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Friday, October 31, 2008

Rock Hill Schools Information for Friday, October 31

Stallions V. Bearcats
Tickets for the South Pointe/Rock Hill High varsity football game on Nov. 6
will be on sale starting Monday, November 3. Rock Hill High will sell
tickets from their Athletic Department Office; South Pointe will sell
tickets in the school's main lobby. Both schools will sell tickets on Nov.
3, Nov. 5, and Nov. 6 from 11:00-2:00. This will be a South Pointe Home
Game. South Pointe season ticket holder passes will get them into the game.

Ticket prices are $7 in advance and $8 at the gate.

November 4
All schools and district offices will be closed for Election Day.

Program Needs Employees' Help
Applications for Toys for Happiness, a holiday assistance program for
income-eligible families with children between birth and age 14, will be
available at ParentSmart, beginning Nov. 7.

¡Dorothy Burris, custodian for the district office, is featured on the cover
and in an article in the winter edition of HealthBreak, a publication of
Piedmont Medical Center. The article deals with heart disease symptoms in

¡The Theatre Department at Rawlinson Road has been awarded a $250 grant from
the Cargill Corporation, thanks to the grant writing of Naomi Thomas, drama

¡Belk Department Store will hold its fall charity sale from 6:00 a.m. until
10:00 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 15, to benefit local charities and nonprofits,
including the Boys and Girls Clubs of York County. By purchasing a $5 ticket
from the Boys and Girls Clubs, one can save 20-50% off Belk products,
including rarely discounted brands, plus $5 off one's first purchase. To buy
a ticket, contact Sara Hunt at or call (803) 324-7920.

¡Northwestern's Bryan Coburn, District Teacher of the Year, has been awarded
a $25,000 grant from AdvanceSC for the purchase of a Rapid Prototyping
machine for Northwestern.
¡South Pointe Cheerleaders will host a BBQ fund-raiser at the SP v. RHH
football games on Nov. 5 and 6. Plates will be $7 and a pound of BBQ will be
$8. Orders will be available for pick up at the District Three Stadium both
days between 5:00-7:00 p.m. Coach Adrianne Neal will provide tickets and
take orders until the close of the workday on Nov. 3 by calling (704)

Theatre Productions Certain to Please

¡South Pointe's Choral Program will present its Third Annual Madrigal
Feaste at 7:00 p.m. on Nov. 8 and at 2:00 p.m. on Nov. 9 in the school's
Renaissance-style dinner theatre (cafeteria). Tickets at $15 for adults and
$10 for children age 10 and under include a four-course meal fit for a king,
as well as singing, entertainment, and a lot of jovial merriment. The Feaste
spotlights English teacher Michael Henthorn as King James I and science
teacher Melissa Holland as his queen plus many talented students. For
tickets, contact director Beverly Laney via email or by calling 980-2172.

¡Northwestern's Musical Theatre Class, directed by Tamara Altman, will
present Thoroughly Modern Millie at 7:00 p.m. November 5-8 in the school

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bob Norwood on Straight Talk

Bob Norwood gets interviewed on WRHI's Straight Talk Show. You can hear a
replay here.

Rock Hill Schools Robotics Mentoring Needed

The Rock Hill School District Robotics Team needs help from some adult
"fix anything" guys. Anyone who likes to tinker and work with High
School Students should contact Mack Bailey at Rock Hill High School . The team is meeting now, practicing with
Lego robots, thinking about fund-raising and logo design, and organizing
the shop. Mentoring help will be needed in January and February.

Mack Bailey

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Help Feed Hungry Students

Support Back the Pack at Williams & Fudge, Inc. on Saturday, November 8, 7 am - 1pm, at the Old Cotton Factory off Dave Lyle Blvd. This effort supports Rock Hill School students who go without adequate nutrition. Bring food (breakfast bars, crackers, fruit snacks, handi-snacks, protein bars, pop-tarts, pudding cups, raisins, sugar-free cereal, 100% fruit juice boxes, or any ready to eat snack that a child can take home) or money. $12 will feed a child for a month, $105 will feed a child for a year. Goal is $25,000 to help feed the 500 identified Rock Hill Children for the year.

