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Announcement Archive

 
Welcome to the School District of Pickens County
Visit Our New Website
June 30, 2014
Beginning the week of July 1, we're switching to a new website host. You should still be able to find our district homepage at www.pickens.k12.sc.us, but if you're seeing this site, please click here to go directly to our new district site. There you'll find more information about the website transition.
 
Likewise, our school websites will transition a new look, but you should still find them at the same URL addresses as before. If you don't see anything different about your school's site yet, just wait a day or two as we finish the changes.
 
Please take some time to explore the new sites as they go live. You will find that most information is arranged in the same way as it was, but many things have been rearranged to make the sites easier to navigate. We hope the new sites will make you feel more informed and connected to our schools than ever.

In Memory of Dakota Jacks
June 23, 2014
We are stunned and saddened to learn of the death of Dakota Jacks, a rising 10th grader at Pickens High School. Dakota was involved in a plane crash on his way home from California over the weekend.

We extend our deepest sympathies to Dakota's family, friends and teachers. He was an Honors student, a Pickens High School JROTC cadet, and a part of the school's Bluegrass music group.

Dakota was an outstanding member of the Blue Flame family, and he will be greatly missed.

Congratulations Class of 2014!
June 2, 2014
We're very proud of all 1,012 members of the class of 2014 who received their diplomas on May 31!

We want to thank all of the parents, siblings, friends, teachers and support staff who helped our students succeed. To see pictures from our graduation ceremonies, click below!




Graduation Times!
May 28, 2014
Graduation for the Class of 2014 will be this Saturday, May 31 at Littlejohn Coliseum. The ceremony times are as follows:
  • Liberty High - 9 a.m.
  • Daniel High - 12 p.m.
  • Pickens High - 3 p.m.
  • Easley High  - 6 p.m.
We welcome the family and friends of our graduates to come and support them as they march and receive their diplomas!

More info on the class of 2014

Congratulations to Valedictorians and Salutatorians!
May 28, 2014
 We're very proud of the Class of 2014, and of the valedictorians and salutatorians that represent it. The 2014 valedictorians in the School District of Pickens County are:
  • Sarah Waldvogel - Daniel High School
  • Emily Giambalvo - Easley High School
  • Kody Hall - Liberty High School
  • Michaela Leslie - Pickens High School
Valedictorians have distinguished themselves by graduating with the highest GPA in their classes. Our salutatorians have distinguished themselves by earning the second highest GPA in their classes. They are:
  • Forrest Wang - Daniel High School
  • Audrey Dangler - Easley High School
  • Trevor Woods - Liberty High School
  • Maddisen Cox - Pickens High School
Please congratulate these high achieving students!
View Slideshow

Roach Named Assistant Superintendent
May 27, 2014
We're excited to announce Dr. William Roach Jr. as our new Assistant Superintendent of Administration.

As Assistant Superintendent of Administration, Roach will oversee three district-wide departments: Financial Services, Operations, and Accountability and Information Technology Services. He will also be the district office’s primary contact for all principals and program directors.

Roach comes to SDPC from Greer Middle College Charter High School, where he served as Principal and Executive Director since 2010.

Read More

New Principal at Pickens Middle School
May 27, 2014
We're happy to announce Reggia Stapleton as the new principal of Pickens Middle School beginning next school year!

Stapleton will transfer to Pickens Middle School from Easley High School, where she served this year as Principal of Graduation Advancement Programs. She served as the director of the John T. Simpson Alternative Program from 2011-2013.


Summer Feeding Program
May 15, 2014
SDPC is gearing up for our Summer Feeding Program!

Non-profit organizations interested in participating must complete an application and have at least one person from the organization attend a mandatory orientation on May 19, 2014 from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. at the Student Nutrition Services location located at 1400 Griffin Mill Road (formerly the BJ Skelton Center).
An application and information are available on the website a www.sdpcnutrition.com, or click here for more information on the program.


Save the Date!
May 14, 2014
The dates and times for registration and Meet the Teacher nights for the 2014-2015 school year have been set.

