works at a day care while attending attending Texas Tech, called this past weekend to rhetorically asked if I knew “what moron decided it’s OK to put 18 4-year-olds in a room with one teacher.”
“Why the same moron who has never been locked in a room with 18 4-year-olds, bless their hearts,” I replied.
Then, my daughter, who also works a second job at a grocery store, said her co-workers were discussing the recent Russian crisis…
(Isn’t that great, I thought, young people discussing current events. I got goosebumps just thinking about it.)
Oh, but wait… one of her co-workers, well…
“She thought Russia had invaded Georgia,” my daughter said, “as in the state, not the country.”
Never one to let a teachable moment slip by, I said, “You see why it’s so important to get your college degree?”
“But Mom, I think she is in school,” my daughter said."

3) Scenes from the Battleground
Old Andrew is a British secondary school teacher with very strong views and opinions which are always carefully expressed and strongly argued. A very good read (I'm always disappointed when he doesn't post daily, which must be a good sign.)
"The biggest, single policy mistake in education in the last twenty years, the one that has undermined everything else, has been the attempt to treat badly behaved children as if they had a right to be in classes with their victims. This has been labelled as “Inclusion” and is often presented as simply an extension of policies aimed at including the disabled in schools; to a true believer children with problems and children who cause problems are one and the same."

4) It shouldn't happen to a teacher
I really like this delightful blog by a young maths teacher. He veers from enthusiasm - well behaved students whom he loves to teach - to incomprehension when they don't behave or hassle him. Believable and very enjoyable.
"As I got out of my car a pupil I'd taught in year ten shouted to me 'Sir! I got an A in maths!' This is of course fantastic. I'd given that group up at the end of year ten because my relationship with them was based on mutual loathing. The girl in question was actually one of about three I could actually stand in the group so I was pleased my teaching hadn't ruined her chances to do well.
And I was delighted with my class's results. I'd been set a target of eight grade Cs, in total we got twelve. More importantly I was able to punch the air when I read them for some of the pupils. Some of them had worked really hard and deserved their success.
In the cases where pupils hadn't gotten a C I had good excuses too: 'she's never here', 'he's bone-idle', 'he's a twat' etc..."

It's not all Flowers and Sausages
Written for teachers "who rock", this American blog is really good fun and very well written. It gives a real insight into the world of teaching, but with a light touch.
"Sometimes it feels as if the forces in the universe are aligning to make this job as difficult as possible, just to see if I have the balls to stick with it. Other times, it feels as if teachers (as people) are the absolute last priority on everyone's list...that we will just suck it up and deal with ridiculous situations "for the kids."
If one more person tells me to do it "for the kids", I might throw a kid at them. Seriously. Stop playing on our good intentions and altruistic dedication to the future and treat us like the professionals you so desperately claim you want us to be. It just seems at times as if this job teeters on the brink of being inhumane."

Mr Teacher (UK version - although the totally unconnected US version is worth a look too!)
Another secondary school teacher from the UK (where are primary school teachers?) who writes a thoughtful blog where he is as honest about British education as he is about himself.
Sample post:
"When students reach the point when they are choosing their options for further study - when only English, maths and science are compulsory - my subject suffers tremendously. In other words, hardly anybody picks it. This pains me because I have come to admit to myself that, as a teacher, I must shoulder some of the responsibility. And I have decided that it is partly due to the fact that my lessons, and my delivery of these lessons, have not been sufficiently interesting and engaging."

7) Diary of a trainee teacher
Yes, it's a primary school teacher, but only for the moment! This blog is by a modern languages graduate who's decided to go into teaching and is currently training. It's fresh and fun to read, but makes some interesting points too.
"As part of my assignment for this course I’ve been asked to write a reflective journal, and the main thing that I’ve realised through the writing of this journal is that I DEFINITELY couldn’t teach primary school. The Year 6 classes are nice enough, but then they’re a well behaved group who will soon be year 7s. Today with younger children I really realised that small children often can’t sit still, are always telling tales (please miss, so and so is doing it wrong) and take loads of time and fuss to do anything! I know that teenagers may well not be any better, but at least I can then say “year 8 I’m very disappointed, with behaviour like that I’d think you were still in year 3!”. I also know I’d find it frustrating teaching children to say ‘bonjour’ and ‘mon frère’ over and over again."