There will be a bake sale, mascots, and fun for the whole family!

If you are unable to attend, you may write checks to the Rock Hill School District Foundation and mail to the Attention of Wendy Stewart, P.O. Box 11590, Rock Hill, SC 29731.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Are Vouchers Working?

Debi Bush has an interesting OP ED in the Greenville News, Evidence Shows Vouchers Not Working . Read her comments and research her statistics to form your own opinion.

Rock Hill Schools October Business Meeting Results

Action Items:

-approved 7-0 the consent agenda consisting of ; minutes of the September 22 and October 13 school board meetings; personnel recommendations; overnight field trip requests submitted by Rock Hill High, South Pointe, Sullivan, Ebenezer Avenue, Rawlinson Road, and Dutchman Creek; agreed to attach a copy of the revenue summary for the 2008-09 General Fund Budget to the June 2008 board minutes; and approved distribution of Trustee Jim Vining's October-December board compensation to Back the Pack, RH Elementary School Honors Choir, and Rock Hill Schools' Robotics Team

-approved 7-0 first reading of policies DKB (Salary Deductions), JI (Student Rights and Responsibilities), GBAA (Employee Racial/Sexual Discrimination and Harassment), and second reading of policy GCO (Evaluation of Professional Staff);

-approved 6-1 trips to Hawaii during the 2009 spring break for the bands at Northwestern and at Rock Hill High. Due to travel accommodations, band members will have to miss more school days than previously thought, but the board was assured that teachers will work with students to make up missed work. Brown voted against because of trip security issues.

In other business:

The Northwestern High School Purple Regiment Band was recognized as the 2008 South Carolina 4A State Champion. The band has won many championships, but this is its first state championship. Representing Northwestern was Band Director Larry Wells and Principal James Blake.

Allowed Eddie Knox, Ralph Brannon, and Hugh Barnett (96 years young) to discuss their participation in the Senior Tour '08 on October 22. They told how much they enjoyed visiting the schools, watching the teachers, and getting to interact with the students.

The Rock Hill High School Athletic Program was recognized on its selection as the 2007-08 Class 4A, Region 3 Award of Excellence for exemplary display of sportsmanship, ethics, and integrity. Representing Rock Hill High were Principal Judy Mobley and Athletic Director Billy Parker.

Supt. Moody made the following announcements:
Students will receive their first report cards this school year on Thursday, October 30.
The next Community Chat will be held on Wed. morning, Nov. 5, at Durango Bagel in the Millwood Shopping Center on Herlong Avenue. Come talk about the Rock Hill Schools between 7:30-9:00. The first chat was held on Oct. 1 with an excellent turnout.

All schools and offices will be closed on Election Day, November 4 (although many will be open for voting), and for the Thanksgiving holidays, Wednesday through Friday, Nov. 26-28.

The school board's next work session will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Mon., Nov. 10, in the Cyber Cafe at the Flexible Learning Center. Dr. Walter Wolff, director of the Phoenix Academy, will serve as the host.

Wednesday, November 12, will be the third 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.

Assoc. Supt. Bill Mabry provided information on projected reductions in funding for K-12 this year. From information received from the State Dept., school districts will not see any further reduction of funds related to the Education Finance Act, employer contributions, retiree insurance, EEDA guidance, career specialist or nurse funds at this time. The district will have to absorb a reduction in Education Improvement Act funds, which could possibly total $1 million.

Assoc. Supt. Harriet Jaworowski gave a report on Adequate Yearly Progress. Dr. Jaworowski stated that Rock Hill Schools did not meet AYP in 2007 or in 2008, but most schools met more objectives in 2008 than in 2007.