Elementary Meet the Teacher night will be Thursday, August 14, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at every elementary school in the district. 

Click below for a detailed list of dates and times for middle and high school registration. Mark your calendar!

Registration Dates and Times

Thank a Bus Driver!
May 8, 2014
This week is South Carolina Bus Driver Appreciation Week!
 
Please take time to tell a bus driver that you appreciate the hard work they do. Bus drivers carry our most precious cargo thousands of miles each school year. We're glad to have people with the training and heart to transport our students through rain and shine, good behavior and bad, and from sunrise to sunset.
 
Thank you, bus drivers!

Thank a School Nurse Today!
May 7, 2014
 May 7 is National School Nurse Day!

Please take time today to tell your school nurses how much you appreciate the work they do. We want to thank our school nurses for the hundreds of nicks, cuts, bruises, sniffles and upset stomachs they have helped our students overcome this year. 


Thank you for helping us stay healthy!

Thank a Teacher!
May 6, 2014
May 6 is 2014 National Teacher Day!

Our teachers are what make Pickens County schools a great place to learn. Please take time today to show an educator how grateful you are for the impact they have made on your life. 

For ideas on how to thank a teacher, visit the
National Education Association's website!

If you don't have time to show your appreciation today, remember that Teacher Appreciation Week continues until Friday.

And if you can read this announcement, thank a teacher!

New Principals Announced!
May 6, 2014
We're happy to introduce new principals at several schools beginning in the fall. 

We're confident that each of these principals will be a great fit in their new posts. Please join us in welcoming and supporting each of them as they transition into a new role in our district.

We would also like to thank our two retiring principals for their years of distinguished service to our schools: Karen Jackson at Hagood Elementary School and Michael Fleming at Dacusville Elementary School. You will be missed!

Click on the links below to learn about the new leadership at each school! 



Sign Up For Summer Robotics Camps
May 5, 2014
 The School District of Pickens County is taking applications for the fourth annual STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) LEGO Robotics Camps. The camps will be an exciting time geared towards teaching students some basic principals in robotics. These activities include types of gears, gear ratios, levers, pulleys, programming robots, and much more. The camps are scheduled at East End Elementary School from June 16-19 and at Clemson Elementary School from June 23-26. There will be four classes at each camp based on grade level and experience.

SDPC Seeks Input On Federal Projects
April 30, 2014
A public meeting is scheduled at The Curtis Sidden Administrative Building at 1348 Griffin Mill Road, Easley on May 1, 2014 at 5:00-6:00 p.m. 

The meeting will focus on the Title II project on Teacher Quality, the Title III project regarding English Speakers of Other Languages and the Carl D. Perkins Vocational-Technical Education Act and the McKinney-Vento legislation regarding homeless children.

Click here for more information

Two New High School Principals
April 29, 2014
The board of trustees approved new principals for Daniel High School and Easley High School for the 2014-2015 schools year.
Josh Young will come from Walhalla High School to be the new principal at Daniel High, and Gary Culler will move from R.C. Edwards Middle School to lead Easley High. Both men come to their new posts with years of experience in education here in Pickens County. 
Please welcome them to their new schools next year!

Daniel High School News Release - Easley High School News Release


2014 Special Olympics
April 25, 2014
We're super proud of our special needs students who competed in the Special Olympics at Clemson University on April 25! 

We're very grateful to the many teachers, volunteers, and classmates who helped out, and we want to say a big "thank you!" to Clemson for hosting such a special day for these kids.

View Slideshow

We Extend Our Sympathy to the Family of ElyJah Coronado
April 22, 2014
The school district is mourning the loss of ElyJah Coronado, a fourth grade student at Central Elementary School. ElyJah died Saturday afternoon in an automobile accident.

On Tuesday, students at Central Elementary School will wear their school t-shirts in ElyJah's memory. On Monday, guidance counselors were assigned to the school to help students as they deal with the loss of their friend.

We appreciate the community's thoughts, prayers, and sympathy for ElyJah's family and his school during this difficult time. 

