Review Category : School News

Hope & Homecoming

Story and photos by Bob Sofaly

Last Friday night at Eagle Stadium was full of special events for students, parent and alumni. The game started with a moment of silence and a candlelight vigil against domestic violence.

It was also a crucial Region 8-AAA game against the Hilton Head Island Seahawks, and was also Homecoming night.

At halftime, the student body of BHS presented HELP of Beaufort with more than 7,000 of nonperishable food.

The Beaufort High School Eagles defeated the Seahawks from Hilton Head 28-14, keeping their play-off hope alive.

The Beaufort High School cheerleaders held a candle light vigil and moment of silence prior to the football game last Friday night against domestic violence since October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The Beaufort High School cheerleaders held a candle light vigil and moment of silence prior to the football game last Friday night against domestic violence since October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Steve Curless, left, president of HELP of Beaufort, accepts a representation of the more than 7,000-pound donation of nonperishable food from Beaufort High School principal Cory Murphy.

Steve Curless, left, president of HELP of Beaufort, accepts a representation of the more than 7,000-pound donation of nonperishable food from Beaufort High School principal Cory Murphy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014 Homecoming: Alex Zapp, second from left, is crowned the 2014 Beaufort High School Homecoming Queen by Elise Dean. King of Court was Zach Wilson, center, crowned by BHS principal Cory Murphy.

2014 Homecoming: Alex Zapp, second from left, is crowned the 2014 Beaufort High School Homecoming Queen by Elise Dean. King of Court was Zach Wilson, center, crowned by BHS principal Cory Murphy.

 

 

 
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Pageant crowns Miss Battery Creek High School

From left: Miss BCHS Contestant Jasmine Middleton; The newly crowned Miss BCHS 2014 LaSchirrae Morrall; First Runner-up Tinea Morris; and Miss BCHS Contestant Elizabeth Ford.

From left: Miss BCHS Contestant Jasmine Middleton; The newly crowned Miss BCHS 2014 LaSchirrae Morrall; First Runner-up Tinea Morris; and Miss BCHS Contestant Elizabeth Ford.

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From left: Miss Blue and Gold Contestant DaeJahne Williams; Mr. Blue and Gold DeAnthony Moore; Miss Blue and Gold Mary Rice; and Miss Blue and Gold Contestant Carmen Jade Little.

From left: Miss Blue and Gold Contestant DaeJahne Williams; Mr. Blue and Gold DeAnthony Moore; Miss Blue and Gold Mary Rice; and Miss Blue and Gold Contestant Carmen Jade Little.

 

 

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School Notes

BATTERY CREEK HIGH

• BCHS Wrestling Coach will be honored in the 2015 SCWCA Best Western North South All Star classic. This is a tremendous honor. The event will be held on March 4-7, 2015 in North Myrtle Beach.

• Sports physicals to be held at BCHS on Saturday, Nov. 1, from 9 to 11 a.m. in the small gym. Cost: $10. All students wishing to participate in Winter or Spring Sports should plan to get their physical at this time. The physical forms are available in the front office; this physical will be valid through July, 30, 2015.

BEAUFORT ACADEMY

• The weeklong Scholastic Book Fair continues until Friday, Oct. 24. The book fair is set up in the gym lobby and open during middle school lunch, after school, and during the Fall Festival.  All are invited to come and shop.

• Thursday, Oct. 23: Red Ribbon Week begins, thank you to Doug Kahn and Dr. Clark Trask for being guest speakers.

• Thursday, Oct. 23: Cheer Camp for students in grades PreK through 4th

• Friday, Oct. 24: BA’s annual Fall Festival, 3:15-5 p.m.

• Friday, Oct. 24: BA’s last home football game and Senior Night, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Game vs. Andrew Jackson.

• Wednesday, Oct. 29: Half-day for all students, dismissal at 11:30 a.m. Faculty professional development.

BRIDGES PREP

• New York Times best-selling author Dave Burgess, of “Teach Like a Pirate,” visited Bridges teachers from San Diego this past Saturday, October 18, and brought along his outrageously energetic performance art, mixed with a “too powerful to ignore” inspirational message of how and why to become more passionate in the classroom.

