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District 1 Critical Needs Print E-mail
Written by Vicki Cleveland, Staff Reporter   

Since the School Referendum for a new facility for Bamberg School District One failed in the later part of this past year, the district one school board has tabled the idea of presenting another referendum to the people until further research can be done.

“We have not addressed having another referendum, there were several plans looked at originally,” Dr. Dale Padgett, Chairman, said, “and we presented the one that we felt would best fill the needs of the district. Now we will probably have to look in the near future at what we critically need.”

At this time, the board does not have a time line as to when they will revisit another referendum.

During Monday nights meeting the school board dealt with legal issues concerning the use of school property during school hours for non-school related events.

After consultation with Childs and Halligan Law Firm, they heard the first reading on policy concerning the closing of school to accommodate non-school events and the renting of the facilities for the use of non-school events. It was brought to the boards’ attention that closing school early and the use of the facilities for non-school related functions could raise legal issues.

Policy for the use of the school needs to be in place to protect the school, the students and those who may rent the “rentable facilities”.

Another issue covered in the proposed policy is timing of the use of the school facilities for non-school related events. Do to regulations on attendance and school openings, closing the school during the regularly schedule school day for a non-education related function opens issues of State regulation compliance by the district. “No one minds the use of the school, it’s the timing,” Dr. Padgett said. “It must be done when students are out of school.”

Several teachers for each school division reported to the board on their personal experiences with the new early dismissal program that has been implemented on a trail basis in district one over the past few months.

Sharon Zion, Science Coordinator commented “What helped me the most is having the opportunity to speak with my teachers on a regular basis without having to try to catch them all after school when I need to speak with them.” She commented that so many of her teachers are involved in other groups with their children after school, and it’s hard get them all together. With the new program the departments can stay on the same page.

Denise Miller, Consumer Science Dept said, “this program gives us the opportunity to thoroughly examine student data. We can now collaboratively and continually grow as a facility and develop strategies and class room practices that hopefully will improve student learning and success.”

Five teachers took the time out of their day to come in and update the board on the success of the Early Dismissal Program.

During public comments, Larry Long questioned the board about progress made in a homebound issue involving his daughter. “I was promised a response in 10 days to my hearing concerning my daughter, you were quick to admit there was a problem, but now 13 months later nothing has been done,” Mr. Long emotionally pleaded to the board.

In a brief conversation with Mr. Long following the meeting he stated that in March and April of 2006 his daughter, who was taking honors courses, had to miss 3 weeks of school do to illness. Although, homebound work was requested, it was not issued and she fell behind. Upon return to school she requested help from the teacher in one of her honors courses. The teacher told his daughter that it was not her job to help her catch up. As a result, Mr. Long feels that his daughter was denied her educational rights.

He had a hearing before the school board in January of 2007 when he says he was told that he would receive a response to his request for action to be taken to insure that not only his child but other children who were unavoidably prevented from attending school for a period be given the opportunity and needed teacher assistance to catch up within 10 days. As of last night, he says, nothing has been done.

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