DISTRICT TO RESTRUCTURE SCHOOLS, IMPLEMENT NEW TECH
FEBRUARY 27, 2014
LAKE CITY, SC: When students and teachers return to school in Lake City on August 18 for the 2014-2015 school year, they will notice a lot of changes the district plans to make over the summer.
Superintendent Dr. V. Keith Callicutt told members of the district’s Board of Trustees of the plans to restructure grades in the Lake City elementary and middle schools beginning next year during the board’s regular monthly meeting Thursday.
Beginning in the 2014-2015 school year, Florence County School District Three will change the grade structures at elementary and middle schools in Lake City. Lake City Elementary will serve students in kindergarten through second grades, while Main Street Elementary will serve students in third through fifth grades. J.C. Lynch Elementary, Olanta Elementary and Scranton Elementary schools will continue to serve students in kindergarten through fifth grades.
The district also will restructure grades at both middle schools. J. Paul Truluck will house sixth graders only, while Ronald E. McNair Middle School will serve seventh and eighth graders.
Dr. Callicutt said the primary reason for restructuring the grade levels at those schools is to better meet the instructional needs of students.
"We believe we can better address some areas of need in early childhood education by creating a K-2 structure at Lake City Elementary," he said. "Knowing that state testing begins in the third grade, we can more effectively address the instructional needs of students within that age group by structuring Main Street Elementary for grades three through five," he added.
Students entering eighth and ninth grades will see a change in the style of instruction they receive as the district begins to phase in the New Tech curriculum.
The district will implement New Tech in the seventh and tenth grades in 2015-2016 and will then add the eleventh grade the following year and the twelfth the year after that when it will be fully implemented in grades 7-12.
Dr. Callicutt said having all seventh and eighth graders on the same campus makes logistical and instructional sense as the district plans for full implementation of New Tech.
"By locating the sixth grade on a campus by itself, we can begin to prepare those students for a new type of instruction they will see when they enter the seventh grade," he explained.
The New Tech design provides an instructional approach centered on project-based learning, a culture that empowers students and teachers, and integrated technology in the classroom. The hands-on, multi-year approach gives schools structure and support to ensure long-term success.
Project-based learning@is at the heart of the New Tech instructional approach. In project-based learning, learning is contextual, creative, and shared. Students collaborate on projects that require critical thinking and communication. By making learning relevant to them in this way, student engagement reaches new levels. This higher level of engagement is associated with better educational outcomes.
The smart use of technology supports the program’s innovative approach to instruction and culture. All classrooms have a one-to-one computing ratio. With access to Web-enabled computers and the latest in collaborative learning technology, every student becomes a self-directed learner who no longer needs to rely on teachers or textbooks for knowledge and direction. New Tech uses Echo, an online learning management system, to create a vibrant network which helps students, teachers, and parents connect to each other, and to student projects across the country.
Each New Tech school maintains a culture that promotes trust, respect, and responsibility. At New Tech schools, students and teachers alike have exceptional ownership of the learning experience and their school environment. Working on projects and in teams, students are accountable to their peers and acquire a level of responsibility similar to what they would experience in a professional work environment.
First - Third Grade Art Opportunity
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MSE Curriculum Night
On the evening of Tuesday, September 13, families and staff of Main Street Elementary kicked off their annual fall Curriculum Night with an informational Title I meeting. From there, parents and students went to classrooms where teachers, parents, and students could prepare fun and educational materials which could then be taken home and receive other valuable educational resource material. This was referred to as the Make-it, Take-it portion of the evening. After everyone had visited their classrooms, students led their parents to the cafeteria for dinner. In addition to dinner, the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program was celebrated in the cafeteria with big bags of assorted fresh fruit given to parents and students. Participants were also able to get a big slice of watermelon with their dinner. Overall, the MSE Curriculum Night was full of exciting and educational moments!
MSE Grand Parents were grooving the music of Motown as they were celebrated. All grandparents were treating to a deluxe continental breakfast. Many grandparents visited their grandchild’s classroom where they were gifted with poems, pictures, and letters from their grandchild. Over 300 grandparents came out to celebrate. As the grandparents spent valuable time with their grand children strengthen family relations and community involvement is the idea behind this event. Also, grandparents were given the opportunity to take pictures with their grandchild to capture their life touch memory.