Review Category : School News

School Notes

BATTERY CREEK HIGH

• Battery Creek High School will once again support the FWDG Coat Drive that runs until December 31.  New or gently used coats and jackets, as well as caps are needed for all ages, male and female.

• Toys for Tots: Sponsored by the MCJROTC and the SADD Club. Any new, unwrapped toy for ages 1 to 12 can be dropped off in the MCJROTC office or in Mrs. Grooms’ office by December 16.  Board games, school supplies, stuffed animals, and puzzles are good items. For more information, contact Lt. Col. Ganas at 322-5606 or Mrs. Grooms at 322-5580.

BEAUFORT ACADEMY

• During the month of December, BA will once again partner with FWDG (Furniture Warehouse Design Gallery) for the annual Coat Drive.  Donations are being collected at school until Dec. 19.

BEAUFORT HIGH

• As the temperature drops and thoughts turn to celebrations of the holidays,  Beaufort High School Voices has just the thing to set the mood.  Join us on December 11 and 12 at 7 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center at Beaufort High for the annual Winter Concert.  This year’s winter concert will feature much loved favorites of the season as well as a performances from “Frozen” that are sure to warm the heart.  This family friendly concert features the talented young performers of the Concert Choir, Women’s Choir, and InnerVoices.  Tickets for this fun filled evening are $7 at the door or $5 with the donation of canned goods or an unwrapped toy to benefit local charities. For more information, contact Jordan Norris, Choir Director, at 843-322-2000, Jordan.norris@beaufort.k12.sc.us.

Lady’s Island Elementary School has the first Junior Beta Program in Beaufort County. On December 3, parents, students, and staff members at LIES gathered to honor 23 outstanding students. There were 15 fourth graders and 8 fifth graders who were inducted in Junior Beta Club, a nationwide organization for 4th through 5th grade students. Its purpose is “to promote the ideals of academic achievement, character, leadership and service among elementary school students.” To be a considered for Junior Beta Club a student must maintain an A or A-B average in all academics subjects and display good character. Fourth grade recipients were Kira Atwater, Lillian Carr, Derrick Coaxum, Shania Gilyard, Samantha Hefty, Savion Isom, Travis Johnson, Asia Kongkiat, Layla Love, John Lubkin, Mason Mingledorff, Kemani Nixon, Daniel Nobre, Dion Smith, and Corey Stevens. Fifth grade recipients were Hunter Ardoin, Bailey Herron, Regan Hill, Alyssa Hines, Nash Mills, Elisette Sinor, William Tate, and Sydney Zalatimo. Pictured above are Junior Beta Club members who were present, Assistant Principal Mrs. Smith; Sponsor and School Counselor Ms. Newton; and Mrs.DiOrio, co-sponsor and Gifted and Talented instructor.

Lady’s Island Elementary School has the first Junior Beta Program in Beaufort County. On December 3, parents, students, and staff members at LIES gathered to honor 23 outstanding students. There were 15 fourth graders and 8 fifth graders who were inducted in Junior Beta Club, a nationwide organization for 4th through 5th grade students. Its purpose is “to promote the ideals of academic achievement, character, leadership and service among elementary school students.” To be a considered for Junior Beta Club a student must maintain an A or A-B average in all academics subjects and display good character. Fourth grade recipients were Kira Atwater, Lillian Carr, Derrick Coaxum, Shania Gilyard, Samantha Hefty, Savion Isom, Travis Johnson, Asia Kongkiat, Layla Love, John Lubkin, Mason Mingledorff, Kemani Nixon, Daniel Nobre, Dion Smith, and Corey Stevens. Fifth grade recipients were Hunter Ardoin, Bailey Herron, Regan Hill, Alyssa Hines, Nash Mills, Elisette Sinor, William Tate, and Sydney Zalatimo. Pictured above are Junior Beta Club members who were present, Assistant Principal Mrs. Smith; Sponsor and School Counselor Ms. Newton; and Mrs.DiOrio, co-sponsor and Gifted and Talented instructor.

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Five teachers earn National Board certification

Five Beaufort County teachers have earned the prestigious National Board certification, according to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Adding five new teachers increased the district’s overall total to 150 National Board Certified teachers — about 9 percent of its teaching force.