Trustee Walter Brown state that public education (K-12) was foremost in the minds of House and Senate members as they looked at budget reductions, and that we owe them a vote of thanks.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Northwestern High School Band Wins State Championship!

The Northwestern High School Purple Regiment Band took first place in the 4A State Championship on Saturday. The Fort Mill Band came in Second and the Clover Band came in Fourth.

Pro Voucher Math

Sometimes you wonder how groups compare statistics. This video may give some insight.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Rock Hill Schools October Business Meeting on the 27th

Meeting of the Board of Trustees

Monday, October 27, 2008

6:00 p.m. – 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. Senior Tour ‘08

B. Recognition of RHHS by S.C. High School League

IV. Consent Action Agenda

A. Approval of Minutes

1. September 22, 2008, business meeting

2. October 13, 2008 work session

B. Approval of Personnel Recommendations

C. Approval of Overnight Field Trip Requests (8)

D. Approval of Distribution of Jim Vining’s Compensation (Oct-Dec, "Back the Pack", District Three Elementary Honors Choir, District Three Robotics Team)

E. Approval of Addition of 08-09 Itemized Budget Information to June Minutes


VI. Report of the Superintendent

A. Announcements

B. Budget/State Revenue Report

C. AYP Report

D. Curriculum Mapping

VII. Review of Work Session

VIII. Action Agenda

A. Approval of Policy DKB – 1st Reading

B. Approval of Policy JI – 1st Reading

C. Approval of Policy GBAA – 1st Reading

D. Approval of Policy GCO – 2nd Reading

IX. Other Business

X. Executive Session

XI. Adjourn

Fillet and Broome on Straight Talk

Lance Fillet and Deborah Broome, candidates for the Rock Hill School Trustee At Large and District 3 spots, respectively, were recently on WRHI's Straight Talk radio show. Here their comments here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Rock Hill Schools News for Wednesday, October 22nd

by Elaine Baker
A number of Rock Hill senior citizens will return to school today with tour guide Luanne Kokolis, associate supt. for planning. The seniors will visit South Pointe, Mount Holly, the Flexible Learning Center, and Dutchman Creek, where they'll enjoy having lunch with the students. 

Members of the RH School District Foundation will be at the Oct. 24 South Pointe football game to accept donations for "Back the Pack." They will have a tent set up in the District Three South Stadium (next to South Pointe) to accept individually packaged, non-perishable snack items and tax-deductible monetary donations.
Citizens who are interested in filling back-packs or stocking shelves can meet at the Flex-ible Learning Center on Wednesdays between 11:00-4:00 and on Thursdays between 8:00 -4:00.  
The Northwestern Purple Regiment, directed by Larry Wells, placed first and was named 4A Upper State Champion on Oct. 18. The band also placed first and named Grand Champion at the prestigious Western Carolina Tournament of Bands on Oct. 11.

The South Pointe Band of Thunder, directed by James Turner, placed fifth out of 19 bands at the 3A Upper State Championship on Oct. 18.

Family Trust FCU will hold a huge yard sale on Oct. 25 to raise money for the Children's Attention Home and Tender Hearts, a shelter for women and children. See attached notice for details.

Linda Hutchinson, coordinator at the Central Child Dev. Center, participated on a national writing team for new Environmental Education Standards for Early Childhood in Wichita, Kansas, October 13-15.

Dutchman Creek's Rebecca Lawson is the guest blogger for the National Middle School Assn. (NMSA) during October on the Public Broadcasting Service's (PBS) Media Infusion blog site. The topic is on resources that engage adolescents in learning and support their developmental and social needs. 

Supt. Lynn Moody will have lunch with secondary student leaders on Friday, Oct. 24, at The City Club. During her two years as superintendent, Dr. Moody has met with students numerous times just to hear their viewpoints.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Rock Hill School Board Candidates Forum - October 23rd

6 to 7:15 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23

Center for the Arts, 121 E. Main St., Rock Hill

Two candidates are seeking Trustee Seat 3, and three out of the four candidates seeking the Trustee At Large seat are expected at the forum. The moderator will be Wayne Wingate, York County Regional Chamber Board Chair and local business owner.

