NINETY SIX, SC – The regular meeting of the District 52 School Board ran long on Tuesday night as a plethora of students, teachers and the district itself were recognized for a number of outstanding achievements.
The meeting began with a performance by K-4 students honoring veterans, including a stirring song thanking veterans for their service and a bell rendition of “America, the Beautiful.”
District Top Cats were awarded to Katie Riddle (Ninety Six Primary), Tracy Reynolds (Ninety Six Elementary), Norman Mills (Edgewood Middle), Jackie Rapp (Ninety Six High), Jane Calhoun (District), Dayne Pruitt (District) and Jody Patterson (District).
A number of teachers were honored for their students achieving a 90% or better rate of standards being met on HSAP and PASS testing. 5th grade English and Language Arts, 4th grade Social Studies and high school English and Language Arts achieved the metric.
The Ninety Six Elementary Honors Chorus, led by Crystal Still, was selected to perform at the South Carolina School Board Association’s meeting in February. Still submitted a demo and was selected by SCSBA to perform. The Honors Chorus will make the trip in February for the annual meeting.
Both the boys’ and girls’ cross country teams were honored for their outstanding performances this season. Both teams made a clean sweep of Region II-AA and secured region titles. Both teams competed at the state meet, with Dylan Scott taking second in the state.
School and district report cards were released by the state Department of Education on Tuesday and District 52 received its third consecutive “Excellent” absolute rating and their fourth such rating since 2004. Ninety Six High School also received their third straight “Excellent” absolute rating, making 2012 the seventh year of the last nine they have received the state’s highest rating. Edgewood Middle School received an “Average” absolute rating, but received their second straight “Good” growth rating. Edgewood showed the most marked improvement over the last nine years, garnering an “At Risk” growth rating four out of five years between 2004 and 2008, but has received two consecutive “Average” growth ratings prior to the two consecutive “Good” growth ratings.
Ninety Six Elementary earned their third straight “Excellent” absolute rating and their second straight “Excellent” growth rating. Ninety Six Primary received their ninth consecutive “Excellent” absolute rating. The primary school has received either an “Excellent” or “Good” absolute rating and growth rating since 2004.
After a lengthy presentation on competitive cheerleading, special services and the importance of the Freedom of Information Act, Booster Club president Gregg Brown updated the board and the public on the club’s activities. Brown noted that the Booster Clun now supported athletics at all Ninety Six schools rather than just the high school and that the club provided uniforms for every sport. The club has also implemented a new procedure for procuring the uniforms in order to streamline the process and avoid potential financial trouble.
The board received an update on track renovations at the high school from Lee Dorn of Furman Architects. Dorn noted that the project was initially a resurfacing project, but became much larger after the track was evaluated. Dorn said the current track is not the proper size for competition and that it currently bore a closer resemblance to a NASCAR track than a track and field track, featuring severely banked turns that could pose a safety hazard to runners.
The board approved Dr. Petersen’s recommendation to have Furman Architects solicit bids for the project and revisit the matter when bids are in to determine the financial feasibility of completing it.