Blues Musician Scott Ainslie visited BA last week and both performed a concert for the students and gave afterschool workshops. The concert description was “Across The Color Line: The African South”, and illustrated the African retentions still influencing American popular music today. A crowd favorite was the cigar box guitar, which only had one string and was made from an old cigar box and a pool cue! What an awesome experience for students and teachers.

Blues Musician Scott Ainslie visited BA last week and both performed a concert for the students and gave afterschool workshops. The concert description was “Across The Color Line: The African South”, and illustrated the African retentions still influencing American popular music today. A crowd favorite was the cigar box guitar, which only had one string and was made from an old cigar box and a pool cue! What an awesome experience for students and teachers.

First graders from Bridges Preparatory School went on a field trip to Dempsey Farms last Thursday. Students loved picking pumpkins out in the field with friends. They also enjoyed listening to Farmer Davey tell about farming and about the different fruits and vegetables that they grow at the farm.

First graders from Bridges Preparatory School went on a field trip to Dempsey Farms last Thursday. Students loved picking pumpkins out in the field with friends. They also enjoyed listening to Farmer Davey tell about farming and about the different fruits and vegetables that they grow at the farm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recently, Beaufort High Teacher Cadets attended College Day at The Citadel.  The Citadel is our college partner that extends college credit for successful completion of the teacher cadets class. The university partners one of their professors with our class, and that person periodically comes to teach the class. College Day was spent learning about the application process, financial aid and college life. Teacher cadets were also addressed by the SC Teacher of the Year and Principal of the Year. Pictured above is Teacher Cadet sponsor, Debi Kidd, at far right, along with members of the Teacher Cadet class.

Recently, Beaufort High Teacher Cadets attended College Day at The Citadel. The Citadel is our college partner that extends college credit for successful completion of the teacher cadets class. The university partners one of their professors with our class, and that person periodically comes to teach the class. College Day was spent learning about the application process, financial aid and college life. Teacher cadets were also addressed by the SC Teacher of the Year and Principal of the Year. Pictured above is Teacher Cadet sponsor, Debi Kidd, at far right, along with members of the Teacher Cadet class.

Literature Comes To Life: The fourth grade class at Beaufort Academy went to Hunting Island to learn more about zooplankton and phytoplankton. The students impressed the Park Ranger as they shared their extensive knowledge of organisms and habitats. In addition, they completed island tasks like crabbing and searching the beach for supplies much like Karana was forced do in order to survive in the novel, “Island of the Blue Dolphins.” It was a great learning experience, literature connection and tribe triumph.

Literature Comes To Life: The fourth grade class at Beaufort Academy went to Hunting Island to learn more about zooplankton and phytoplankton. The students impressed the Park Ranger as they shared their extensive knowledge of organisms and habitats. In addition, they completed island tasks like crabbing and searching the beach for supplies much like Karana was forced do in order to survive in the novel, “Island of the Blue Dolphins.” It was a great learning experience, literature connection and tribe triumph.

 

 

 

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Sheriff’s Office recognizes school for drill performance

The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Management Division wishes to recognize Principal Constance Goodwine-Lewis and her staff and students at Broad River Elementary School for their exemplary performance during last week’s earthquake drill.

Governor Nikki Haley proclaimed the week of October 12-18 to be Earthquake Awareness Week in South Carolina, and the SC Emergency Management Division encouraged everyone to take this opportunity to learn about our state’s seismic fault system and how best to prepare for earthquakes. The highlight of the week’s activities was the Great Southeast ShakeOut which took place October 16 at 10:16 a.m.

The Great Southeast ShakeOut is part of the largest earthquake safety drills ever held, with an estimated 2.1 million registered participants across the Southeast. Individuals and communities throughout Delaware, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia participate in this annual drill that is designed to teach and practice the recommended safety procedures to take during an earthquake. This year there were an estimated 26.1 million participants registered worldwide for the event.

The ShakeOut drill was executed throughout the Beaufort County School District. Broad River Elementary School was chosen as this year’s representative school for the event, and members of the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Management Division were on scene to observe the school in action.

At 10:16 a.m. the students were alerted that the drill had begun and were advised to take cover as previously instructed. The students quickly and quietly took shelter under their desks, effectively employing the “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” procedure that is recommended to help shield the neck and head against falling debris during an earthquake. At the conclusion of the 60-second drill, the fire alarm was sounded, and students filed outside to pre-determined meeting places. This allowed for the school administrators to accurately account for each and every student and staff member.