Read my original tips on the Ten Best Education Blogs

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Rock Hill School Information for September 25

PASS (The New PACT) Dates Slated for Spring 2009
Dates have been announced for the Palmetto Assessment of State Standards, for grades 3-8. They are:
Writing.....................March 10
ELA (Reading and Research)..May 12
Math........................May 13
Science or Social Studies...May 14/15
Field Testing...............May 19

Beverly Laney, choral director at South Pointe, has received a $500 grant from the York County Arts Council to help purchase costumes for South Pointe's third annual "Ye Olde Madrigal Feaste" on Nov. 8 and 9.

Castle Heights Middle School has been named as a South Atlantic Division All-Star Team because of their hard work last year in raising almost $11,000 for the American Cancer Society through Relay for Life,

Dr. Linda Hutchinson, coordinator at the Central Child Development Center, has been elected to the Alumni Council of the School of Education at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

NCLB & Football

From the Why Homeschool Blog.

"Have you heard about the NCLB version of football?
The Crimson Wife at Bending the Twigs has a funny post on the NCLB version of football, she writes:

I couldn't find the original source on a quick Google search, but I personally came across it in one of the
comments on Tamara Fisher's blog "Unwrapping the Gifted".No Child Left Behind: The Football Version
1. All teams must make the state playoffs, and all will win the championship. If a team does not win the championship, they will be on probation until they are the champions, and coaches will be held accountable.
2. All kids will be expected to have the same football skills at the same time in the same conditions. No exceptions will be made for interest in football, a desire to perform athletically, or genetic abilities or disabiliites. ALL KIDS WILL PLAY FOOTBALL AT A PROFICIENT LEVEL.
3. Talented players will be asked to work out on their own without instruction. This is because the coaches will be using all their instructional time with the athletes who are not interested in football, have limited athletic ability, or whose parents don't like football.
4. Games will be played year round, but statistics will only be kept in the 4th, 8th, and 11th games.
5. This will create a New Age of sports where school is expected to have the same level of talent and all teams will reach the same minimal goals.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Web Search Strategies in Plain English

A short video on the best way to use internet searches.

Rex Talks With York County School Boards

South Carolina State Superintendent of Education Jim Rex met with the 4 York County School Boards Tuesday night in Tega Cay.  Also attending were  SC District 15 Senator Wes Hayes, SC District 48 Representative Carl Gullick, SC District 45 Representative (and SC District 16 Senate candidate) Mick Mulvaney, York County District 4 County Councilman Roy Blake, and SC 16th Judicial Circuit State School Board member Britt Blackwell. (All the York County Legislative Delegation and County Council were invited)

Rex gave a broad overview of the state of testing and funding in South Carolina. Poverty continues to be a major obstacle to success with only 8 districts (out of 86 in the state) having student populations with less than 50% above the poverty level (Free & Reduced Lunch status). Three of those districts are in York County (Fort Mill, Clover, & Rock Hill) and there are indications  Rock Hill will drop from the list this year. Teacher salaries continue to be a deterrent to getting students to select education as a career. (As a personal comparison - Chairman Norwood and myself entered the work force in 1975 - he in education (teacher & coach) compared to industry for myself (engineering). Our starting yearly salaries were within $1,000. Today, starting salaries are about $20,000 apart.).  There will also be a major teacher shortage in a few years.  As "Baby Boomers" leave teaching positions, there are simply not enough teachers to replace them.

Public choice continues to be a major push. Districts should be looking for choices within schools to minimize transportation issues (every 8 cents in fuel adds $1 million in expense for buses). South Carolina now leads the nation in Single Gender choice and may soon lead the nation in Montessori choice. Vouchers continue to be a major threat to public education.

They (Department of Education and State Legislature) continue to look at funding models with weightings for poverty, special needs, and high growth.

Superintendent Rex was very complimentary of York County Legislators for supporting education initiatives.