“This is a difficult process to complete, there’s no doubt about that,” said Superintendent Jeff Moss. “It’s long, it’s demanding, and it requires teachers to closely analyze and evaluate their teaching strategies.  And when teachers improve their classroom instruction, students win.”

Beaufort’s newest National Board Certified teachers are:

• Nicole Bossak (Coosa Elementary)

• Jenna Ehmann (Riverview Charter)

• Donna Lorenz (M.C. Riley Elementary)

• Janet Miscavage (Pritchardville Elementary)

• Samantha Szwak (Hilton Head Island Middle).

Statewide, 136 new National Board Certified teachers brought the state’s total to 8,820, ranking South Carolina third in the nation after North Carolina and Florida.

A research study by the National Research Council of the National Academies found that the NBPTS advanced teacher certification program has a positive impact on student achievement, teacher retention and professional development. The NRC study found that students taught by National Board Certified Teachers make higher gains on achievement tests than students of non-board-certified teachers.

Across the country, most states provide salary incentives and cover the cost for teachers who pursue and achieve national certification. In Beaufort County, nationally certified teachers earn a $1,334 annual bonus, in addition to the annual bonus paid by the state for the 10-year life of the certificate.

Certification candidates undertake a two-part process that lasts one to three years.  It requires them to reflect on their classroom practices, their understanding of subject material and their preparation techniques. In addition to preparing a portfolio with videotapes of classroom teaching, lesson plans, student work samples and reflective essays, teachers must complete assessment center exercises based on content knowledge to prove not only that they have mastered the subjects they teach, but also that they know how to teach them.

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Beaufort Academy buzzing over new hive

Beaufort Academy is thrilled to have received a hive this week from The Bee Cause Project. The mission of The Bee Cause Project is to stimulate curiosity in young people about the importance of honey bees in our lives, the need to understand and embrace them, and to care about their well-being through the installation of bee hives in 1,000 schools.  The hive at BA is number 32.

From left: Tami Enright (Bee Cause), BA Headmaster Stephen Schools, Emma Roddey, Jules Rabaler (Bee Cause), and Gina Reilly.

From left: Tami Enright (Bee Cause), BA Headmaster Stephen Schools, Emma Roddey, Jules Rabaler (Bee Cause), and Gina Reilly.

Funded by the Savannah Bee Company, Bee Cause was started by that company’s president and founder, Ted Dennard, who donated 20 hives and enough money for the salary of the company’s executive director, Tami Enright, to get the project started.  The eventual goal is for participating schools to pay it forward.

BA has created a bee-friendly area outside of the Aimar Library where the bees can enter and exit the glass encased hive that is located within the library. The hive is attached to the wall on a swivel so that all can observe both sides of the hive.

Bees are pollinators. Pollinators transfer pollen and seeds from one flower to another, fertilizing plants so they can grow and produce food. Cross-pollination helps at least 30 percent of the world’s crops and 90 percent of wild plants to thrive. Without bees to spread seeds, many plants — including food crops — would die off. Now, a condition known as Colony Collapse Disorder is causing bee populations to plummet, which means these foods are also at risk. In the United States alone, more than 25 percent of the managed honey bee population has disappeared since 1990. Through the Bee Cause Project, the school hopes the students will not only find out about the life of bees but also how important bees are, and that they can make a

A group of Lower School students observe Tami Enright as she moved the bees into their new home.

A group of Lower School students observe Tami Enright as she moved the bees into their new home.

positive difference.

Beaufort Academy needs to pay it forward. Schools that receive a honeybee observation hive agree to help pay for the ongoing care of the bee family they have adopted and for the installation of honeybee observation hives at other schools by selling Bee Cause Honey. For every purchase of Savannah Bee Company Bee-Cause Honey, 100 percent of the proceeds are donated to a school hive project and are used to support The Bee Cause’s mission to install honeybee observation hives in order to “save the honeybees one school at a time.”

The Bee Cause Honey is collected from White Holly, Gallberry, a little Saw Tooth Palmetto, or maybe Tulip Poplar. The flavor depends on the wildflower blossoms and the whimsy of the bees.

Please stop by the front office to purchase a bottle for $15 or email eroddey@beaufortacademy for more information. Beaufort Academy is located off Sams Point Road on Lady’s Island.

A group of Upper School students tastes fresh honey straight from the hive.

