Review Category : School News

High school students improve performance on end-of-course exams

Students in Beaufort County improved their performance on 2014 state tests administered at the end of key high school courses, according to results released this week by the South Carolina Department of Education.

South Carolina students’ scores on end-of-course exams count for 20 percent of final grades in Algebra 1, English 1, Biology and U.S. History and Constitution.  Beaufort County students improved their percentages of passing grades in all four courses in 2014:

• Algebra 1: The percentage of students passing increased from 79.2 percent in 2013 to 83.7 in 2014 (state passing percentage was 85.6).

• English 1: The percentage passing improved from 77.5 percent in 2013 to 78.3 in 2014 (state passing percentage was 77).

• U.S. History and Constitution: The percentage passing improved from 60.4 in 2013 to 65.7 in 2014 (state passing percentage was 65.4).

• Biology: The percentage passing increased from 80.7 in 2013 to 83 in 2014 (state passing percentage was 78.8).

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Teacher of the Year: Whale Branch Middle music teacher honored

A music teacher who attended Beaufort County Schools herself, and whose mother was a teacher at Hilton Head Island High School, was named as Beaufort County’s 2014-2015 District Teacher of the Year.

The selection of Amy Simmons, band director at Whale Branch Middle School, was announced during a breakfast celebration to honor teachers of the year from all of the district’s schools on Friday, Sept. 19.

Amy Simmons reacts when her name was announced as the 2014-15 District Teacher of the Year. Hugging Amy is her mother, a 30-year retired Beaufort County teacher.  Smiling and clapping, center, is Whale Branch Middle School Principal Matt Hunt.

Amy Simmons reacts when her name was announced as the 2014-15 District Teacher of the Year. Hugging Amy is her mother, a 30-year retired Beaufort County teacher. Smiling and clapping, center, is Whale Branch Middle School Principal Matt Hunt.

“Amy exemplifies the key characteristics of a passionate teacher and natural born leader,” said Superintendent Jeff Moss. “Her students succeed because of her skill at engaging them and instilling them with confidence. She encourages, and she pushes, and she challenges them every day to do their best.”

After the announcement, Martha Hartley, chief financial officer of Hilton Head Buick-GMC-Cadillac, offered Simmons her choice of three new cars donated by the dealership for her to use over the coming year, or a $5,000 check. Simmons, who had recently purchased a car, chose the check.

Simmons has been teaching music and directing the band at Whale Branch Middle since 2010 and says her proudest moments in teaching are when students find relationships between standards from their core curriculum within their music lessons.

Principal Matthew Hunt said that while there are many terrific teachers in Beaufort County, it takes a truly gifted and special person to make a difference in the lives of those considered “at-risk” students. “Amy Simmons has worked tirelessly to build and establish quality instructional and educational opportunities for students throughout Beaufort County,” he said, “and we are fortunate that this former Beaufort County student has chosen to call Whale Branch Middle her home.”

According to Simmons, her teaching philosophy is based on a quote that she adopted early on: “Teaching music is not my main purpose. I want to make good citizens. If children hear fine music from the day of their birth and learn to play it, they develop sensitivity, discipline and endurance. They get a beautiful heart.”

One of Simmons’ greatest accomplishments in the classroom was in 2012 when she won a Mr. Holland’s Opus Grant, which purchased much-needed equipment for music classes. Included in that equipment was a collection of steel drums, and over the past two years, the Whale Branch Middle steel drum band has travelled all over the Southeast to perform.

“I chose this profession to help students succeed,” Simmons wrote in her Teacher of the Year application. “I chose this profession to give students the opportunities I had growing up in this very same district.”

Simmons educational background includes: EdS. Education Administration from South Carolina State University; M.A. Teaching with Specialization in National Board Certified Teaching Leadership from National University; B.S. Music Education from South Carolina State University.

The four other finalists for 2014-15 District Teacher of the Year were Michelle Henry of Whale Branch Elementary, Caroleen Hodge of Port Royal Elementary, Annette Lee of Hilton Head Island High School, and Sharon McMahon of Bluffton Middle.

Becoming District Teacher of the Year is a three-step process that begins when school-level teachers of the year are selected in April. Those wishing to compete for District Teacher of the Year submit detailed applications by the end of July.

In the second step, a selection committee consisting of parents, former educators and community leaders from across Beaufort County reviews the applications and rates them using a numerical scoring system.  The five highest-scoring applicants are named as finalists.