Carnival of Education

For those interested in checking out some education blogs, I suggest you go to: to see some that have been singled out.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Rock Hill Schools Business Meeting Notes for Monday, September 22nd

The Board took the following action at the September Business Meeting:

approved by a 7-0 vote the consent agenda items as follows: minutes of the August 25 and September 8 board meetings; personnel recommendations; overnight field trip requests submitted by Rock Hill High School and Northwestern High School; verified the 2008-09 school renewal plan for Rock Hill High School as required by the S.C. Dept. of Education; and agreed to send Trustee Jim Vining's September's board compensation to the Children's Attention Home Charter School.

approved by a 7-0 vote Policy GCO for first reading (Evaluation of Professional Staff) and second and final reading of Policies JBCC (School Choice), JKD (Suspension of Students), JKE (Expulsion of Students) and JICI (Weapons in Schools).

Aaron and Sheila Fields, representing the Rock Hill Elks Lodge, discussed their dictionary project. All third-graders, third-grade teachers, and principals will receive a complimentary dictionary for their personal and school use.

Rob Youngblood and Robby Belk, from the York County Regional Chamber, and David Casey, from Family Trust Federal Credit Union made presentations  to Bryan Coburn, District Teacher of the Year.

Northside Baptist Church made a request to host a weekly Good News Club at Northside Elementary after school hours during the school year. The board will discuss the request at its work session on October 13.

Superintendant Moody made the following announcements:
        The dedications of Mount Holly Elementary School and Dutchman Creek Middle School are scheduled for Sunday afternoon, October 5, and all Rock Hill citizens are invited to attend. The dedication of Mount Holly will be held at 1:30 in the school cafeteria whereas Dutchman Creek will hold its dedication at 3:30 in the school gymnasium.

        Monday, October 13, and Friday, October 24, will be "teacher days" in Rock Hill Schools.
        Wednesday, October 8, will be the second of six late start dates this year so that teachers can participate in staff development activities. Students in kindergarten for five-year-olds through grade 12 are to report to school on a two-hour delay. Parents who transport their children to school, and who need to drop them off at the usual time, should notify their school principal as soon as possible.

Serena Williams, coordinator of community services, made a report on the "Back the Pack" initiative that will have its kickoff on Friday, October 3.  The goal of "Back the Pack" is to provide backpacks filled with nutritious snacks to identified elementary students on Friday afternoons as they leave school so they will have something to eat over the weekend.

Superintendent Moody announce that the district will provide a tour of several schools to "seniors" who reside in local retirement communities on October 22. India Hook, Dutchman Creek, and South Pointe will be three of the designated stops.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Ross Shealy Speaking Wednesday at Baxter Library

This Wednesday, September 24th, at 6pm, Ross Shealy will discuss the danger of Private School Vouchers and tracking out of state money into South Carolina.. The meeting will be held at the Baxter Library (in Baxter Village) in Fort Mill.

This will be a key issue in the SC Senate District 16 race. District 16 includes Lancaster County, Fort Mill, and a very small part of the Rock Hill School District.

This is also a political rally for one of the candidates in that race, but regardless, this is an issue everyone needs to be informed on.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Crosstown Throwdown -- Rock Hill Schools Swim Meet

The "Crosstown Throwdown" Swim Meet will be this Thursday (September 25)
at the Rock Hill Aquatics Center. All three District 3 Varsity Swim
Teams (Rock Hill, South Pointe, and Northwestern) will be competing.
The event will start about 5:30PM and wrap up somewhere around 8:00 PM.

The meet will be a great time to see over 100 athletes compete hard but
join together afterwards for a quick bite and a social in good
sportsmanship. Also, this will be an opportunity to see the facilities
that District 3 has helped provide (best in South Carolina),
supplementing the important elementary school student swim lessons.

