Message from the Superintendent
Our district is helping all students develop the world class skills and life and career characteristics of the Profile of Graduates by the integration of our vision, our mission, our commitment to excellence, and our framework of safety, academics, and character development. Our faculty and staff work untiringly to meet the challenging demands that provide the necessary academic growth and learning experiences that will enable our students to compete globally.
The district’s motto, “Accountability, Achievement, Attendance – Turning It All Around,” compels each employee to perform to highly efficient standards, and each student to perform to their highest level of achievement, according to their ability and potential. The primary focus is academic performance, along with a safe school environment. Investing in professional development for teachers, support personnel, and administrators is also important and essential to our success.
To ensure and support life and career characteristics, our district has implemented the following initiatives:
· After school tutoring in all schools;
· Teacher Assessment Program (TAP) at the elementary and middle
· Extended learning time in all schools;
· Measure of Academic Progress (MAP);
· TE21 Bench Mark Testing at the elementary school;
· Read to Succeed at the elementary school;
· Attendance Intervention Plan (AIP) in all schools; and
· Academy of Math/Reading at the elementary and middle schools.
Through all of these initiatives, students throughout the district obtain extra help on class assignments and/or difficult tasks and gain immediate feedback to determine areas that need special attention. Teachers obtain information regarding students’ impending weak and strong areas and receive technological support to help align and assess instruction.
Collaborating with students, teachers and community reminds us of why it is imperative for students to experience success. Data allows the district to investigate performance to make meaningful adjustments to determine where to focus instruction. We know from years of long-term assessment of data that our smartest and greatest investment is improving early education and student performance and that it is the best way to make a difference in decreasing dropouts, increasing graduation rates and increasing knowledge. We will continue to tailor our professional development to meet the demands and challenges facing the district. There are no easy answers, but support from our school board, teachers and community will chart a path to lasting improvement in all we do.
“Student Achievement, Accountability, Attendance-Turning It All Around”
Dr. Thelma F. Sojourner
Dear Parents and Students:
The safety of our students continues to be of utmost importance. Schools that are safe and productive for all students lead to the foundation of high expectations and increased academic performance. As this year begins, let me again remind you of the district’s policies and expectations for school safety.
The School Resource Officer helps monitor the buildings and grounds, and ensures that students are protected and safe at all times. Safety cannot be compromised. We must provide a safe environment for students, faculty and staff. Therefore, students must acknowledge and abide by the policies, rules and regulations that govern the process of safety.
There are legal restrictions on smoking in school and on the school grounds. There are also regulations on respecting teachers and administrators, and laws prohibiting drug use, consuming alcoholic beverages, and bringing weapons to school. None of these activities help student learning and they often cause behavior that is not helpful to receiving a good education. Students that violate legal restrictions, including the use of marijuana, other drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, or possession of weapons, shall not be allowed to remain in school or attend alternative school.
There is to be no fighting or bullying in the schools, on the school grounds or on buses. Nothing can happen between two people that cannot be settled in a rational, peaceful, and productive manner. We have a school resource officer, counselors, peer mediators, teachers, and principals who are willing to help in all situations. Student conduct is a reflection on the school and we must have a wholesome, positive attitude to perpetuate learning.
The Board of Trustees supports the district’s policies and rules and will uphold the laws that govern our schools. Above all, everyone who attends Bamberg School District Two has a right to be secure in his or her own body and property. Bullying and the use or possession of illegal substances or weapons will not be tolerated. We must respect each other and each other’s property.
Please be assured that we take all precautions to provide safety for our students, faculty and staff. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.
Dr. Thelma F. Sojourner
The regular Bamberg District 2 Board of Trustees meetings will be held at 5:00 p.m.on the second Monday of each month in the Board Room of the district's administrative office, 62 Holly Avenue, Denmark, SC.
D-O High students improve, exceed expectations on state report card
SavBottom of Form2015-02-15T02:30:00Z D-O High students improve, exceed expectations on state report cardBy RYANNE PERSINGER, T&D Correspondent The Times and Democrat February 15, 2015 2:30 am • By RYANNE PERSINGER, T&D Correspondent
DENMARK — Denmark-Olar High School earned a “B” on its 2014 state report card, meaning students’ performances exceeded the state’s expectations, the school’s principal reported at the Bamberg School District Two Board of Trustees’ February meeting.
The high school earned a score of 84.4 based on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or federal accountability system. ESEA emphasizes equal access to education, along with measuring academic performance and levels of accountability of schools and districts.
Denmark-Olar High Principal Mickey reported the school, which has an enrollment of 208 students, scored an absolute rating of “average” and a growth rating of “below average.” In 2013, the school’s ESEA grade was a “D,” and it earned an “F” in 2012.
Pringle said some systems geared toward academic success at DOHS include an advisor/advisee program; the Bridge program, where rising freshmen attended a four-week course over the summer; and after-school tutoring.
“When we reflect to see what has made the difference … we truly have a highly dedicated staff,” Pringle said. “We want to focus on systemic change.”
The scores on the exit exam (High School Assessment Program) at Denmark-Olar High reflected a passage rate of 86.4 percent in 2014, he said. The HSAP is no longer mandated. Pringle noted that 80 percent of the students also had an on-time graduation rate.
Going forward, Pringle said the high school wants to enhance students’ academic achievement, build the community’s trust and create an environment that is conducive to teaching and learning.
Additionally, during the curriculum and instruction report, Dr. Ruby J. Johnson reported the three schools are holding after-school enrichment programs three days a week, which focus on intervention to increase student achievement.
Johnson said Denmark-Olar Elementary and Denmark-Olar Middle are targeting the areas of English as a Second Language and math. Credit recovery is highlighted at the high school, where students are allowed to make up hours in English, geometry and Spanish, she noted.
Johnson said the schools are also training parents how to use the district’s new Parent Portal, which allows them to look at their students’ grades, progress and assignments via the Internet.
Also during the meeting:
* Trustee Alvin Maynor asked Sojourner where the district stood in using dogs in the schools to detect drugs. Sojourner said she spoke with Denmark police and was told they would take care of it.
* It was reported the Denmark-Olar Middle School Robotics Team competed in the First Lego League Regional Competition Jan. 24 in Walterboro. The team placed 10th out of 21. The team included students Isha Patel, Christopher Priester, Harold Johnson, Julia Avesta, Robert Rhodes, Talance Holman, Zynea Williams and Peaches Patterson. Superintendent Dr. Thelma Sojourner acknowledged each of the students and awarded them with a pin.
* Yolonda Ray, a 1989 graduate of the high school, gifted the district with three flags that were flown in Kabul, Afghanistan. Ray, who is a military veteran, was not able to attend the meeting, but her mother was in attendance. Sojourner expressed her appreciation to Ray.
* Students of the Month recognized by the board were Tamareeyai Nelson, elementary school; Julia Avesta, middle school and Candace Davis, high school.
* Recognized as Teacher of the Month was elementary school teacher Claudia Fletcher.
The Bamberg School District Two Board of Trustees’ next regularly scheduled meeting will be at 5 p.m. on March 9.
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