In the third step, the finalists are interviewed by a separate review committee again composed of judges from across the county.  Those panelists begin by reviewing videos of the teachers doing classroom lessons. The judges then score candidates based on how well they respond to questions about the teaching methods shown in the videos, as well as how they respond to questions about current education issues.

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School Notes

BATTERY CREEK HIGH

• The Annual Miss Battery Creek High School Pageant will be held on Saturday, September 27 at 6 p.m. in the John McVey Performing Arts Center. There will be four young ladies competing for the title of Miss Battery Creek High School: Elizabeth Ford, Jasmine Middleton, La’Schirrae Morrall and Tinea Morris. The contestants will be judged in six categories. Tickets $5.

BEAUFORT ACADEMY

•   Thursday, Sept. 25: Town Hall Meeting and Open House for current parents

The Pre-K and Kindergarten students at Beaufort Academy planted a fall garden a few weeks ago, and it’s now starting to produce vegetables. The students planted lettuce, kale, broccoli, carrots, beans, and flowers. The PreK-4 class is seen with their beans.

The Pre-K and Kindergarten students at Beaufort Academy planted a fall garden a few weeks ago, and it’s now starting to produce vegetables. The students planted lettuce, kale, broccoli, carrots, beans, and flowers. The PreK-4 class is seen with their beans.

• Friday, Sept. 26: Orders are due for the school-wide Local Happiness fundraiser.  See the website for additional details.

• Save the Date: Wednesday, Oct. 8: BA is hosting Fields of Faith, a national Fellowship of Christian Athletes event, for the entire Beaufort community.  All are invited to attend from 6:45 to 8 p.m.

BEAUFORT HIGH

• The Beaufort High School Boys Basketball program will be hosting two skills clinics for boys in October for boys in grades 4-8.  These clinics will be at the Beaufort High gym from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Oct. 4, and Saturday Oct. 18. The cost of each clinic is $25. Anyone who registers before Sept. 29 will receive a free Beaufort Basketball T-shirt. For more information, contact Coach Livesay at 843-322-2000, nathan.livesay@beaufort.k12.sc.us.

LADY’S ISLAND MIDDLE

•  The end of the first quarter ends on October 20.  Report cards will be sent home October 23 followed by

All second graders from Bridges Prep went on a walking field trip to the downtown Beaufort Waterfront to view the marsh, the wetlands that inhabit fiddler crabs, blue crab, and Spartina grass among a landscape where children can explore, becoming an outdoor classroom for all.

All second graders from Bridges Prep went on a walking field trip to the downtown Beaufort Waterfront to view the marsh, the wetlands that inhabit fiddler crabs, blue crab, and Spartina grass among a landscape where children can explore, becoming an outdoor classroom for all.

parent-teacher conferences on Oct. 23 to Oct. 24.

•  Last Friday, September 19 was a PBIS Friday.  During Academic Arts periods for their respective grades, students were authorized to either watch a movie, play ping pong, basketball or other fun activates.

SCHOOL DISTRICT

• College Application Day: Beaufort County high school seniors will get one-on-one coaching as they prepare college applications on Thursday, Sept. 25, with help from guidance counselors, parents, community volunteers and representatives of colleges and universities. “College Application Day,” a joint project of the Beaufort County School District, the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education and the S.C. Department of Education, will provide coaching and advice to students at all five high schools as they fill out actual college applications online.

The students and teachers at Hobbit Hill Daycare in Shell Point celebrated the first day of fall, Tuesday, Sept. 23, by wearing jerseys and T-shirts from their favorite football teams. Go Team Hobbit Hill!

The students and teachers at Hobbit Hill Daycare in Shell Point celebrated the first day of fall, Tuesday, Sept. 23, by wearing jerseys and T-shirts from their favorite football teams. Go Team Hobbit Hill!

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BA’s T. Reynolds Robinson Scholarship recipient named

Todger Davis was named as the recipient of the 2014 T. Reynolds Robinson Scholarship at Beaufort Academy. This scholarship has been awarded annually at BA since 1989, the year Reynolds died tragically at the young age of 13. Reynolds was a student at Beaufort Academy during his short, but full-of-adventure life.

