BHS Project Helps Children; Students Endorse Name Change

BLYTHEWOOD – Visitors and guests entered the Blythewood High School atrium for the Richland 2 School Board meeting on Dec. 10 to the laughing of 127 foster children and their families in the throes of a celebration complete with dinner, gifts and crafts. Like all five high schools in Richland 2, Blythewood students participate in a large winter community service project. Stuffing stockings for children suffering from sickle cell anemia, collecting children’s books, donating canned goods and hosting foster children to a winter party are the four events that encompass Blythewood’s Holiday Wishes campaign.

The Naming of Parts

Students from Lake Carolina Elementary and their PTO President all endorsed the adjusted name change to Lake Carolina Elementary Lower for their school, which is slated to house kindergarten through second grade next year. The adjacent new school #19, housing third- through fifth-graders, will be called Lake Carolina Elementary Upper. The naming committee, with enormous input from current students, felt the names unified the Lake Carolina neighborhood and clarified the relationship to the schools within a five minute walk on one another.

Data Snapshot

Director of Accountability and Assessment Jeff Potts presented a snapshot of District data. Current enrollment is just under 27,000 students with 47 percent of the students qualifying for free or reduced lunch, the commonly used indicator of poverty. When studying PASS testing results from five years ago, third-graders across the District improved their scores in reading, math, science and social studies with a slight dip in writing. Eighth-graders dropped in all five subjects. Board member James Manning said he is troubled by the continuing underperformance of the district’s eighth-graders and asked what is currently been done to address this. Chief Academic Officer Sue Mellette said that a middle school math specialist has been hired who is observing every math class with emphasis on the algebra classes and that two courses in algebra are being offered for teachers to improved their content in this area. She concludes that a full report is planned for February.

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