The Swimming community in Rock Hill is growing and you couldn't ask for
a more ideal sport. Swimming is a low impact, highly aerobic activity
in which these Swimmers can participate for a lifetime. The Varsity
Teams compete at three levels -- as team against team, as individuals
against individuals, and as individuals against their own best times. It
will be Rock Hill's own version of the Olympics.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Rock Hill Schools September Business Meeting on Monday, September 22

Meeting of the Board of Trustees

Monday, September 22, 2008

6:00 p.m. – Rock Hill School District Office Board Room




      I.    Call to Order

               Approval of Agenda

(Under consent agenda, all action items will be voted on after one motion and second to approve them without discussion.  If a board member wants any action item discussed or voted on separately, the board member, before the agenda is approved, must ask that the action item be moved to the discussion item section.)


       II.    Citizen Participation


       III.     Special Business

                 A.  Presentation by Sheila Fields, Rock Hill Elks Lodge on the Dictionary Project.

                 B.  Recognition of District Teacher of the Year, Bryan Coburn, by York Regional Chamber & Family Trust

                 C.  Recognition of Richmond Drive as SC Healthy School


        IV.     Consent Action Agenda

               A.    Approval of Minutes

                       1.  August 25, 2008, business meeting

                       2.  September 8, 2008 work session

               B.    Approval of Personnel Recommendations

               C.    Approval of Overnight Field Trip Requests (5; RHHS AFJROTC to Warner Robins AFB 1 day from school; NHS Drama to New York;                                NHS Chorus to Orlando 2 days from school; NHS Chorus to Oklahoma 3 days from school: NHS AFJROTC to Atlanta 1 day                                        from school.

               D.    Verification of 2008-09 Focused School Renewal Plan for Rock Hill High School

               E.     Approval of Distribution of Jim Vining's September Compensation to The Children's Attention Home Charter School.


V.Communications - Request for Use of Facilities by the Good News Club of Northside Baptist Church.


      VI.     Report of the Superintendent

A.  Announcements

B.  PACT Scores

C.  Early Childhood Report Card

D.  Demographic/Enrollment Report

E.  Back the Pack


      VII.     Review of Work Session


VIII.     Action Agenda

A.  Approval of Policy GCO – 1st Reading   
B.  Approval of Policy JBCC – 2nd Reading

C.  Approval of Policies JKD, JKE, JICI – 2nd Reading



    IX.    Other Business


   X.    Executive Session


       XI.    Adjourn

Back-to-School: It's More Than Shopping

According to a greatschools survey, parents are more than twice as likely to shop for supplies and clothes for their children as to:
  • Find out what their children will be learning in the new school year
  • Meet the new teachers
  • Adjust their children's sleep schedule
  • Get their children on a nutritional breakfast schedule
  • Increase their children's reading time
  • Reduce their children's video/computer game playing time
Read more about the survey and what parents should be doing by going to the Article

Rock Hill Schools Information for Thursday, September 18

Back the Pack to Get Under Way Oct. 3

When the school board meets Sept. 22, members will hear about one of the most heartwarming projects the district has undertaken in recent years—providing food for the many children who leave our schools on Friday and return on Monday without having much to eat over the weekend. Titled "Back the Pack," and sponsored by the Rock Hill School District Education Foundation, the goal is to provide a number of children (identified by their schools) with a special back pack filled with nutritious food that they'll receive as they leave school on Friday. Serena Williams, coordinator of community services, will oversee the program with Sue Kutz, a community volunteer.


A donation of $12 will feed one student for a month.

Imagination Library Kick Off a Success

Cindy Hunt, coordinator of ParentSmart, wants to thank everyone who helped publicize the Dolly Parton Imagination Library kick-off on Sept. 12. "It was a huge success," Cindy states. "We signed up over 250 children between the ages of birth and five who will receive free books monthly, and 1789 children were registered in York County." 

Supt. to Hold Community Coffee Hours

Dr. Lynn Moody will hold monthly coffee hours the first Wednesday morning of each month from 7:30-9:00, beginning Oct. 1 at Durango Bagel. Dr. Moody will be accompanied occasionally by school board members and members of her Cabinet.

Awards and Honors

¡The Northside Arts Troupe will perform tonight (9/18) at six o'clock in the N.C. Blumenthal Performing Arts Center for the Corporate Partners of the Education Institute. Last spring, the Troupe performed at the Kennedy Center for the Arts in Washington, D.C.