This scholarship is awarded by his family in celebration and remembrance of Reynolds. Recipients must possess many of the qualities that people loved about Reynolds: strong leadership, athletic ability, the respect and friendship of classmates, in addition to maintaining a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 during the seventh, eighth, and ninth grades. Awarded to a 10th grader, the scholarship offers $1,500 toward the student’s college education.

The award was presented by Reynolds’ brother, Clark, and his parents, Betsey and Bill Robinson.

Sitting at center is 2014 recipient Todger Davis, his father Tad Davis at right, and step-mother Selma Lovett at left. Standing is scholarship presenter Clark Robinson and his parents, Betsey and Bill Robinson.

Sitting at center is 2014 recipient Todger Davis, his father Tad Davis at right, and step-mother Selma Lovett at left. Standing is scholarship presenter Clark Robinson and his parents, Betsey and Bill Robinson.

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Lady’s Island Elementary holds Heroes Luncheon

 

Lady’s Island Elementary School held its annual Heroes Luncheon last week to honor fire fighters, local police officers, EMTs, and military for all of the work that they do. The school’s vocal group, Osprey Ovation, performed several patriotic songs and the students enjoyed eating with their heroes.

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Afterschool Meal Program offered by YMCA

The YMCA of Beaufort County is offering an Afterschool Meal Program to help children stay healthy and succeed in school. Through a national partnership between YMCA of the USA and the Walmart Foundation, the program combines learning enrichment activities with physical activity to keep minds and bodies active, while also serving a healthy meal to kids who may otherwise be at risk of hunger when the school day ends.

YMCA to offer Afterschool Meal Program.

YMCA to offer Afterschool Meal Program.

According to the USDA, nearly 50 million Americans – including more than 16 million children and teens under age 18 – live with food insecurity. Through its afterschool program and a grant from the Walmart Foundation, the Y will serve more children through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), which feeds school-aged children during the week, on weekends and during school vacations. This school year, the Y will offer an Afterschool Meal Program at nearly 1,300 locations across the country.

“Some students may not know where their next meal will come from when the school day ends, and without proper nourishment it’s hard to focus in school. At the Y, we are focused on keeping kids well-nourished and engaged in learning when school’s not in session,” said Kaylin Garst, Operations Director, YMCA of Beaufort County. “Thanks to the Walmart Foundation, our Y will be able to do more to address this issue all year long.”

As part of a long-time commitment to youth development, the Y nurtures the physical, mental and social-emotional development of youth. Combining play with academic enrichment, YMCA afterschool programs promote creativity, a love for learning, social and emotional development and character building, while complementing lessons learned during the school day.

To learn more, contact the YMCA at 843-522-9622 or visit www.ymcabeaufortcounty.com.

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School News

BATTERY CREEK HIGH

• The Annual Miss Battery Creek High School Pageant will be held on Saturday, September 27 at 6 p.m. in the John McVey Performing Arts Center. There will be four young ladies competing for the title of Miss Battery Creek High School: Elizabeth Ford, Jasmine Middleton, La’Schirrae Morrall and Tinea Morris. The contestants will be judged in six categories; personal interview, opening act, dress for success, talent, evening

Bridges Prep second graders learned the word EXPLORE by exploring and experimenting with melted crayons on the first week of school. Arts integration by Mrs. Sanders is always a great way to make vocabulary — the experience of it  — really stick.

Bridges Prep second graders learned the word EXPLORE by exploring and experimenting with melted crayons on the first week of school. Arts integration by Mrs. Sanders is always a great way to make vocabulary — the experience of it — really stick.

wear and question and answer. The school anticipates a night of elegance and excitement. Admission is $5.

• Battery Creek High School to hold Title 1 Open House on Monday, Sept. 22, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. This opportunity showcase academics, as well as other aspects of Dolphin Life. This will also serve as GEAR UP Kick-off night. Parents, guardians, students, and community members are invited.

Light refreshments will be served.

Call Diane Grooms at 322-5582 for more information.

BEAUFORT ACADEMY

• Monday, Sept. 22: The school-wide Local Happiness fundraiser continues, and will present a special

Ten Beaufort Academy seventh graders were named as Duke TIP Scholars. Scholars qualify by scoring at or above the 95th percentile on selected sections of designated standardized tests administered during the 6th or 5th grades. Pictured above, left to right, front row: Joseph Maraska, Lauren Bartlett, Maris Staley, Cady Wilson, Eliza Nix, John Dastous. Back row: William Tumlin, Cal Harvey, Nathaniel Keenan, Brian Rhatigan.