Dr. Danny Merck Named New Superintendent
April 10, 2014
We're happy to introduce Dr. Danny Merck as the new Superintendent of the School District of Pickens County. Dr. Merck comes to the position with 23 years of experience in education, most of which were spent right here in the district. Dr. Merck has served in roles including teacher, coach, principal and district administrator. For the past two years, he has been the principal of Daniel High School.
He will officially step into his new leadership role on May 1. Until then, he will work with the board of trustees and our current Superintendent, Dr. Kelly Pew, to ensure a smooth transition.

Vaccination Requirement for Rising 7th Graders
March 31, 2014
Current 6th grade students will need to receive a Tdap vaccine before the 2014-15 school year in order to meet the SC Immunization regulations.

To assist parents of rising 7th graders with this vaccine requirement ahead of the 2014-15 school year, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is working with school districts to provide the Tdap vaccine to current 6th grade students.

This week, 6th graders will be receiving a packet with information and a permission form from school. If you would like for your student to receive the Tdap vaccine at the school based vaccine clinic, you will need to return the completed permission form to the school by Tuesday, April 8.

If you have any questions, you may contact your school nurse or Angela Watson, RN, coordinator of nursing for the School District of Pickens County at (864) 397-1048.

2014 Sailboat Challenge Sets Sail!
March 27, 2014
This week, second graders from every elementary school in the district headed to the Western Carolina Sailing Club on Lake Hartwell to weigh anchor on the STEM Sailboat Challenge!
 
Students learned about the working parts of sailboats in preparation for a competition to see which team of students can design the fastest model sailboat. This project-based STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning program introduces students to basic principles of physics while incorporating important lessons about financial literacy and water safety.
 
It's exciting to see our students sail into the sea of STEM learning!

Future Chefs Culinary Competition
March 26, 2014
Congratulations to the Winner of the 2014 Future Chefs Culinary Competition: Skyler Hilley from Forest Acres Elementary School! Skyler's winning entry was her Yogurt-glazed Chicken Salad. 30 finalists from all 16 elementary schools in the district participated, and the judges chose a winner based on healthiness, originality, ease of preparation, kid-friendliness, and plate preparation.
 
The winning entry will be added to the 2014-2015 school lunch menu. Great job, Skyler!

Changes To School Calendar!
March 25, 2014
The 2013-2014 School Calendar was revised for the remainder of the school year on March 24. These calendars reflect changes because of snow days. We are using all three of the snow days that were built into the calendar at the start of the year, and the remaining snow days were forgiven by the board.

Key Changes:
  • School ends on June 6.
  • Exams (except for seniors) will be from June 3-6.
  • Schools will be open on April 21, May 23 and June 6.
  • Several grading period and report card dates have shifted.
Download Revised Parent/Student Calendar - Download Revised Teacher Calendar
Career and Technology Center Celebrates Donation
March 17, 2014
The Pickens County Career and Technology Center was awarded a donation of $18,300 from Alliance Pickens!
Alliance Pickens presented the check at a dinner at its new facility on March 13. The dinner honored recent student achievements in the field of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education.
The donation will be used primarily to fund machine tool technology and mechatronics. It will also help fund agriculture and culinary arts programs at the CTC.
We are very grateful for the support of our business community as we strive to make our students ready for college and careers.

Angela Hendricks Named SC Media Clerk of the Year
March 14, 2014
We're very proud of Angela Hendricks, our media clerk at A.R. Lewis Elementary School!
Her hard work and love of students was recognized by the South Carolina Association of School Librarians, and she was named the 2014 South Carolina Media Clerk of the Year at their annual convention in Columbia.
We want to thank Mrs. Hendricks and all of our media clerks for their important role in encouraging a love of reading in our students.

Golden Apple Winner at Pickens High!
March 5, 2014
We're very proud of Jill Denton, a biology teacher at Pickens High School, for winning last week's Golden Apple Award from WYFF News 4.

WYFF's crew visited Dr. Denton in her classroom on Wednesday morning. Her story aired on March 6 at 5 p.m. View it here!