¡Pam Bernard, a second-grade teacher at Mount Holly Elementary, received a grant from Cargill, Inc., on September 12 in the amount of $1,000. Pam will use the money to purchase reading materials for her classroom.

Monday, September 15, 2008

SC Legislator Change Over Past 30 years

Thanks to State House Report ( for the SC legislator statistics.  They also have a commentary of what impact these changes have. Go to their web site for more information.
"A Statehouse Report comparison of the people who served in the legislature 30 years ago to those who were in Columbia this year is revealing:
  • Older. State legislators today are older by almost a decade. The average state senator's age in 1978 was 49; today, it's 57. In the House, the average member's age in 1978 was 46; today, it's 54.

  • Still male. The General Assembly continues to be dominated by men. Of the 170 members in both chambers today, 155 are men. This year, 15 lawmakers were women - up a whopping five members from 30 years ago.

  • Still white. Racial diversity at the Statehouse today is better than 30 years ago when blacks comprised only 8 percent of members. Today, 35 legislators - just over one in five -- are black, compared to 13 in 1978. But the number of black lawmakers today in the General Assembly still is fewer than the 30 percent you'd expect if the body were truly representative of the state's population. The biggest systemic change in diversity is in the state Senate, which had no black senators 30 years ago, but has eight today.

  • A lot more Republicans. In 1978, Democrats overwhelmingly dominated the General Assembly with 153 of 170 seats. Now they're out of power, but still hold 69 seats, compared to the 111 held by the GOP. Today, there are seven times more Republican lawmakers than just 30 years ago when they held three Senate seats and 13 House seats.

  • Fewer lawyers. Thirty years ago, lawyers dominated the General Assembly. Of the 170 members, 64 were attorneys; today, 38 legislators are lawyers. Alex Sanders, who served in the state Senate in 1978 before going on to become a judge and president of the College of Charleston, suggested for the higher number of lawyers then was because lawyers couldn't advertise like they can today. Thirty years ago, a great way for lawyers to get out their names to the public - particularly for young lawyers - was to run for office.

  • More retirees. In 1978, only three members of the legislature were retired. That's grown eightfold as 23 members today are retired - a statistic that likely accounts for today's Statehouse being filled with older members."

Rock Hill High School Choral Information

Concert Dates

Winter: Tuesday, December 16, 8 p.m.

Spring: April 30 and May 1, 2008, 8 p.m.

Booster Club

We also encourage all parents of choral students to attend booster club meetings.  Our next meeting will be Tuesday, October 14 and we need your help.  If you could spend an hour or so with us in October we would greatly appreciate it.  We need your input.  Thank you for being willing to participate, support, and enjoy these years together with your child.


We are currently selling Citipass coupon books for $25. 

Booster Club Membership

The RHHS Chorus Booster Program supports the chorus through tax-deductible contributions. 
The Rock Hill High School Chorus Booster Program is designed so that businesses and individuals can support the chorus through tax-deductible contributions while also receiving advertising benefits.  Of course, the most important benefit of any funds donated is that your gift supports the children of our community as well as the arts program.

The four levels of the program are:

       1.  BENEFACTOR – With a donation of $100.00 or more, you can become a Benefactor.  Benefactors will receive six tickets to both the winter and the spring concerts.

       2.  PATRON – With a donation of $50.00 or more, you can become a Patron. Patrons will receive four tickets to both the winter and spring concerts.

       3.  SPONSOR – With a donation of $25.00 or more, you can become a Sponsor.  Sponsors will receive two tickets to both the winter and spring concerts.