Ten Beaufort Academy seventh graders were named as Duke TIP Scholars. Scholars qualify by scoring at or above the 95th percentile on selected sections of designated standardized tests administered during the 6th or 5th grades. Pictured above, left to right, front row: Joseph Maraska, Lauren Bartlett, Maris Staley, Cady Wilson, Eliza Nix, John Dastous. Back row: William Tumlin, Cal Harvey, Nathaniel Keenan, Brian Rhatigan.

assembly in the afternoon with the Abby Elmore band.  See the website for additional details.

• Save the Date: Thursday, Sept. 25: Town Hall Meeting and Open House.

 

BEAUFORT HIGH

• The Beaufort High School Boys Basketball program will be hosting two skills clinics for boys in October for boys in Grades 4-8.  These clinics will be at the Beaufort High School gym from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, October 4, and Saturday October 18. The cost of each clinic is $25 but there are discounts for registering siblings or for registering for both clinics.  Anyone who registers between now and September 29 will receive a free Beaufort Basketball T-shirt. For more information, contact Coach Livesay at 843-322-2000 or nathan.livesay@beaufort.k12.sc.us.

SCHOOL DISTRICT

Nearly 80 colleges and universities will make sales pitches to Beaufort County public and private high school juniors and seniors Thursday, Sept. 18 at a college fair expected to draw more than 2,500 students to Bluffton High School. Schools advertising their programs to students will range from small private colleges to large public universities, from as near as the University of South Carolina Beaufort and the Technical College of the Lowcountry to Ohio State University, the University of Alabama and Rutgers University in New Jersey.  Students will visit booths manned by college and university representatives who will answer students’ questions about academic offerings, tuition costs and scholarship opportunities.

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County students earn highest possible PASS scores

More than 150 Beaufort County students posted the maximum score on 2014 South Carolina PASS standardized tests, more than double last year’s number.

The South Carolina Department of Education reports that 152 Beaufort County students earned a maximum score on at least one of the five 2014 PASS sections: math, science, social studies, writing and language arts.

“It’s no secret that our student performance has improved dramatically in the last few years, and these students are keeping that momentum going,” said Superintendent Jeff Moss. “We’re proud of them — and also proud of their teachers and parents — for putting forth their best efforts.”

For PASS multiple-choice tests (language arts, math, science, and social studies), a maximum score is awarded to students who answer every question correctly. For the writing tests, maximum scores are awarded to students who answer every multiple-choice question correctly and get all 15 possible points on their written essays.

Last year, 71 Beaufort County students posted maximum scores.

“It’s exciting to see that number doubled in just one year,” said Dr. Dereck Rhoads, Chief Instructional Services Officer, “These students have not only met the standards, they have completely mastered them. What a great example they set for all of us. Hard work does pay off!”

PASS has three scoring levels, and students are said to have met the state standard if they score at either of the top two levels:

• Exemplary: The student demonstrated exemplary performance in meeting the grade-level standard.

• Met: The student met the grade-level standard.

• Not met: The student did not meet the grade-level standard.

Long-term performance on PASS has been positive in Beaufort County.  Over the six years since PASS tests were first administered, the district’s percentages of students meeting the state standard has improved in 24 of 30 combinations of grade levels and subjects tested.

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School Briefs

22nd Youth Conference will be held Sept. 27 

The 22nd Annual Beaufort County Youth Conference: For Teens By Teens is a one-day conference that will feature workshops on subjects that the youth planners (middle and high school students who attend county schools) selected. This year’s theme is “Stay on Track”.  Also there will be free food and free T-shirts for all attendees. This year, Candice Glover, Season 12 “American Idol” winner and a former Beaufort County Youth Conference participant, will make an appearance. Seating will be limited, so pre-registration is highly encouraged. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, September 27, at the Technical College of the Lowcountry, 921 Ribaut Road. It is free and open to children in sixth through 12th grades in Beaufort County. To sign up, call 843-812-4399 or 838-7922.

Beaufort High to host Football Cheer Clinic 

Students in pre-kindergarten through middle school are invited to learn football cheers, chants, jumps and a dance from Beaufort High cheerleaders during the Fall Football Cheer Clinic Sept. 27 at Beaufort High School.

