HR changes, computer software discussed by board
by Kevin Boozer Staff Writer
WINNSBORO — Fairfield County School District substitute teachers now will be managed by Kelly Temporary Agency, which will allow for closer monitoring of hourly schedules and policies.
School Superintendent J.R. Green said the agency will make sure each substitute who works 30 or more hours per week has the option of employer provided insurance. Kelly will provide weekly pay by direct deposit, bonuses, a 401K, and group medical insurance.
Green told the board during its monthly meeting Tuesday that he will find out if the change will affect the state retirement current substitute teachers might have accumulated over time. Shamil Peoples, human resources generalist with the school district, said substitute salaries remain unchanged.
Green and Assistant Superintendent Claudia Edwards shared end of course assessment score and SAT/ACT scores for the district in 2013.
The end of course assessment passage rate increased in all subject areas throughout the district. Eighth grade Algebra I and English I students had a 100 percent pass rate. Students earning and A or a B on Biology end of course examinations increased by 12 to 14 percent.
Green and Edwards acknowledged the need to improve standardized test performance. The presentation included a demonstration of the TCA test preparation software that Green and staff believe will help elevate the students’ performances on standardized tests.
The test preparation includes diagnostic functions that show students areas to improve upon and the software includes mini lessons on critical skills either for enrichment or remediation purposes. The online program is available free to students and is accessible on their mobile devices or by computer.
Green and Edwards said the TCA preparation will become embedded in teachers’ teaching. They recommend students take the TCA three weeks prior to taking the actual SAT or ACT. Review refreshers for the week prior to the PSAT, SAT or ACT also are included, as are links to ACT and SAT questions of the day.
It is hoped that better awareness of which test to take and what to expect will benefit the students and district in the future. Students must complete a specified number of hours preparation to earn the right for the district to waive test-taking fees.
“We want to assist you students (with the approximately $75 fee for the SAT), but you must do something to prepare,” Green said.
Seventh-graders who are Duke TIP scholars and can take the SAT can also use the computer software as can eighth-graders prepping for the PSAT.
The board approved moving the date of 2013 graduation from June 2 to May 31. The change came at the request of the senior class which persuaded Green an earlier date would be more convenient to out-of-town relatives. Commencement will be at 8:30 a.m.
In other business:
• Rock Around the Clock essay winners were recognized as were district teachers of the year.
• The McCrorey-Liston Alumni Association gave a check to the school district to support its educational efforts.
• District fundraisers were approved 7-0 as were field trips. A trip Geiger Elementary students took was ratified 7-0 because of a paperwork procedural issue.
• Second reading for revisions to the procurement code passed 7-0.
• The April 2014 board meeting was moved from April 15 to April 8 so contracts can be approved by the April 15 deadline.
• It was announced that the Mitford Fairfield County/Chester County lawsuit was appealed and will be heard Nov. 7 at the S.C. Supreme Court.
• Green encouraged men to come be a part of the new Bow Tie Club for mentoring middle school boys. The first meeting is Saturday at 10 a.m. Over 120 seventh-graders and eighth-graders have signed up.
• Green reported district finance director Kevin Robinson investigated county millage and the preliminary figures show that the district is receiving what it is due under the current tax structure. However, concern remained over the long term effects of fee in lieu of tax arrangements.
Those arrangements, Green said, relieve the county of the specific burden of giving the district a specified percentage of the dollars collected. More research was requested on the legal implications of that potential change.
• Certified resignations and certified recommendations passed 7-0.
• Chairwoman Beth Reid was elected delegate to the School Board Association legislative assembly. Board member Annie McDaniel will be her alternate.
• Green announced the S.C. State Band Marching 101 will be at the halftime show Friday night as FCHS takes on Keenan.
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