Education notes for Feb. 21

February 19, 2013 

Keirra Steele wins York spelling bee

Keirra Steele, an eighth-grade student at York Middle School, won the annual York school district spelling been on Jan. 16. She will represent York schools during The Charlotte Observer Regional Spelling Bee this month.

Maggie Ramsey, a fourth-grade student at Hunter Street Elementary, placed second in the York spelling bee, and Coleman Faris, a fourth-grade student at Harold C. Johnson Elementary, placed third.

Other participants were Britton Adams, Cotton Belt Elementary; Jevon Long, Hickory Grove/Sharon Elementary; Seth Petty, Jefferson Elementary; and Dawson Helms, York Intermediate.

York school board approves 2013-14 calendar

The York school board approved a traditional calendar for the 2013-14 school year with classes beginning the third full week in August after failing to obtain a waiver that would have given it greater local control.

Under the calendar approved by the school board, classes would begin on Aug. 21, the second grading period would end on Jan. 15 and the fourth grading period would end on June 4.

Superintendent Vernon Prosser said the district sought a waiver from the state Department of Education that would have released it from state requirements that dictate when classes can begin. Under state legislation enacted in 2007, school districts can’t begin fall classes earlier than the third Monday in August.

If the district had obtained the state waiver, a second school calendar was proposed under which classes would begin on Aug. 7 and the second grading period would end on Dec. 18, before the Christmas holidays. Some educators see an advantage in having high school students finish final exams before their winter break.

“I’m disappointed, but not surprised,” Prosser said about the state’s refusal to grant a waiver. Prosser and other educators have argued for the need for greater local control in matters such as school scheduling.

According to state legislation, the State Board of Education can waive the start date requirement for “good cause” or an educational purpose at the request of a school district.

However, the law has specific requirements for good cause, including severe weather conditions, power failure or an emergency situation. Under the legislation, an educational purpose for a waiver must be for a specific school, to accommodate a special program, for a school that serves a special population of students or for a “defined program within a school.”

York approves Occupational Credential

Students who have various types of learning disabilities and who may be unable to earn a high school diploma will have the option of earning an Occupational Credential from the York school district beginning next fall.

The York school board approved the new credential last week, as an alternative to two options now available to high school students: a high school diplomas or a certificate of attendance.

The Occupational Credential, which would become a third option for students who have Individual Education Plans, required for students with various types of learning or mental disabilities, will be “a meaninful credential for non-diploma track students to present to potential employers after completion of high school,” according to the district.

The credential would require students to complete 24 high school units, the same numbers required for a diploma, with requirements in certain areas.

Tammy Britton, a York school psychologist who developed a plan for the credential in cooperation with other administrators, said the plan does not require the district to add any courses. She said the three other school districts in York County already offer the credential as an option to students.

YCHS students plan Empty Bowls fundraiser

The annual Empty Bowls Event to benefit York’s PATH will be 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28 in the Floyd D. Johnson Technology Center Culinary Arts dining hall.

The groups that are involved in this yearly community service project are the York Comprehensive High School art students, Student Council, the technology center FCCLA and the chefs of the culinary arts program.

For a donation of $10, diners can choose a ceramic bowl piece made by the YCHS art clubs and art students and also enjoy a homemade meal of soup, cornbread and sweet tea.

Family Trust offers scholarship

Applications are being accepted by Family Trust Federal Credit Union for its Eddie Reeves Volunteerism Scholarship.

The $1,000 scholarship is given to a Family Trust member of any age who is an exemplary volunteer. The award will be announced at the credit union’s annual meeting April 9.

The scholarship is named for Eddie Reeves, a credit union volunteer for more than 30 years who served as board chairman for 25 years. The deadline to apply is March 9. The application can be found online at www.familytrust.org. Click on Scholarships, grants and donations.

Tractor Supply scholarship under way

As an extension of its sponsorship with the National FFA Foundation, Tractor Supply Co. announces a new scholarship program to assist FFA members.

The Growing Scholars program will be supported nationally by more than 1,150 Tractor Supply stores through Feb. 24, which includes National FFA Week. Tractor Supply customers may donate $1 at store registers during the checkout process to support local FFA chapters.

Ninety percent of funds raised through Tractor Supply’s Growing Scholars program will be used to fund scholarships for FFA members. The remaining 10 percent will benefit state FFA organizations.

To be eligible for the scholarship, students must be current FFA members and either high school seniors or a freshman, sophomore or junior college student seeking a two- or four-year degree or other specialized training program. Major areas of study will be considered when determining scholarship recipients.

Pre-K, kindergarten signups for Clover

Clover School District pre-kindergarten and kindergarten registration is scheduled for the week of March 4. Parents should register children at their current elementary school assignment based on the 2012-13 attendance lines.

Parents may register children at Bethany, Bethel, Griggs Road, Kinard, and Larne from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 4-8. Registration hours at Crowders Creek are 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 4-8.

All six elementary schools will have an evening registration period 3-6 p.m. Tuesday, March 5.

To be eligible for pre-k, children must be 4 on or before Sept. 1, 2013. To be eligible for kindergarten, children must be 5 on or before Sept. 1, 2013.

Parents should bring the child’s legal birth certificate with the state seal, two proofs of residency with the name and address of the parent registering the child and up-to-date immunization records. For information, contact Pam Cato at 803-810-8013.

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