       4.  FAMILY MEMBERSHIP – With a donation of $10.00 or more, you and your immediate family can become members.

Your contribution should be sent to Mrs. Julia Williams at 530 Jennie Boyd Court, Rock Hill, S.C. 29730.  Please designate how you would like your name listed in the program.  Please make checks payable to RHHS Choral Booster Club.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Percentage of Students at District Three Schools Below Basic

Below is the data from the 2008 PACT tests showing the average percentage of students testing below basic
on all tests (by school).
School % of F&R Students Testing Below Basic (all tests) % of Non F&R Students Testing Below Basic (all tests) % F&R
 India Hook Elementary 18.20 7.29 37.4%
 Lesslie Elementary 23.24 10.94 42.0%
 Rosewood Elementary 24.79 10.73 47.8%
 Old Pointe Elementary 26.31 6.50 39.0%
 Belleview Elementary 26.51 10.06 55.9%
 Ebenezer Avenue Elementary 27.09 9.38 52.0%
 Ebinport Elementary 32.90 7.55 47.2%
 Mt Gallant Elementary 33.80 13.53 40.1%
 Northside Elementary 34.74 17.29 72.1%
 Independence Elementary 35.83 10.06 54.6%
District Average 36.07 13.09 45.3%
 W C Sullivan Middle 36.65 11.90 41.7%
 York Road Elementary 38.10 7.83 29.8%
 Finley Road Elementary 38.48 9.68 42.2%
 Castle Heights Middle 38.57 16.84 58.5%
 Richmond Dr Elementary 38.76 10.93 49.2%
 Rawlinson Road Middle 39.47 13.64 30.4%
 Sylvia Circle Elementary 40.00 11.10 49.0%
 Oakdale Elementary 40.53 19.77 46.4%
 Sunset Park Elementary 42.47 15.13 63.4%
 Saluda Trail Middle 44.59 20.15 46.1%

York Area PACT Scores - More Than You Want to Know

The soon to be retired PACT test was started in 1999 as part of the South Carolina Accountability ACT. Many legislatures believed they were implementing a test that would be used to remove bad teachers and retain students who didn't meet SC State Standards. The test was so difficult to score, results have never been received in time to retain students and the information, coupled with changing students, was all but impossible to be used to remove teachers.

Then No Child Left Behind (NCLB) came to be and the PACT test was then migrated into the NCLB requirements - something it was never meant to be. The use of PACT helped give SC education a black eye because it is one of the few world class exams used for NCLB measurement (see chart to left). This doesn't mean we don't have a lot to work on, just that we have higher standards than other states and our NCLB numbers look worse than they would if the same test were used in every state.

Some York County Area District numbers for the 2008 PACT test are below. The numbers represent the average percentage of Free & Reduced Lunch (F&R) students who score Below Basic (BB) on all PACT tests and the average percentage of Non- F&R students who score BB on all PACT tests. There are a lot of other areas which can be compared - but these students are the ones most likely to drop out of school before graduation.

District % of F&R Students Testing Below Basic (all tests) % F&R % of Non F&R Students Testing Below Basic (all tests)
Fort Mill 25.34 16.7% 6.91
Clover 30.24 28.4% 11.00
York 31.17 51.3% 16.49
Rock Hill 36.07 45.3% 13.09
State Avg 37.48 53.0% 14.46
Lancaster 38.85 48.2% 18.42
Chester 47.48 61.3% 26.14

As has been reported, scores were not significantly different than last year. However, the big shock is going to come in November when NCLB report cards arrive. NCLB requires a leap in tests scores for the 2008-09 year to stay on track for every student to exceed expectations by 2014. A lot of schools that have been "passing" schools will be graded as "failing" even though they might have made small progress from the previous year.

So, as a parent, what does this mean?

You will be fine as long as you read to your preschoolers, keep interested and support you child in elementary school (including volunteering in school), and keep your child in advanced classes in middle and high school. Parental support and interest continues to be the biggest factor in education success.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Seven schools recognized for promoting healthy habits among students and staff - Included is Rock Hill's Richmond Drive Elementary

COLUMBIA - Seven South Carolina public schools have received Healthy Schools
awards for their efforts to promote wellness among students and staff, State
Superintendent of Education Jim Rex announced today.

The South Carolina Healthy Schools Awards are a joint effort of the State
Department of Education and the Department of Health and Environmental
Control. The awards are given to schools that demonstrate a coordinated team
approach to improving student health and provide evidence of achieving best

"We congratulate these outstanding schools," Rex said. "Their
administrators, staff and students all recognize the importance of
developing and practicing healthy habits. In addition to providing
excellent examples for schools searching for ways to promote children's
health, these programs showcase successful strategies that adults are using
as well."