AP Verses IB Classes

The difference between AP and IB courses has been debated in Rock Hill since IB was offered in the late 90's. My family experience is that both are good, college level programs. Jay Mathews, of the Washington Post, has some comments today on the AP/IB Debate and also a descussion on colleges taking a long time to evaluate the IB program. It appears SC colleges have been more open to the value of the IB program.

SC Budget Shortfall Action This Week!

With our state's projected $480 million budget shortfall for the current fiscal year (FY 2008-2009) and with the SC General Assembly convening tomorrow, there is a real likelihood that South Carolina state government will re-consider raising the tax on a pack of cigarettes NOW (this week).
Please contact your House member and your Senator ASAP -- and tell them both:
  • To support raising the SC state cigarette tax AS HIGH AS POSSIBLE.
    • For example: a 93-cent increase in our state's per-pack cigarette tax will generate just over $300 million in new state revenue
  • That the national average for state cigarette tax is now $1.20 PER PACK.
  • That the first $2 million of new state cigarette tax revenues should go to reinstating youth tobacco-use prevention-education programs and SC Quitline cessation-support services that went unfunded for this fiscal year when H. 3567 was negated by Governor Sanford's veto in June 2008.
    • "An ounce of prevention [surely] is worth a pound of cure" -- $1 spent to prevent tobacco use from starting saves $16 in subsequent health care costs
  • That all remaining new state cigarette tax revenues should go toward maintaining the budgets of state programs that currently are:
    • Paying for the direct health care costs caused by adult cigarette smoking in our state; and/or 
    • Helping to enforce state laws that prohibit cigarette sales to underage youth throughout our state.
  • To be prepared to override Governor Sanford's veto, if implemented this time around
REMEMBER -- state budget action will happen this week -- so call without delay and make your voice heard NOW !!!
Dum Spiro Spero,

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Stagnant Nation

Read the follow up to the 1983 report, A Nation at Risk. Executive summary (3 pages) of , Why American Students are still at Risk , or the full Report (24 pages)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Rock Hill High Vs. South Pointe Football Game Has Been Rescheduled

The Rock Hill High Vs. South Pointe Football game, originally scheduled for Friday, November 7 at District South Stadium has been moved to Thursday, November 6 at District Three Stadium on Cherry Road.  South Pointe will be the home team. This change was made to remove the conflict with the Northwestern Vs. Gaffney game on the 7th and allow for a bigger crowd (District Three on Cherry Road can hold several thousand more fans).

Friday, October 17, 2008

Don't believe the myth

I thought this Blog from the National School Boards Association was worth repeating.


October 16, 2008

Don't believe the myth

Well, it finally happened. Our presidential candidates were actually posed a question about education in last night’s debate — although we had to wait until the last question of the debate. But BoardBuzz was not exactly happy with the way in which the question was asked.

Moderator Bob Schieffer asked:

The question is this: the U.S. spends more per capita than any other country on education. Yet, by every international measurement, in math and science competence, from kindergarten through the 12th grade, we trail most of the countries of the world.

And that's when we hit the roof! Here we go again, with the spreading of the myth that the U.S. spends more on education than any other country. Won’t somebody actually look at the facts? Ask and you shall receive! That's exactly what the Center for Public Education is for and here is what they found out:

Out of 35 countries analyzed by the OECD 14 actually spend more on education as a percent of GDP—a measure of a nation’s overall wealth—than the United States. While the U.S. spends 3.8 percent of our wealth on primary and secondary education, the United Kingdom-- which ranks third-- spends 4.6 percent. Even Mexico spends 4.4 percent of their wealth on education. As a matter of fact the U.S. spends just as much as the average industrialized country.

The U.S. does invest more in elementary and middle school education ranking 8th but when it comes to investing in our high schools the U.S. actually drops to 23rd, not exactly throwing money at our high schools.