We're happy to say this makes three Golden Apple winners in a row from Pickens County; our teachers are on a roll!

2012-2013 Report to the Community
March 4, 2014
The 2012-2013 Report to the Community is available to view. The report is an annual overview of the district including achievements, academic results, new programs, finances and capital improvements of the 2012-2013 school year.

It's the perfect resource for learning about the district for the first time, and it's a helpful update for members of our community.

Bus Drivers Needed
March 3, 2014
 The school district is in need of full-time and substitute bus drivers.

We are holding a 20-hour new bus driver class March 10-13 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 at the Transportation Services office at 1400 Griffin Mill Road, Easley.

If you are interested in taking a class and applying for a bus driving position, 
click here for more information. 
Youth Art at the Pickens County Museum
March 3, 2014
The Pickens County Cultural Commission is pleased to announce that Pickens County Youth Arts 2014 is in full swing at the Pickens County Museum. A total of 994 works of art created by Pickens County students are on display at the museum through March 27.

Several students distinguished themselves with awards, including Morgan Summerlin of Daniel High School, who took first place in the high school division with her painting, "Robin's Nest" (pictured left). 

For a complete list of award winners, click here.

Congratulations to all of our young artists and to the teachers who help them realize their talents!

View slideshow

Another Golden Apple Award Winner!
February 27, 2014
Congratulations to Amy Mitchell, a 3rd grade teacher at Forest Acres Elementary, for being selected as a WYFF News 4 Golden Apple Award Winner.

Her story aired on February 27, and can be seen by clicking here. It was the second week in a row that a teacher from SDPC has been selected for the award!

We appreciate everything our great teachers do to help our students love to learn!

Congratulations to Representative B.R. Skelton
February 25, 2014
Representative B. R. Skelton was recognized at the board meeting on Monday night by the SC Educators Association for being the recipient of the annual Friends of Education Award. This award is given annually to a legislator that has distinguished themselves by developing and supporting educational related bills.

We congratulate Mr. Skelton and thank him for his dedication and support for Public Education!

Town Hall Meeting and Auditorium Opening On February 25
December 9, 2013
Come out to see the newly renovated Gettys Middle School Auditorium and attend a town hall meeting with our superintendent, Dr. Kelly Pew on February 25 at 6:30 p.m.

The auditorium, which was built in 1939 has been renovated to serve students. Dr. Pew is looking forward to talking with parents and community members about the state of the district. 

You can even email us your questions beforehand! Send them to
ask@pickens.k12.sc.us.

Important note: this meeting was originally scheduled for January 9. It was moved to February 25.



Substance Abuse Prevention
February 24, 2014
The School District of Pickens County has partnered with the Stepping It Up Coalition of Pickens County to take a stand for substance abuse prevention.
 
Please click here to participate in a short survey on alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and prescription drug use in Pickens County.

Your participation is important for us to help create a safe environment for our students. You must live in Pickens County and be the parent of a Pickens County student to participate. Please take this survey only once. All responses are confidential.


Schools Closed on Friday because of Winter Weather Storm
February 13, 2014
New...The School District of Pickens County will be closed on Friday, February 14th because of winter weather.  We hope our families stay warm and safe.

Golden Apple Award Winner!
February 19, 2014
Congratulations to Jakie  Chaka 3rd grade teacher at Ambler Elementary School for being named a WYFF Golden Apple Award Winner. 

Beth Brotherton visited Mrs. Chaka's classroom last week to honor her.  WYFF aired the story on Thursday, February 20th at 5:00 p.m. 

We are very proud of Mrs. Chaka!

AdvancED Accreditation
February 7, 2014
The School District of Pickens County has been recommended for reaccreditation by the AdvancED (formerly known as SACS) accreditation team.
The review team spoke highly of the educational experience offered in our classrooms across Pickens County, which is a testament to our excellent teachers, staff, and families.
In keeping with AdvancED's goal of encouraging continuing improvement, required actions were outlined for improvement. AdvancED will be returning in April to follow up on two required actions, specifically relating to the elected board of trustees. On March 24, the board adoped an action plan to address issues raised by the accreditation team.


