The Newberry High construction continues to gain ground as the project is on track.
Jim Suber, assistant superintendent for operations, turned over the project analysis to Barry Evans with Cumming Construction Management. Evans is a program director with Cumming.
Evans says, “In the last 30-40 days, we have gained ground.”
“In the science labs, for example, we have finished painting this (past) week,” said Evans, who adds that the 100 wing and the ceiling grid are next.
A major step will be accomplished when the metal frames for the opening for the science labs come in, Evans says. The frames should have come in this past week.
“The theater and the labs are on track for about the same time to finish,” he explained, “The foundations are in place for the perimeter and how it aligns with the existing building.”
He went on to further explain the security entrance between the wings is also on track.
“We are getting to a more reasonable completion (and) will make up time once the metal frames are in so that we can close up the building (where the science labs walls are),” said Evans.
Evans also added that the staff at Newberry High - from the principal to the teachers to the students - have all been “wonderful to work with.”
In news related to another school, board member Ike Bledsoe said that the Whitmire Community football stadium will bear a new name of Legends Stadium.
This announcement was made after an executive session and all board members approved. There will be a plaque that also recognizes Whitmire players and coaches.
Policy revision, rule changes
The board unanimously approved a couple of second and final readings as presented by assistant superintendent Cynthia Downs in regards to a couple of administrative revisions and changes.
The first item on the agenda was for a policy regarding instructional resources and materials and Downs said, “much of it remains the same with the exception of a few words.”
This policy addresses students privacy and how parents may, for example, opt out of a survey administered in class. The students and their parents are looked after with this policy.
The second item was for promotion and retention of students in grades kindergarten through eighth grade and how the schools determine whether or not a child is retained or accelerated.
Downs said that there were “many changes in the educational accountability act.”
Hiring and turnover
Pam Arrington, human resources director, presented the hiring/turnover profile for the district for 2012-13.
She reported that 62.5 teachers were hired and there were seven administrative transfers for this school year.
As for turnover, 45 teachers are no longer with the district. The reasons are as follows: 10 retired, four left, three moved, 18 left for another district, seven were not rehired and three are in the other category.
Arrington said that teachers usually left the district for another because either they found a job closer to where they were living or got married.
The accreditation report for 2011-12 had an all clear for the district and the schools.
Superintendent Bennie Bennett gave the 15 day enrollment number for this school year. Newberry County has 5,949.
Bennett says, “We have been monitoring class sizes to stay within the ratio. We do have pockets of high numbers with some classes (with a ratio of) 26/27 to 1 or 29 to 1. We will monitor.”
He also added that the Teacher of the Year/Support Staff Employee of the Year reception will be held Nov. 8 at 6 p.m. at Newberry Middle. All teachers and support staff from each school will be honored.
Also, the S.C. School Board Association Legislative Advocacy Conference and Annual Business Meeting will be Nov. 30 and Dec. 1-2 and Newberry need a couple of delegate and a couple of alternates.
This year, chairman Jody Hamm and board member Ike Bledsoe will be the delegates and the alternates will be board members Lee Attaway and Gregg Taylor.