A group of Upper School students tastes fresh honey straight from the hive.

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School Notes

BATTERY CREEK HIGH

• Battery Creek High School will recognize the Boys Basketball Region Championship teams of 2001, 2005, 2009,2010 at the BC vs. Beaufort basketball game on Friday, December 5.

• Battery Creek High School Fine Arts Department Winter Gala will be held Thursday, December 4, at 6:30 p.m. at John J. McVey Performing Arts Center. Admission is free, but canned goods will be accepted for local charities. Participants: BCHS Concert Band, Chorus, Drama Department, Strings Orchestra, and Visual Arts.

• The Battery Creek High School Interact Club is sponsoring a blood drive for The Lowcountry Blood Alliance on December 10, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Community members are invited to come donate the gift of life, and to help re-build the blood supply. The Battery Creek High School Interact Club is sponsored by the Sea Island Rotary Club, and the BCHS Interact Club Advisor is Mrs. Martha Sette.

• This year Battery Creek High School will once again support the Furniture Warehouse Coat Drive.  The coat drive runs until December 31.  New or gently used coats and jackets, as well as caps are needed for all ages, both male and female.

• Toys for Tots: Sponsored by the MCJROTC and the SADD Club. Any new, unwrapped toy for ages 1 to 12 can be dropped off in the MCJROTC office or in Mrs. Grooms’ office by December 16.  Board games, school supplies, stuffed animals, and puzzles are good items to donate. For more information, contact Lt. Col. Ganas at 322-5606 or Mrs. Grooms at 322-5580.

• Six students from Battery Creek High School competed in the Special Olympics North America 15th National Invitational Tennis Championships, November 6-8, which was held at Van Der Meer Tennis Center on Hilton Head. Tyrek Byson, Jerkeithea Simmons, Tyreek Wilson, Antwuan Blue, Ashely Harbin, and Malik Witter competed and medaled in singles and doubles events. They were accompanied by BCHS para-educators Ms. Deborah Smalls and Mr. Ronald Eugene.  In addition to tennis competition, the athletes participated in unified tennis events, socialized with peers from many states, watched a professional tennis exhibition, and enjoyed the food and accommodations at the Sonesta Resort. These athletes have been practicing and preparing for this event at the Dataw Island Tennis Club under the direction of Coach Warren Florence, a Special Olympics certified tennis pro.

BEAUFORT ACADEMY

• During the month of December, BA will once again partner with FWDG (Furniture Warehouse Design Gallery) for the annual Coat Drive.  Donations are being collected at school until Dec. 19.

BEAUFORT HIGH

• As the temperature drops and thoughts turn to celebrations of the holidays,  Beaufort High School Voices has just the thing to set the mood.  Join us on December 11 and 12 at 7 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center at Beaufort High for the annual Winter Concert.  This year’s winter concert will feature much loved favorites of the season as well as a performances from “Frozen” that are sure to warm the heart.  This family friendly concert features the talented young performers of the Concert Choir, Women’s Choir, and InnerVoices.  Tickets for this fun filled evening are $7 at the door or $5 with the donation of canned goods or an unwrapped toy to benefit local charities. For more information, contact Jordan Norris, Choir Director, at 843-322-2000, Jordan.norris@beaufort.k12.sc.us.

LADY’S ISLAND MIDDLE

• The Lady’s Island Middle School Chapter of the National Junior Honor Society has chosen the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program as its Fall Semester Service Project. We are asking that LIMS students please bring in a new unwrapped toy to donate to the Toys for Tots Program. All toys donated will be given to children in the local Beaufort County Area for Christmas. The Toys for Tots Donation Box is located in the Guidance and Counseling Office. Please consider picking up a new toy while you are out doing your Christmas shopping. You may bring new and unwrapped toys until Friday, December 12. Any questions, please contact Ms. Brown or Ms. Howell at 322-3140.

PARK UNIVERSITY

• Registration for Park’s Spring I ‘15 term is December 15, 2014 through January 9, 2015. The term dates are January 12 through March 8, 2015. Park University is a fully accredited, private four-year college. For more information call 228-7052 or visit the Park University office at the MCAS Beaufort Lifelong Learning Center (Bldg. 596, Room 212) or the MCRD Parris Island Education Center (Bldg. 923, Room 35).