So to say the U.S. spends more on education than any other country is just plain wrong. BoardBuzz isn’t arguing that more money by itself will cure the challenges our schools face. However, the debate on how to use taxpayer money is of the utmost importance, especially to school board members for whom taxpayers entrust their money to be spent wisely. But we would assert that the funding debate shouldn’t be clouded by the myth that the U.S. spends more than any other country already.

And don’t get BoardBuzz started about the whole “we trail most of the countries of the world” in every measure of math and science competency issue. As a matter of fact, our 4th and 8th graders perform in the middle of the pack. Bob Schieffer would know this if he just glanced at the Center for Public Education’s More than a horse race: A guide to international assessments of student achievement.

To check out for yourself how U.S. education spending compares to other countries check out Indicator B2: What proportion of national wealth is spent on education? in OECD’s Education at a Glance 2008.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Issue The SC Legislature Will Face With Revenue Shortfall

Districts spend the vast majority of their General Fund allocations on salaries, so cuts must be made to items such as travel, supplies, maintenance, etc., items which typically make up only 12% of the overall budget.

Even a relatively small cut on the General Fund dollars can have a big impact.

Assumption 1: Salary and Fringe Benefits constitute 88% of the General Fund Budget.

Assumption 2: This leaves a non-salary/fringe budget of 12%.

Assumption 3: The decision is made not to layoff teachers or support staff.

This means only 12% of the General Fund Budget is available to absorb any State cuts.

If there is a 3% budget cut, this would equal 25% (3/12) of the non-salary/fringe budget.

If the cut comes at mid year, and half of the funds are already expended, then that 3% would equal 50% (3/6) of the remaining 6% of the non-salary/fringe budget.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

SC Club for Growth Releases 2007-2008 Legislative Scorecard

The South Carolina Club for Growth has released their 07-08 Legislative Scorecard. They claim to look at several issues, but a major issue (for a good score) is supporting vouchers. A low grade from these folks would generally indicate a strong support for public education. Some of our local grades were as follows:

Short F-
Hayes F
Gullick D
Kirsh D
Peeler D
Gregory C
Simrill C+
Delleney B
Mulvaney A+

Friday, October 10, 2008

Norwood Has Blog Site

Bob Norwood has a Blog Site for the Election. Bob is running for reelection to the Rock Hill School Board.

Back The Pack Video

Back the Pack video is now on the District Website. This video will tell how you can help.

Rock Hill Schools Board Work Session on October 13

LOCATION: York Road Elementary School

START: 5:30 p.m.

DATE: October 13, 2008

WORK SESSION - Media Center

1 Presentation by York Road Patrick Robinson 30 minutes

2 Volunteer & Partnership Awards - Belleview & Sunset Park Serena Williams 15 minutes

3 Policy KF - Use of School Facilities Bill Mabry / Brian Vaughan 20 minutes

4 Good News Club Request Brian Vaughan 10 minutes

5 Budget/State Revenue Report Bill Mabry 10 minutes

6 AYP Update Harriet Jaworowski 5 minutes

7 Transforming for the Future Lynn Moody/Bob Norwood 45 minutes

8 New Policy DKB - Salary Deductions Bill Mabry 5 minutes

9 Policy GBAA - Employee Racial/Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Beckye Partlow 5 minutes

10 Policy JI - Student Rights and Responsibilities Luanne Kokolis 5 minutes

11 Executive Session Property Matter 30 minutes

Rock Hill Schools Election News

Two Rock Hill Schools Board candidates were recently on WRHI's Straight Talk show. David Griffin was on the second half of the October 9 show and Mildred Douglas was on the first half of the October 8 show. Griffin also has a web site.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Rock Hill Schools Information for October 8