There have been 24 low-magnitude earthquakes recorded in South Carolina since February 2013, including a 4.1 in Edgefield the evening of February 14.  Our state experiences approximately 10 to 20 earthquakes a year according to geologists with the College of Charleston.  The epicenter of the largest earthquake ever recorded along the eastern United States seaboard was just outside of Charleston on August 31, 1886. The 7.3 magnitude quake devastated the region.

For more information on the Great Southeast ShakeOut and earthquake safety and preparedness, visit:  http://www.shakeout.org/southeast.

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Governor’s School welcomes 11 Beaufort County students

Jacob Bhoi, Grace Brueggman, Neelia Heath, Ashton Lancaster, Veronica McLeod, Grace Rhodes, Michael Schwartz, Sarah Sheppard, Amanda E. Steel, Melis Tirhi and Jacqueline Tobin, all from Beaufort County, have been accepted to the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics (GSSM) in Hartsville. They join students from across South Carolina to form the Class of 2016.

This year, the school celebrates its largest student body since its inception in 1988, with 259 students representing 117 high schools and 33 counties.

Jacob Bhoi, son of Paul and Karen Bhoi, and Sarah Sheppard, daughter of John and Sallie Sheppard, transferred to GSSM from Beaufort Academy. Grace Brueggman, daughter of Richard M. and Judy A. Brueggman, attended Bethel Park Senior High School prior to transferring to GSSM. Neelia Heath, daughter of Michael Heath and Aileen Cangiano-Heath, transferred from Battery Creek High School.

Transferring from Beaufort High School are Ashton Lancaster, daughter of Andy and Paige Lancaster; Veronica McLeod, daughter of John and Pearly McLeod; Grace Rhodes, daughter of Vincent and Bet Rhodes; Michael Schwartz, son of Tim and Jennifer Schwartz; and Melis Tirhi, daughter of Tareq Tirhi and Yucel Tirhi-Henderson.

Learn more about the school by visiting www.scgssm.org.

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District, schools improve grades on federal report cards

Twenty-eight of 30 Beaufort County schools met 2014 federal accountability standards, according to data released last week by the South Carolina Department of Education.

The 93 percent mark was a significant improvement over last year’s 79 percent of schools that met the federal accountability standard by earning a grade of A, B or C.  The district as a whole earned a B, with its numerical score improving from 82.1 in 2013 to 82.9 in 2014.

Seventy-three percent of the district’s schools rated an A or B, up from last year’s 65 percent.

“It’s encouraging to see improvement occurring year after year,” said Superintendent Jeff Moss.  “This kind of progress is proof that everyone is working hard and that we’re on the right track.  But we still have a long way to go before our graduates can compete with the world’s best graduates.  That’s our goal, and that’s what we’re focused on.”

Federal accountability report highlights

A revised A-F rating system was unveiled in 2012 after the U.S. Department of Education approved a waiver application from South Carolina that allowed the South Carolina Department of Education to revise how state schools and districts were rated under the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).  The new system replaced the 2001 federal law’s original accountability system with one that awards letter grades from A to F for improvement and performance.

NCLB requires schools and districts to break out their performance data into a number of student “subcategories” that include ethnicity, special education, poverty and limited ability with English.  The revised rating system incorporated performance in those individual categories into a single number that is used to rate schools on a 0-100 scale, with 90-100 being an A, 80-89 being a B, 70-79 being a C, 60-69 being a D and anything 59 or below being an F.

The NCLB calculation relies on PASS scores to determine grades for South Carolina elementary and middle schools.  High school data come from on-time graduation rates and student performance on the HSAP high school exit exam and end-of-course exams.

The Beaufort County School District’s overall 2014 score of 82.9 rated a B.  The district’s elementary schools scored 87.5 for a B, up from last year’s 85 for a B.  Middle schools scored 78.1 for a C, down from last year’s 81.2.  High schools scored 83.7 for a B, up from last year’s C rating of 74.9.

Twenty-two Beaufort County’s public schools — an improvement over last year’s 19 — rated an A or B in the second official report under the new rating system.