News Release - AdvancED Report - Board of Trustees Statement - Board Action Plan

Work Site Health Screenings
January 27, 2014
Work site health screenings are available for employees and retirees at Liberty High School on February 21. These screenings are a valuable way to catch preventable medical problems, and employees are encouraged to participate. 

The deadline for registration is February 18. To set up an appointment, please contact Missy Ducker, our senior benefits specialist.

For more information about cost, insurance, and tests offered, click here.


Eighth Graders Learn About Future Careers
January 9, 2014
Eighth grade students from across Pickens County took their first steps on the path to their future careers on January 9.

More than 40 professionals came to the Pickens County Career and Technology Center to talk to
students about prospective careers. Students had the opportunity to learn about more than 35 career fields including manufacturing, medicine, engineering, military, entrepreneurship, law, veterinary medicine, graphic design, human resources, education, law enforcement, nursing and more.

Pickens County Schools Delayed Until 10 a.m. on Tuesday
January 6, 2014
Because of extreme cold weather, schools in the School District of Pickens County will operate on a two-hour delay tomorrow, January 7. Classes will begin at 10:00 a.m.

Also, morning 4K classes are cancelled; afternoon 4K classes will continue as normal.

Please use caution and bundle up as you head outside!

Kindergarten Registration Has Begun!
January 3, 2014
Parents are encouraged to register kindergarten students during the scheduled dates of January 6 through January 31, 2014. However, students may be registered at the elementary school in their attendance zone during normal school hours anytime before the first day of school begins.
Children who are four years old on or before September 1, 2014 can register for four-year-old kindergarten, and children who are five years old on or before September 1, 2014 can register for five-year-old kindergarten.

More information

Donate A Device
December 17, 2013
In order to get technology in the hands of as many students as possible, the school district is accepting donations of gently used smartphones and tablets for our students to use in the classroom. If you are getting a new device this holiday, please consider donating your old one to our schools. Donations will be accepted at any school in the district. We only ask that any donated devices do not have cracked screens, and we are not able to accept used laptops.

Happy Holidays!

First Semester Exam Schedule
December 13, 2013
First semester exams are coming up!

Students, don't forget to study hard and get plenty of sleep. Exams begin on Tuesday, December 17, and end on Friday December 20.

Also, school will dismiss early on December 20. Elementary schools will dismiss at 11:00 a.m.; middle and high schools will dismiss at 11:50 a.m.

There will be no afternoon 4K classes on December 20. Morning 4K students who ride the bus will have to ride with 5K-12 students. Parents who don't wish for their 4K students to ride with older children should make arrangements to pick their children up at the 11:00 a.m. dismissal time.

Exam Schedule

Accreditation Results To Be Announced Wednesday
December 10, 2013
The AdvancED accreditation team will be presenting a performance review to the board of trustees on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. in the SDPC board room.

The presentation will include an overview of the team's visit to the district, along with commendations and required actions for the district to take over the next five years.

The meeting is open to the public, and all members of our community are invited to attend.

In Memory of Marla Rhoads
January 6, 2014
Marla Rhoads, a kindergarten teacher at Clemson Elementary School, passed away unexpectedly over the Christmas break. She leaves behind a husband, Michael, and two sons.

On Sunday night, her coworkers held a celebration of her life at the school. 

Marla will be remembered for her love for children, her positive outlook, and her sweet smile.  




Flu Season Is Here Again
January 13, 2014
Students have begun to come to school with flu symptoms over the past week, and we need the help of all our employees and parents to help stop the spread of disease!

We want to encourage our employees to be mindful of germs and wash their hands frequently and thoroughly. 

Parents, if you see any symptoms of illness, we strongly urge you to keep your child home. Please do not risk the well-being of your own child or others in order to pursue a perfect attendance certificate. Your child's health is much more important to us than his or her attendance record!


For more information on how to prevent and identify the flu, please click here.