Last week, The Dataw Garden Club organized a Thanksgiving craft activity with some of the students at St. Helena Elementary School.  The children enjoyed stories, a craft, and a yummy dessert (turkeys made out of cookies and candy corn).

Last week, The Dataw Garden Club organized a Thanksgiving craft activity with some of the students at St. Helena Elementary School. The children enjoyed stories, a craft, and a yummy dessert (turkeys made out of cookies and candy corn).

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Lady’s Island Middle Junior Leadership visits Penn Center

Lady’s Island Middle School’s Junior Leadership class visited Penn Center on St. Helena Island on Friday, November 14. The leadership class spent part of the day touring the facility with Mr. Middleton and learning about Penn Center’s rich history with Ms. Ward.

The theme for this year’s visit to Penn Center was civil rights. The class was divided into groups and assigned to read important speeches written by John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and George Wallace. Members of the Junior Leadership class read excerpts from these important historical figures famous speeches and discussed the meaning of the words that were used during these changing times in our countries history. By comparing and contrasting these important ideas and speeches, the students are now better able to understand the views and opinions of our country during unsettling times.

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School Honor Rolls

BATTERY CREEK HIGH 

Honor Roll Fall First Quarter

9th Grade

• All “A” Principal’s Honor Roll: Hannah Barnhardt, Phoebe Capps, Hannah Deen, Zoe Klauck, Hien Dang Tran.

• Distinguished Dolphin A/B Honor Roll: Allison Bishop, Kaitlyn Bishop, Jaried Broich, Joshua Carroll, Taylor Corlett, Kaitlyn Davis, Kyle Davis, Mia DeBardelaben, Tedrick Dobson, Michaux Gee, Blaise Giove, Darrel Green, Kiara Hall, Hunter Hise, Tyler Hofmann, Nathaniel Jackson, Makyla Jenkins, Zachary Langford, Jhaida Latham, Spencer McKenzie, Joshua Moody, McKenna Morgan, Shelby Scoggins, Desiree Stenersen, Destinye Stormer, Trent Thompson, Dariyen White, Zoe Wills, Malik Witter, Angel Zaragoza.

• 3.0 Dolphin Honor Roll: Aivarie Buchanan, Annette Burkey, Mason Carter, Reagan Clark, LeLis Cruz Ramirez, Armani Gibbs, Amos Henry, Treshawn Herbin, Kevin Hopkins, Victoria Kellerman, Kaylan Lanigan, Zacheus Magwood, Ashley Martinez, Bradley Moody, Jamie Philyaw, Romeo Sepulveda, Lauryn Steward, Amanda Taylor, Philip Thompson, Kaleb Williams.

10th Grade

• All “A” Principal’s Honor Roll: Jonathan Buck, Tenesha Grayson, Arthur Lehe, Jacqueline Lopez, Vanessa Madrid, Ajhia Parker, Clarissa Reyes, Savanna Taylor, Hannah Van Dam.

• Distinguished Dolphin A/B Honor Roll: Kiara Aguilar, Madelyn Aho, Raymond Ayres, Tatiyana Barcenas-Urrutia, Franklin Berry, Joseph Calandra, Karrin Cheryl Faison, Daranaiza Ferguson, Cassie Flanagan, Cheyenne Govito, Jocelyn Griffin, Hannah Hansen, Ashley Harbin, Dallas Higuet, Jonathan Himmelsbach, Chardonnay Johnson, Cassandra Knoppel, Denhere Mack, Gloria McCreary, Temera Millidge, Victoria Moyak, Karen O’Hara, Alexia Ortega Jimenez, William Payne, Kyleigh Peeples, Nyjee Rivers, Daniela Rodriguez Aguilar, Sha’Keira Scott, Mesawit Sharew, Jessica Shipley, Christian Spinks, Noah Squires, Clinton Taylor, Gina Thompson, Jocelyn Thompson, Jerica Vaughns, Jonathan Witt.

• 3.0 Dolphin Honor Roll: Ebony Bates, Serenity Buckner, Maria Castillo, Taylor Jones, Cory Mesel, Raelyn Moranelli, Dominique Padilla, Shae-Lyn Pinet, Hannah Scott, Eric Simpson, Diamond Smith, Stephen Stormer, Kelsey Woodruff, Chantal Zaragoz.