The clinic, held at the high school gym from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., costs $35 for pre-registration and $40 at the door. The clinic includes instruction, a cheer clinic T-shirt, group photo and refreshments. Clinic participants will be invited to perform during halftime of the Beaufort High varsity football game Oct. 3.

Check-in for the clinic starts at 9:30 a.m. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged because there is limited space. Pick up registration forms at Beaufort High or contact Cindy Graves at cgraves@harveyandbattey.com or call 843-812-8616.

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School News

BATTERY CREEK HIGH

• BC Athletic season passes will be on sale at a 2-for-1 rate until Friday, Sept. 12. You must buy 2. See Coach Drafts for prices.

Several members of the Battery Creek High School Interact Club spent last Saturday morning at Hunting Island State Park to help with its semi-annual Beach Sweep. Pictured above are Jayde Little, Krystyn Kibler, Ian Klauck, Taylor Jones, and Cassi Knoppel.

Several members of the Battery Creek High School Interact Club spent last Saturday morning at Hunting Island State Park to help with its semi-annual Beach Sweep. Pictured above are Jayde Little, Krystyn Kibler, Ian Klauck, Taylor Jones, and Cassi Knoppel.

• Battery Creek High School will host Youth Sports Night on Friday, Sept. 12, as the Dolphins battle Hilton Head Island High School in football. Kickoff is set for 7:30. All fall teams, cheerleaders and coaching staffs will be admitted free of charge. For additional information, contact Coach Drafts at 843-322-5574 or john.drafts@beaufort.k12.sc.us

• Battery Creek High Parent Teacher Student Organization will be recognizing all members of the Beaufort Police Department, Beaufort Fire Department, Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, Burton Fire Department and EMT on Sept. 11 at 6 p.m. at the McVey Performing Arts Center. Contact Diane Grooms, 322-5582.

BEAUFORT ACADEMY

•  Thursday, Sept. 11: Patriots Day Special Program and Flag Placement

• Monday, Sept. 15: Presentation of the 26th annual T. Reynolds Robinson Scholarship, 2:45 p.m.

• 50th Anniversary BA wall calendars were available at the opening convocation.  If you would like one, they can be picked up at the front office on BA’s main campus at 240 Sams Point Road on Lady’s Island. They are free and

On Tuesday, September 2, Representative Shannon Erickson made a special visit to Beaufort Academy to present the first Emerging Leader Scholarship to ninth-grader Virginia Dukes. The ELS Scholarship was designed by an anonymous donor to identify and support a rising ninth grade student throughout their upper school tenure at BA. Its unique focus is to cultivate the leadership skills of the recipients, with the intent that these students will both show academic prowess as well as participate in leadership roles at BA and in the community. Pictured above: Rep. Shannon Erickson, Virginia Dukes and her parents Will and Elizabeth, and Head of School Stephen Schools.

On Tuesday, September 2, Representative Shannon Erickson made a special visit to Beaufort Academy to present the first Emerging Leader Scholarship to ninth-grader Virginia Dukes. The ELS Scholarship was designed by an anonymous donor to identify and support a rising ninth grade student throughout their upper school tenure at BA. Its unique focus is to cultivate the leadership skills of the recipients, with the intent that these students will both show academic prowess as well as participate in leadership roles at BA and in the community. Pictured above: Rep. Shannon Erickson, Virginia Dukes and her parents Will and Elizabeth, and Head of School Stephen Schools.

have some great pictures from BA’s history.

• Calling all Twitter users, BA’s new AD, Coach Neal McCarty, has started a new twitter account for BA Athletics. Follow him at BA Athletics @BAsportsAD.

LADY’S ISLAND MIDDLE

• Congrats to Kaylee Cayo, Michael Walker, Thomas Layfield and Claire Davis on setting a great example as this week’s “Students of the Week.” Students enjoyed a covered lunch table, jazzy flatware with lunch on it, and great conversation among each other.

SCHOOL DISTRICT

The first town hall meeting for parents and community members to meet with Superintendent Jeffrey Moss was held Tuesday, Sept. 9 in Bluffton High School’s auditorium. Twice each year, Moss holds informal town hall meetings with parents and citizens in each of the district’s five “clusters” of schools.

The five town hall meetings scheduled during the first semester are:

• October 14, 6-8 p.m., Battery Creek High School

• October 30, 6-8 p.m., Beaufort High

• December 2, 6-8 p.m., Whale Branch Early College High School.

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