Cookies, Conferences and Clothes

The Center for Accelerated Preparation (CAP), an elementary magnet program hosted in Kelly Mill Middle School, presented their entrepreneurial enterprise “Crunch Time Cookies,” at the Richland 2 School Board meeting Tuesday night at Polo Road Elementary. The students solicit orders, calculate the amount of ingredients needed, bake and package cookies and keep very precise financial records to know their profits. Besides the profit side, the students have adopted a soldier stationed in Kuwait and send their goodies overseas regularly. Profits to date this year are $300. Cookies are baked and distributed every other week. The audience and Board were ready to hire the students for their own businesses when they reported their chocolate chip cookie recipe a best seller with a 64 percent profit margin!

Board Vice-Chairwoman Melinda Anderson broke with the published agenda to report on a Charlotte conference she attended recently that was hosted by Schlechty Center. She felt the enthusiasm of the conference was contagious and that every principal and teacher must buy-in to the model, as she said students of today do not learn in the same way as they once did. Her own enthusiasm for the Schlechty model is strong and she said she no longer wishes to hear any negative comments about the Schlechty teaching model that the district began using in 2010 under the helm of Superintendent Katie Brochu. She repeated that she is a strong advocate and that Schlechty is the path for Richland 2.

Moving back to the approved agenda items, the Board discussed the Dress Code. Several months ago it came to the Board’s attention during presentations by students that the dress code perhaps no longer matched students’ actual attire. Study groups were convened at every level and the initial results were presented. A third of the elementary schools use uniforms, although student/parents have the right to opt out. Overall, there were no major concerns from students, parents, teachers and administrators as the dress code is currently written. As was expected, the middle and high school dress codes faced the most scrutiny. All concerned said they supported the concept of banning sagging pants – a strike against the current pop culture. Reaction was mixed for the wearing of hoodies and hats. Blythewood Academy, the alternative middle and high school, was not part of the survey. Board members Chip Jackson and Barbara Specter wanted to hear from these students as they would most likely be moved to their home schools at semester’s end. Currently, Blythewood Academy students wear uniforms as a show of respect for authority (rules) and more importantly self-respect. Principal Keith Price of Blythewood High School said that the high school students truly appreciated the opportunity to have a voice that was heard in the dress code policy dialogue.

A work session was called for 6 p.m. at the District Office on March 19. While an agenda is expected to be published by week’s end, in previous conversations, the Superintendent’s review and professional development expenses were to be discussed at an upcoming work session. It would also be expected that some discussions regarding the Student Education Center would also be made.

The next regularly scheduled Board meeting is March 26, at Conder Elementary School.

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