11th Grade

• All “A” Principal’s Honor Roll: Christian Carter, Mysia Coles, Marcus Cook, Jack Hillery, Bailee Jones, Landon Morgan, Myrat Myradov, America Tierrablanca Miranda, Tyreek Wilson.

• Distinguished Dolphin A/B Honor Roll: Ryan Ackerman, Antwuan Blue, Bridget Brisco, Robert Buchanan, Priscilla Casini, Matthew Cassel, Alaysia Colson, Emily Coniglio, Brendan Dewalt, Brittany Dewalt, Sierra Durham, Tyler Durham, Jaleah Frazier, Tiara Glover, Aude Guidoin, Michael Gulledge, Katherine Harris, Logan Hofmann, Allyson Kadas, Jalen Luckey, Emily Madlinger, Cloey Marcil, Alexis Mesel, Edward Potter, Ilona Sapizhak, Kimberley Wallace, Allicia Wiggs, Alexis Willis, Emily Wilson, Kaitlyn Wilson.

• 3.0 Dolphin Honor Roll: Nathaniel Aiken, Alejandra Albores, Shakeila Brown, Janay Dumas, Brittany Hebrard, Sydney Hopkins, Michayla Jennings, Johnathan Mahan, Aja Mulligan, Talia Parisi, Natalia Portela, Jerkeithea Simmons, Raymonie Simmons, Taylor Turner, Shakeria Warren, Deja Williams, Kalayah Williams.

12th Grade

• All “A” Principal’s Honor Roll: Jacob Bingham, Cali Caulder, Raven Chapman, Jade Crymes, Minh Dang, Morgan Doray, Kierra Grayson, Bobbi Jo Hearn, Amanda Hilton, Shelly Houge, Krystyn Kibler, Ian Klauck, Jayde Little, Tinea Morris, Shivin Shetty, Cheyenne Stanley, Jordan Steward, Jessica Wells, Shaquan West.

• Distinguished Dolphin A/B Honor Roll: Jestine Aho, Dominique Allen, Ericka Alston, Matthew Beeler, Amber Biczko, Kassidy Block, James Buck, Tyrek Byson, Tyler Cochran, Marc Corlett, Karen Daniel, Taylor Gibson, Mark Hetrick, Danielle Heyward, Zyaisha Jenkins, Jonathan Knuth, Daniel Lee, Shawn Lee, Darelle Lesesne, Paula Madrid, Tyshanna Major, Sydni McDonald, Diamon McFadden, Jasmine Middleton, Jennifer Mossage, Cierra Negron, Olivia Nolan, Clyde Parker, Shanice Pusha-Powell, Paula Ramsey, Mary Rice, Kierra Scott, Perrie Sterling, Destiny Vande Burgt, Jessie Walker, Cameron Wood, Louis Wright.

• 3.0 Dolphin Honor Roll: Nakiya Byas, De’Monte Daise, Jeffrey Darden, Mark Davis, Sarah Earwood, Cindy Foncea, David Frazier, Evelyn Johnson, Stephen Kadas, Sarah Kardohely, Preslie Kight, Allison Kopanski, Taniellia Leak, DeAnthony Moore, LaShirrae Morrall, Quamecha Morrison, Alex Nelson, Tiffany Novoa, James Oatts, Michael Reyes, De’Quan Robinson, Jonathan Saullo, Chrisshona Simmons, Christian Turner, Caleb Weaver, Sherry Whalley, Daejahne Williams, Chelsea Witter, Bianca Zaragoza.

RIVERVIEW CHARTER 

Honor Roll First Trimester (Director’s List: All A’s; Honor

Roll: All A’s & B’s; Honorable Mention: All As, Bs & 1C.)

6th Grade

• Director’s List: Abigail Chiaviello, Gracie Cunningham, Lilah Delbos, Kaki Harrelson, Maddie McKnight, Walker Perryman, Grace Trask, William Winburn.

• Honor Roll: Jasmyn Cruz-Woodley, Katherine Foster, Ki’Arra Freeman, Olivia Giammona, Warren Gibson, Elizabeth Holloway, Joelle Hudson, Tenaya Jennette-­Thomas, Ajane Jones, Julianna Lane, Hopi Stewart, Jack Tucker, Isabel Vega, Harper Walton.

