NEWBERRY — A request to change high school course names was approved at the Newberry County School District Board of Trustees meeting this week.
The decision to change the course names comes after Gov. Nikki Haley signed Act 155 in May, making the High School Assessment Program (HSAP) and Exit Exams no longer a requirement to earn a high school diploma. The changes will remove all courses that end in HSAP Prep to College and Career Test Prep.
Cynthia A. Downs, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, proposed the course name change.
“A new test that will replace HSAP, College and Career Readiness Assessment, as well as WorkKeys will be given to 11th graders, and the course names should reflect the new assessment,” Downs said.
Downs said she believes students do better when they have more course work, which is what the new assessment and WorkKeys will provide. However, Chairman Jody Hamm had another fear.
“I am worried that they will do away with that next,” Hamm said of course work.
The standards to receive a diploma in South Carolina are still some of the toughest in the nation. To graduate, students most earn 26 credits, compared to California that requires 13.
Jim Suber, assistant superintendent for operations, updated the board on the progress of the Newberry County Career Center renovations, saying the renovations are 95 percent completed.
“If the weather stays the way it has been going, our phasing dates will be Aug. 4 for the cosmetology lab, Sept. 1 for the auto-shops and October 2014 for the upper halls and administration offices,” Suber said.
Suber also said that the building’s seismic design was changed and will save the county $9,000. The change is due to this area being less likely to have an earthquake.
The Department of Operations is now waiting on the general contractor to submit the remaining punch list documentation and the final contract resolution.
In other business:
• Director Kenneth Rawls said the target soft dates for pavement at Newberry High and Newberry Middle will be in August.
• Superintendent Bennie Bennett updated the board on two upcoming events: an open house for the new district administration building from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 10 and a session for the opening of school at 11 a.m. Aug. 14 at Mid-Carolina High School.
• Three baseball players from Mid-Carolina High School were recognized: Danton Hyman for being selected to the Region AA All-State Baseball Team, Joshua Haney for being selected to the North-South All Star Baseball Team and Justin Hawkins for his selection to the Region AA All-State Baseball Team and the North-South All Star Baseball Team.
• Jessie Reeder, the newest board member, was recognized for receiving Level II as a board member from the S.C. School Board Association.
• Following an executive session, the board approved the administration’s recommendation to revise the salary grades for the Child Nutrition Department to include an assistant managers’ position; to focus on salary increases for employees who complete S.C. Department of Education recommended training programs; student transfer requests; extending the contract of Greene, Finney and Horton auditors for the years ending June 30, 2015 through June 30, 2019; and the resignations of teachers and staff.
• The board approved the following hires: Mary Catherine Corely (kindergarten), Michael Gresham (fifth grade math and science), Susan Summer (reading coach) and Michael Brown (elementary Montessori) at Boundary Street Elementary; Bethany Hanley (ID — moderate), Haley White (fourth grade) and Elizabeth Derrick (music) at Gallman Elementary School; Coleen Makoski (art) and Gwendolyn McAllister (guidance) at Mid-Carolina High School; James Erik Barber (eighth grade science) and Tyler Kitchens (seventh and eighth grade science) at Mid-Carolina Middle School; Julia Drautz (special education/resource) at Newberry Alternative School; Johnny Amick (auto body tech), Carrie Montgomery (special populations) and Ashley Priester (Agriculture) at the Newberry County Career Center; Sean Ralston (first grade) at Newberry Elementary School; James Boatright (band) and Christina Chance (business education) at Newberry High School; Tiffany Chapin (assistant principal), Joni Nunley (sixth grade science), Meghen Kimmel-Mulieri (seventh grade social studies) and Morgan Rhodes (seventh grade math) at Newberry Middle School; Rachel Pate (third grade) and Erin Pritchett (fourth grade) at Pomaria-Garmany Elementary School; Mindy Wheeler (third grade) and Cynthia Ames (pre-k) at Prosperity Rikard; and Kristin Black (pre-k) and Ivy Holmes (Special Education) at Whitmire Community School.