Jennie Moore Elementary School and Drayton Hall Elementary
School in Charleston County and Hunt Meadows Elementary School in Anderson
School District One each achieved status as an eight-component award winning
school. Richmond Drive Elementary School in Rock Hill School District met
six of eight components of the coordinated approach to school health, and
Wren Elementary School in Anderson School District One met five of the
components. Both Tamassee-Salem Elementary School in Oconee County and West
View Elementary School in Spartanburg School District Six met three of the
eight components.

"It's no secret that healthy children learn better," said DHEC commissioner
Earl Hunter. "We're pleased to be part of a program that not only recognizes
this important concept, but also works to promote behaviors and activities
in our schools that can improve health and learning opportunities for
children. These award winners are wonderful examples of the vision we have
of healthy people living in healthy communities."

To be designated a Healthy School, schools must show a coordinated team
approach to improving student health and provide evidence of achieving best
practices in at least one component of the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention's Adolescent and School Health Eight-Component model of
Coordinated School Health. The components are: health and safety policies
and environment; health education; physical education and physical activity;
nutrition services; health services; guidance, psychological and social
services; health promotion for staff; and family and community involvement.

Eight Component Winner
Jennie Moore Elementary School - Charleston County School District
Principal: Karen Felder

Eight Component Winner

Drayton Hall Elementary School - Charleston County

Principal: John Cobb

Eight Component Winner
Hunt Meadows Elementary School - Anderson One

Principal: Nancy Prince

Six Component Winner

Richmond Drive Elementary School - Rock Hill School District Three

Principal: Patrick Maness

Richmond Drive Elementary School supports student health in a variety of
ways. The school has embraced providing healthy foods for celebrations and
fundraising with healthy items.

The principal supports the "Girls on the Run" program and runs the five-K
race with them.

Five Component Winner

Wren Elementary School - Anderson One

Principal: Rhonda Tunstall

Three Component Winner
Tamassee-Salem Elementary School - Oconee County

Principal: Myra Dillard

Three Component Winner

West View Elementary - Spartanburg 6

Principal: Shawn Wooten

WRHI Straight Talk Archives

WRHI has had several educators on their "Straight Talk" show. You can
listen to those interviews from their archives. Click on the links below to
listen to your favorite educator:

Sheila Huckabee, Executive Director for Secondary Education, Rock Hill
School District #3 Pathways Program and new grading system:

Dr. Anthony Digiorgio, President of Winthrop University Declining State
funding and its impact on Winthrop:

Donna Wooldridge and Teresa Creech, York County Early Learning Partnership
Their newest early literacy initiative, The Dolly Parton Imagination

Dr. Lynn Moody, Rock Hill School District #3 Superintendent The challenges
of providing a quality education in a growing district and the new
Professional Code:

WHERE WE STAND: America's Schools in the 21st Century (PBS documentary) airing Monday, 9/15

The PBS documentary "WHERE WE STAND: America's Schools in the 21st Century" will be broadcast on Monday, September 15th, at 10:00 pm on SC ETV.  It has interviews with students, parents, teachers and administrators. A short sample (Source: PBS):

In 1995, America's college graduation rate was second in the world. Ten years later, it ranked 15th. As so many nations around the world continue to improve their systems of education, America can no longer afford to maintain the status quo. In an ever-changing, increasingly competitive global economy, is the U.S. doing all it can to prepare its students to win jobs and maintain a robust economy?  WHERE WE STAND: America's Schools in the 21st Century, premiering Monday, September 15, 2008 at 10 p.m. (check your local listings) on PBS, presents a frank evaluation of our educational system's strengths and weaknesses. Hosted by Judy Woodruff, Senior Correspondent for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, the documentary will visit schools throughout Ohio, an important swing state that represents a range of socioeconomic and geographic school districts. The program will feature schools in urban Cincinnati, suburban Columbus, and rural Belpre.

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