• Honorable Mention: Walker Christian, Jimmy Davenport, Jordyn Ford, Gracie Gecy, Tyler Green, Henry Harper, Isaac Morales, Mariah Midyette.

7th Grade

• Director’s List: Claire Bowden, Maggie Kinton, Mabrey Kolb, Avery Thomas.

• Honor Roll: Christian Andrade, Sydnee Coggins, Steven Dagley, Ian Hoogenboom, Chris Jenkins, Hammie Kerney, Taliya Lewis, Edmund McAlister, Cole McKelvey, Joseph Mooney, Macy Mullen, Merritt Patterson, Keating Reichel, Brayden Sarathy,  Sydney Smith, Ben Trask.

• Honorable Mention: Ben Beckert, Kelsey Duncan, Lillian Kindwall, Colin Matz, Gabi O’Quinn, Jose Restrepo.

8th Grade

• Director’s List: Annalee Chiaviello, Adriana Heath, Kidron Martin, Gabriella Morales, Max Trask.

• Honor Roll: Connor Brown, Carmen Cruz-­Woodley, Amanda Davenport, Mitchell Dixon, Victoria Ganshow, Victoria Hernandez, Reed Reichel, Sam

Stewart, Jasmyn Torrence, Savannah Walton.

• Honorable Mention: Brittany Gates, Alexis Russell, Patrick Tucker.

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School Notes

BATTERY CREEK HIGH

• Battery Creek High School Fine Arts Department will hold a Winter Gala on Thursday, Dec. 4 at 6:30 p.m., at John J. McVey Performing Arts Center. Admission is free, but canned goods will be accepted for local charities. Participants include the school’s Concert Band, Chorus, Drama Department, Strings Orchestra and Visual Arts.

BEAUFORT ACADEMY

• Friday, Nov. 28: Beaufort Academy Alumni Soccer Game begins at 2 p.m. Game to be played in memory of Eagle Alumni William Trask (BA ’69) and Alex Apps (BA ’07).  Please contact Bethany Byrne if you’re interested in playing in the game at 843-524-3393 or bbyrne@beaufortacademy.org.  All are invited to come cheer on the alumni players.

• During the month of December, BA will once again partner with FWDG (Furniture Warehouse Design Gallery) for the annual Coat Drive.  Donations are being collected at school from December 1 through 19.

Send your classroom events or school information to theislandnews@gmail.com.

More than 40 Lady’s Island Elementary School students went on a field trip to the Port Royal Sound Maritime Center. This field trip was instructed by Tim Price, naturalist for the center. Students collected water samples, took data, did sketches from the marsh and touch tank and went on a boat ride. The trip educated students about the local water shed and inspired them for their art and poetry work for River of Words.

More than 40 Lady’s Island Elementary School students went on a field trip to the Port Royal Sound Maritime Center. This field trip was instructed by Tim Price, naturalist for the center. Students collected water samples, took data, did sketches from the marsh and touch tank and went on a boat ride. The trip educated students about the local water shed and inspired them for their art and poetry work for River of Words.

The Beaufort Academy Chess Team won the Elementary Division First Place Team Trophy at the Golden Isles Chess Tournament on Saturday, Nov. 15, in Brunswick, Ga. Whit Suber won the Primary Division 5-0, Jack McDougall won the Elementary Division 5-0, and Kevin Rogers came in 3rd in Middle School, 4-1. Pictured from left: Jack McDougall, Whit Suber, Kevin Rogers, G Simmons, Kendra Rogers, Maxwell Winters.

The Beaufort Academy Chess Team won the Elementary Division First Place Team Trophy at the Golden Isles Chess Tournament on Saturday, Nov. 15, in Brunswick, Ga. Whit Suber won the Primary Division 5-0, Jack McDougall won the Elementary Division 5-0, and Kevin Rogers came in 3rd in Middle School, 4-1. Pictured from left: Jack McDougall, Whit Suber, Kevin Rogers, G Simmons, Kendra Rogers, Maxwell Winters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Montessori school breaks ground for new building

Students, board members, teachers and staff at Lowcountry Montessori, along with Rep. Shannon Erickson, helped celebrate breaking ground on the school’s permanent facility on Thursday, November 20.

Thomas Construction Group is building the 20,000-square-foot facility which will be two separate buildings that will house more than 250 students.  The school plans to relocate mid-year when the facility is finished in the spring.