Ten schools were rated an A.  Twelve received a B, six received a C, one received a D and one received an F (last year there were four D’s and two F’s). Schools graded A-C met federal accountability standards, while schools rated D-F did not.

Moss said that the federal rating system requires schools to improve each year in order to earn the same grade.  “The bar is raised each year,” he said, “so a school that doesn’t improve from one year to the next can get a lower grade.”

The district’s five highest-rated schools in the federal report were Okatie Elementary (100), Pritchardville Elementary (98.3), Red Cedar Elementary (97.9), Riverview Charter (97.3) and Bluffton Elementary (94.4).

Five Title I schools — schools with high percentages of students from low-income families — were recognized as “Reward Schools for Performance” for earning A or B grades for the past two years and having no significant achievement gaps.  Those five were Broad River Elementary, Lady’s Island Elementary, Port Royal Elementary, Red Cedar Elementary and Lady’s Island Middle schools.

Red Cedar Elementary also was named a “Reward School for Progress” by ranking in the Top 10 percent of Title I schools that made “the most substantial progress” in improving the academic achievement of all students and students from various demographic groups.

School grades

District schools receiving an A for 2014 were:  Bluffton Elementary, Bluffton High, Coosa Elementary, Hilton Head Island High, Mossy Oaks Elementary, Okatie Elementary, Port Royal Elementary, Pritchardville Elementary, Red Cedar Elementary and Riverview Charter School.

Schools receiving a B were:  Battery Creek High, Beaufort Elementary, Beaufort Middle, Beaufort High, Bluffton Middle, Broad River Elementary, Hilton Head Island Early Childhood, Hilton Head Island School for the Creative Arts, Hilton Head Island International Baccalaureate Elementary, Lady’s Island Elementary, Lady’s Island Middle and Michael C. Riley Elementary.

Schools receiving a C were:  H.E. McCracken Middle, Joseph E. Shanklin Elementary, Robert Smalls International Academy, St. Helena Elementary, Whale Branch Elementary and Whale Branch Early College High.

Hilton Head Island Middle received a D, and Whale Branch Middle received an F. Dereck Rhoads, the district’s Chief Instructional Services Officer, said the district would continue its focused intervention efforts at those two schools.

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Pucker up for The Lemon Challenge at BHS

Beaufort High School Drama Director LaRaine Fess and her troop of student actors are out to raise awareness of the issues of bullying and teen substance abuse. To bring these concerns to the forefront, they issued a challenge to their school and community at large called the “Lemonade Challenge.”  Inspired by the recent “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge,” Ms. Fess and her students are “daring” everyone to take a bite from a lemon and “savor the sour,” because without the “sour” or the struggles in life, it would hard to appreciate the “sweet.”  To kick off this effort, Beaufort community leaders were invited to Beaufort High to take the challenge to take a stand against bullying and teen substance abuse — and they rose admirable to that challenge!  The motto for this effort is “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” a sentiment that can help everyone stand strong in the face of adversity.

Pictured from left: Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling, Bluffton Mayor Lisa Sulka, BHS Principal Corey Murphy, County Council Chairman Paul Sommerville, and Beaufort County School District Board Chairman Bill Evans take the Lemon Challenge.

Pictured from left: Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling, Bluffton Mayor Lisa Sulka, BHS Principal Corey Murphy, County Council Chairman Paul Sommerville, and Beaufort County School District Board Chairman Bill Evans take the Lemon Challenge.

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Beaufort Academy fifth graders tour historic church

Beaufort Academy fifth grade students traveled downtown to tour the historic Parish Church of St. Helena. The tour started in the graveyard where the students learned tales of Union and Confederate soldiers and of families with key roles in the history and development of Beaufort.  They then travelled inside and learned about the history of the church, which was founded just one year after the founding of Beaufort 300 years ago. Finally, the students were treated to an organ concert by Matthew Brown of Salisbury, NC.

Touring the graveyard at St. Helena church.

Touring the graveyard at St. Helena church.

 

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BA averages on SATs exceed national average

Despite the national trend of dipping SAT scores, Beaufort Academy students once again excelled, exceeding the national average by 295 points.  All BA students take the nationally-administered Scholastic Assessment Test by the College Board, and the Class of 2014 scored a cumulative 1,792 on the three parts of the exam last spring.  In comparison: BA: 1,792; U.S.: 1,497; SC: 1,429; BCSD: 1,424.