We Remember Ron Webber
December 2, 2013
This week we mourn the loss of Ron Webber, the district's Coordinator of Career and Technology Education, who passed away on Thanksgiving Day after a long battle with brain cancer.
 
Ron was a Lt. Col. with the US Army Reserves. He served in Iraq and Kuwait and was awarded the Bronze Star while serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

His willpower, perseverance, and passion for education were a blessing to our school district, and he will be missed.

Happy Thanksgiving!
November 26, 2013
We want to wish all of our students, parents and staff a safe and very happy Thanksgiving. Our schools and offices will be closed until Monday, December 2 as we celebrate the holiday. 

We hope all of our students have an enjoyable break, and we wish everyone safety on the roads as cold weather moves in. See you on Monday!


Time To Prepare For Changes In Technology
December 5, 2013
The School District of Pickens County is in the process of updating our network infrastructure to allow greater student access to technology. On December 2, we presented information to the board for a Bring Your Own Device initiative.  We wanted you to be aware of the types of devices that may be allowed later in the school year.   

A list of approved devices is posted here.

Details about when students can begin to bring devices to school will be announced in late January. Please talk to staff at your child's school to find out more details about specific opportunities available at your school.
Surplus Auction This Saturday in Pickens!
November 19, 2013
The district will be holding an auction for surplus and obsolete items on November 23 at 9:01 a.m. at the site of the old Pickens Middle School at 467 Sparks Lane in Pickens.
 
The items on the auction block include furniture, cafeteria equipment, two cars and nine portable classroom buildings. You can see pictures of the items at www.southeasternauctionsales.com.
 
For more information, click here.

Dr. Pew: Thank An Educator During American Education Week
November 18, 2013
November 18-22 is American Education Week, a time to reflect on our country's legacy of education and to give thought to what we want for the future of our kids.
 
Pickens has provided a variety of new opportunities over the past few years. Academically, we are doing more. 


School To Dismiss Early On November 14
November 6, 2013
Schools in Pickens County will dismiss early on November 14 because of anticipated traffic issues from the Clemson football game that night.

Elementary schools will dismiss at 1 p.m.; middle and high schools will dismiss at 2 p.m. Also, afternoon 4K classes will be cancelled. Morning 4K will continue as usual.

We anticipate that traffic in the Clemson area and around U.S. 123 in Easley would make it impossible for buses to take students home in a reasonable amount of time unless school is dismissed early. We also have concerns about the safety of student drivers in the heavy traffic.

Schools may continue after school activities such as athletic practices at the principal's discretion.

SDPC Schools Honor Veterans
November 12, 2013
Veterans were welcomed into schools across Pickens County on Monday for ceremonies in their honor.

We want to thank the many veterans in our community and on our staff for their service and sacrifice to keep our nation safe and free! 


Slideshow

"Like" Our District On Facebook!
October 29, 2013
Every week we have exciting news and pictures from our schools that you'll only find on the SDPC Facebook page!

You stay up to date on accomplishments of our students and teachers and stay in the loop on the latest things our schools are doing in the community. 

Just hit "Like" to show your support!

Community Invited To "Ask Anything" at Town Hall Meetings
February 20, 2014
We are inviting the community to aTown Hall Meeting with our Superintendent, Dr. Kelly Pew, to get feedback on how we can make our schools the best they can be. The meeting will be on February 25th at the opening of the renovated Gettys Middle School auditorium. The theme is “Ask Anything.”

Questions for Dr. Pew can be sent in advance to
ask@pickens.k12.sc.usQuestions will also be accepted during the meeting. Dr. Pew will be presenting information about the state of the district, and she will try to include answers to any questions we get in advance. See you there!

.  

Surplus Auction This Saturday in Easley!
October 14, 2013
The district will be holding an auction for surplus and obsolete items on October 19 at 9:01 a.m. at the site of the old Gettys Middle School at 105 Stewart Drive in Easley.
 
The items on the auction block include furniture, cafeteria equipment, and seven portable classroom buildings. You can see pictures of the items at www.southeasternauctionsales.com.
 