“We are thrilled to have a facility that will meet the needs of a Montessori classroom and our students.  It is fantastic to see the concept of our school become a reality and it is happening,” stated Amy Horn, director of Lowcountry Montessori.

Laura McKeown, Lowcountry Montessori assistant director, said, “We are fortunate to be the first charter school in the area to design and build our own building.”

The foundation work will begin shortly and the school hopes to see walls going up soon.

photo 5

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Bridges Prep reorganizes leadership to move forward

Bridges Preparatory School, a state-sponsored charter school in downtown Beaufort, agreed to part ways with Head of School Bob Cook. Josefina Blanc, an integral part of Bridges Prep since it opened over a year ago, will serve as interim executive director.

“With a growing enrollment, a strong facilities plan and a recent assessment of our strengths and needs, we realized that we needed to alter our course to meet our goals and the needs of our students and their families,” Bridges Prep Chairman John Payne said.

“We are excited that Ms. Blanc has agreed to serve as our interim Executive Director for the remainder of this school year, and we wish Mr. Bob Cook all the best,” Payne said. Cook’s last day at Bridges will be Dec. 19, 2014, the last school day before the Winter Holiday. The arrangement was finalized Monday.

Bridges Prep serves students in kindergarten through sixth grade, but will begin adding additional grades each year, starting with seventh grade in the 2015 school year. The school opened in August 2013 with all its classrooms filled and has about 150 students on a waiting list.

Cook previously served six months as Bridges’ Interim Head of School and came to Beaufort’s state-chartered school with experience in Charleston-area schools as well as DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland.

“Our Needs Assessment clearly identified areas we need to strengthen, and chief among those was our internal leadership,” said Eve Miller, treasurer for the Board of Directors. “The Executive Director will serve basically as our CEO to keep everything moving forward – our academics, professional development for our staff, our finances and certainly our facilities plans.

“We need to make sure our teachers follow our proven model of Paideia education, and we need to be sure each of our students is learning in the best and most appropriate ways to ensure their academic success,” Miller said.

“With her local experience as a teacher and in the private sector in New York City, Josefina Blanc has agreed step in as our interim leader as we move through the rest of this school year,” Miller said. “We have a strong supporting cast and expect our enrollment to continue to grow as Bridges Prep continues to push forward.”

Kay Keeler, a longtime Beaufort County educator and principal, will serve as Interim Head of School at Bridges Preparatory School when Cook leaves.

“With our interim Executive Director and Head of School, with dedicated teachers and staff, and with parents who actively participate in their children’s education, we look forward to a wonderful second semester,” Payne said.

Blanc has served as Bridges’ director of communications and technology, and also taught Spanish, though she’s fluent in French and English as well. Previously, she taught World Languages in Beaufort County’s public schools. Before entering the education field, she worked in media management, production and advertising in New York City and Latin America for major firms such as Young & Rubicam, Big magazine, BlackBook, and Art+Commerce.

Her educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Literature and Linguistics, with a minor in French and she graduated Cum Laude from Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago, Chile. Blanc also earned a Master’s degree in Media Studies from The New School University in New York City, and participated in New York University’s College of Arts & Science Exchange Program.

“We have potential to be an exceptional charter school, and my goal is to help us achieve all that we can be,” Blanc said.

“I believe in this school, this staff and these students. I know that if we take this as an opportunity as a united staff to show that a distributed leadership model can work, if we focus on clear duties, relationships, involvement and effective support systems, we can demonstrate to our board, to the county and the state that we do have a unique, grand vision, and that it is possible to reform public education,” she said.

Last May, Bridges Prep, a Paideia and STEM-infused charter school located in downtown Beaufort, finalized an agreement with the Boys & Girls Club to purchase the facility at 1100 Boundary Street. The facility purchase is the first of its kind for area charter schools and allows Bridges to control its future.

Bridges Prep officials are filing the USDA loan application package this week for funding of the new addition and renovation of what will become the new K-8 facility.  If approved, construction is proposed to begin in the spring.

As a state charter school, Bridges Prep is open to all students in South Carolina and students come from Beaufort, Port Royal, Burton, St. Helena Island, Okatie, Bluffton, and Jasper and Hampton counties.