In addition to a high average for the BA Class of 2014, BA Class of 2014 alumna Rebecca Strawn scored a perfect 800 on the Critical Reading portion of the exam.

According to the College Board, the SAT is a key piece of the college admissions process, and while there is an increase in overall participation, overall performance has remained stagnant; not quite 43% of SAT takers in the class of 2014 met the SAT College and Career Readiness Benchmark score of 1550.  Of BA graduates, 87% met or exceeded the benchmark score.  The SAT Benchmark score of 1550 (Critical Reading, Mathematics and Writing score combined) indicates a 65% likelihood of achieving a B- average or higher during the first year of college, which in turn is indicative of a high likelihood of college success and completion.

“At Beaufort Academy our mission is to provide the knowledge and the skills for each student to reach his or her greatest potential as they prepare for college and for life.  These test scores are reflective of the hard work of the entire BA community to realize this mission.  While a score on a single test is not an indicator of overall preparedness for college, we can rest assured that our students can excel in college if they apply the skills that they have acquired during their time here.  We are quite proud of our class of 2014 and are pleased that they continued the Beaufort Academy tradition of 100% college matriculation,” said Stephen Schools, BA Head of School.

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Foundation surprises teachers with cash awards

Twenty-six Beaufort County public school teachers from 12 schools were surprised with news that they had won innovation grants from the Foundation for Educational Excellence, a fund of The Community Foundation of the Lowcountry.

The grants will fund more than $8,000 in classroom projects ranging from anatomy models to robotics equipment.  Foundation officials visited teachers’ classrooms to deliver the news in person.

“The projects we’re funding this fall all have one thing in common,” said Jackie Rosswurm, the foundation’s chair.  “They’re innovative and they are helping students learn from new perspectives, with new tools and in more creative ways.

“We’re privileged to recognize and reward teachers who approach their work in new and exciting ways.  And the big winners, of course, are the students.  They’re the ones who ultimately benefit from innovative and effective classroom projects.”

The Foundation for Educational Excellence is a nonprofit organization whose primary function is to raise funds to support activities and projects that spur classroom innovation. Its first grants were awarded in 2009, and since then grants totaling more than $60,000 have been awarded district-wide.

The fall awards were supported this year by a grant the foundation received from The Bargain Box.  Funds are also raised from individuals, businesses and the foundation’s major fundraiser, “Jewels and Jeans.”

The 2014 fall cycle grant awards:

• Larry Leming, Alicia Brown, Mary Crosby (Beaufort Elementary, Science Exploration and Experimentation, Dr. Valerie Truesdale Innovative Teacher Grant Award)

• David Shervin (Beaufort High, Anatomy Models for 3-Dimensional Learning)

• Eve Weaver (Robert Smalls International Academy, Watch us Grow)

• Jill Brickley (Pritchardville Elementary, Wire Up a Critter Bot)

• Shane Peek (Whale Branch Middle, Ornithology Experiment)

• Nancy Davis (Hilton Head Island Elementary IB, Using Audio Cards to Improve English Proficiency for English Language Learners)

• Dana Christensen (Joseph S. Shanklin Elementary, Bird Watching)

• Irma Rameizl (Hilton Head Island Middle, Revistas Divertidas: Fun Magazines)

• Barbara Jo Silver (Bluffton Middle, South Carolina Alive)

• Samantha Ford, Leon Lee, Carmen Jones (Red Cedar Elementary, On the Path to Successful Math)

• Jennifer Smith (Hilton Head Island Elementary IB, Green Screen for Presentations)

• Jamie Dyas (Robert Smalls International Academy, Masks of African Literature)

• Melinda Smith (Hilton Head Island School for the Creative Arts, Wired for Sound)

• Aracely Johnson, Jill Brown, Mendy Gannon, Angela Peterson, Kim Jenkins (Beaufort Elementary, Local Trees, iPads and Ear Pods)

• Kelly Pulaski (Coosa Elementary,               Mentor Texts, Making Connections)

• Jennifer Deal (Pritchardville Elementary, Interactive EBooks for STEM)

• Debra Ryan, Rebecca Ulmer (Red Cedar Elementary, Robotics Equipment).

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