"Back the Pack" Off to Great Start
Oct. 3 Dozens of volunteers showed up at the October 3rd kickoff at the Flex Center to accept food, books, and money. Six food items and two drinks were placed in over 600 packs for the children who have little or nothing to eat when they're not in school. The first distribution date is set for this Friday, Oct. 10.
ParentSmart Offers Free Parenting Class
For parents who want their elementary age children to help with chores, avoid temper tantrums, and stop arguing when it's bedtime, ParentSmart has the answer. For eight weeks beginning Oct. 16, weekly parenting classes will be offered. For more info, call 803.981-1557.
Band of Thunder Sweeps Awards
Congratulations to director James Turner and the South Pointe Band of Thunder on an outstanding job on Oct. 4 at the Olde English Festival of Bands held in Rock Hill. The band won all three caption awards for best music, guard, and percussion and won class 2A. The band placed 5th overall and 4th overall in music.
Ebinport Students Await Halloween Treat
Ebinport students have two treats in store, thanks to music teacher Lucille Harper. Grades 4 and 5 will listen to Jimmy Sims, a professional singer from Germany on Oct. 9, and kindergarteners will be treated to a percussion performance and workshop on Oct. 31 by Gary Green, drummer for Hootie and the Blowfish.

Friday, October 3, 2008

AYP thwarts Accountability

The Spartanburg Herald Journal has a good article on AYP (Annual Yearly Progress) and NCLB (No Child Left Behind). You can find the entire article here.

From the article:

"It isn't because the schools are getting worse or children aren't learning as much. The students are learning more, and the schools are improving. The higher test scores on the Palmetto Achievement Challenge Tests (PACT) show that improvement.

But the improvement is deemed inadequate by a failed federal system that twists state processes and obscures any meaningful standard of progress."

I agree with this. However, the article goes on to say:

"Education is a state matter. The federal government has no constitutional role to play in running state schools."

Which I wish I could agree with. A problem with NCLB is that it didn't set up national standards and it didn't fully fund improvements needed to meet NCLB targets (which are ultimately unachievable - do we really believe every child can meet proficient standards?). I believe our country needs national standards. The fact some states "sand bagged" their standards, and our country's history of treating citizens unequally, proves there needs to be a national conscience. It is important that our citizens reach a proficiency to secure our freedoms and democracy.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Rock Hill Schools Information for Thursday, October 2nd

Band Festival Set for October 4
Fifteen of the finest high school bands in North and South Carolina will compete in the Olde English Festival of Bands in District Three Stadium on Sat., Oct. 4, beginning at 1:45 p.m. Admission will be $8 for adults, $5 for students, and free for children under 6.
South Pointe's Band of Thunder will compete at 3:30. Festival co-sponsors, Rock Hill High's Band of Distinction and Northwestern's Purple Regiment, will perform only as exhibition bands (RHH at 5:30 and NHS at 9:15).
Sunday Oct. 5 – Dedications of Newest Schools
      Mount Holly Elementary, 1:30 p.m.
      Dutchman Creek Middle, 3:30 p.m.
Back the Pack Kickoff To Be On Friday, October 3
Serena Williams, coordinator of community services, members of the Rock Hill School District Foundation, and volunteers, including staff members in the district office, are ready to accept food and money at the Back the Pack kickoff  Friday afternoon from 3:00-5:00 at the Flexible Learning Center.
Shane Goodwin, principal at Ebinport Elementary, and  Kevin Davis, assistant principal at Rawlinson Road Middle School, were recipients of Christian Educator awards on Sept. 21 at St. Mary's Catholic Church. Sponsored by the RH Christian Educators Assn. International, the award is given to individuals who display hard work and dedication to the education profession.
¡Cathy Griffin a social studies teacher at Northwestern High School, has been selected to judge the George State Finals of the "We the People Competition" in December. This is a national academic competition where students show their knowledge of the U.S. Constitution.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

SC AYP Results Have Been Released

South Carolina has released the AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) results for mostl schools. You can see the results for each Rock Hill Elementary and Middle School here. AYP data for high schools as well as district and state level data won’t be released until next week.

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