“Being in the heart of historic Beaufort means our local community truly is our extended classroom — USCB, the Technical College of the Lowcountry, the city’s parks and athletic fields, the downtown county library,” Blanc said. “It’s one part of what makes Bridges so special to many of our families; we are the one area charter that is purposefully redefining the relationship between education and urbanism.”

For more information, visit www.bridgesprep.org.

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School district earns second Good rating on state report cards

The Beaufort County School District earned its second consecutive Good rating – and the number of schools rated Good or Excellent improved to an all-time high – on 2014 School Report Cards issued today by the South Carolina Department of Education.

The district’s on-time high school graduation rate – the percentage of students who complete high school “on time” and get a diploma in four years – improved to 78.3, up from 75.3 in 2013 and 69.1 five years ago.

“Last year was our first-ever district-wide Good rating, and we’ve maintained that rating this year,” said Superintendent Jeff Moss.  “But our goal is an Excellent rating, and we’re going to keep pushing toward that.”

The number of district schools rated Good or Excellent improved from 19 last year to 21 this year.  Looking at five-year trend data, the number of schools rated Good or Excellent has increased from seven in 2009 to 21 in 2014 (25 percent to 68 percent).

The number of schools rated Excellent, Good or Average decreased slightly, from 31 last year (100 percent) to 29 this year (94 percent).  Looking at five-year trend data, the number of schools rated Average, Good or Excellent has increased from 21 in 2009 to 29 in 2014 (75 percent to 94 percent), according to the South Carolina Department of Education.

Six district schools improved their ratings, three dropped a category and the rest retained the same ratings from last year.

Each South Carolina school and district receives a rating — Excellent, Good, Average, Below Average or At-Risk — based on student test scores.  Rating formulas are based on student achievement levels set by the Education Oversight Committee, created by the General Assembly to guide implementation of South Carolina’s Education Accountability Act of 1998.   Report Card data also include student-teacher ratios, dollars spent per student, absentee rates for students and teachers, amount of instructional time, average teacher salaries and the socio-economic status of students’ families.

Beaufort County’s 2014 ratings were boosted by generally higher elementary and middle school scores on Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (PASS) exams and by improved scores on high school exit and end-of-course exams.  In addition, the district’s four-year “on-time” high school graduation rate continued to improve.

Overall, the district had 11 schools rated Excellent, 10 rated Good, eight rated Average and two rated Below Average.

Schools rated Excellent were Beaufort High, Bluffton Elementary, Bluffton High, Coosa Elementary, Hilton Head Island School for the Creative Arts, Hilton Head Island High, Okatie Elementary, Pritchardville Elementary, Red Cedar Elementary, Riverview Charter (elementary grades) and Riverview Charter (middle grades).  Riverview Charter is viewed as two “separate” schools for Report Card rating purposes because it serves both elementary and middle grades.

Schools rated Good were Battery Creek High, Beaufort Elementary, Beaufort Middle, Bluffton Middle, Hilton Head Island International Baccalaureate Elementary, Hilton Head Island Early Childhood Center, Hilton Head Island Middle, Michael C. Riley Elementary, Mossy Oaks Elementary and Port Royal Elementary.

Schools rated Average were Broad River Elementary, H.E. McCracken Middle, Joseph Shanklin Elementary, Lady’s Island Elementary, Lady’s Island Middle, Robert Smalls International Academy, Whale Branch Elementary and Whale Branch Early College High.

Schools rated Below Average were St. Helena Elementary and Whale Branch Middle.

Battery Creek High’s on-time graduation rate improved from 77 percent in 2013 to 78  percent in 2014; Beaufort High’s rate declined slightly from 79.7 to 79.2 percent; Bluffton High increased from 71.1 to 75.8; Hilton Head High improved from 83.5 to 86.9 percent; and Whale Branch Early College High improved from 74.1 percent to 77.3 percent.

Looking at trend data, Battery Creek High’s four-year on-time graduation rate went from 71.4 percent in 2009 to 78 percent in 2014.  Beaufort High improved from 66.3 percent to 79.2 percent; Bluffton High improved from 67.7 percent to 75.8 percent; and Hilton Head Island High improved from 72.7 percent to 86.9 percent.  Whale Branch Early College High, a newer school, only has three years of grad rate data available.

State School Report Card ratings are calculated based on different formulas from ratings under the federal No Child Left Behind Act that were released in October.

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