For more information, click here.

SDPC Earns Highest Rating on Financial Audit
October 29, 2013
The school district was given an "unmodified opinion" on it's 2013 financial audit from the firm of Greene, Finney and Horton--the highest opinion a school district can receive. 

We want to thank Clark Webb, our Executive Director of Financial Services, and all of our financial staff for their hard work. They play a key role in making sure we get the most out of our resources to serve our students.


Summary 
Audit Results

Golden Apple Winner at A.R. Lewis Elementary
October 9, 2013
Congratulations to Bonnie McCombs, the 4th-5th grade science teacher at A.R. Lewis Elementary, for being selected as a Golden Apple Award winner on WYFF News 4!

Anchor Beth Brotherton and photojournalist Jonny Bates came to Ms. McCombs' class to talk to her about how she goes above and beyond to engage her students in learning.

Her story aired on October 10 on WYFF. 

Two Schools Recognized for Fighting Childhood Obesity
October 3, 2013
Congratulations to A.R. Lewis and West End Elementary Schools  for both earning the Bronze National Recognition Award from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

School nurses Leslie Butts (West End) and Ashley Nations (A.R. Lewis) recently attend a ceremony in Little Rock Arkansas where their efforts were acknowledged in person by former President Bill Clinton.

We appreciate Leslie, Ashley, and all of our school nurses for their hard work to keep our students healthy and active!
 

Freshmen Learn About Future Careers
October 2, 2013
On Wednesday, October 2, students from Daniel High, Pickens High and the Career and Technology Center attended the Anderson-Oconee-Pickens Business Industry Showcase at Littlejohn Coliseum.

The AOP-BIS is a chance for almost 60 businesses, colleges and educational programs to show students opportunities beyond the classroom. The goal of the event is to help young people and their parents understand the decisions they need to make now in order to thrive in future careers. 

Students from Easley High and Liberty High are scheduled to attend on October 3.

Students were able to get a taste for careers in engineering, manufacturing, energy management, medicine and more. They finally got an answer to the old question, "When are we ever going to have to use this?"

Slideshow


Golden Apple Winner At Clemson Elementary
September 25, 2013
Congratulations to Karen Dobson for being selected as a Golden Apple Award winner on WYFF News 4!

Mrs. Dobson is a 4K teacher at Clemson Elementary School. Anchor Beth Brotherton and photojournalist Jonny Bates came to her class on September 25, and the kids lit up when they saw the camera. Her story aired on WYFF the next day. Thank you, Mrs. Dobson; you make us proud!

Watch!

SDPC Employees Recognized for Giving
September 17, 2013
On September 12, the school district was given the Live United Award by United Way of Pickens County. The award is given to the three organizations in the county whose employees give the largest total donation to the United Way.

Last year, our employees donated more than $50,000 to our local United Way, funding charities that lift people up right here in Pickens County. We are proud to partner with the United Way to support programs that help the families of our children, and our employees' generosity is another way in which they are building success beyond the classroom!

Tell Us How We're Doing!
September 4, 2013
In an effort to make our schools the best they can be, the School District of Pickens County is conducting a Parent Survey.  We value your opinion and ask that you take the time to complete this survey about the school your child attends. The survey takes about 10 to 15 minutes to complete. If you have more than one child enrolled in our district, you may re-use the same link to access other schools.

In order to complete the survey, just click here!

The survey will only be available until Friday, September 27.

Please be assured that your responses to this survey will be anonymous.  We appreciate your honest opinions, and they will guide our efforts to improve the learning experience for all children in our district.
Welcome Back!
August 20, 2013
The 2013-2014 school year is off to a running start!

Our teachers, parents and students are excited to begin another year of learning and growth. We want to thank our parents for their patience and help in getting making the start of our year run smoothly, and we thank our staff whose hard work has made the classroom a welcoming place for kids. 

To see pictures of our students returning to school for their first day, click below!

View slideshow


Your Child's Info, Right to Your Phone
July 23, 2013
Attention Moms and Dads!

Don't forget to download the FREE ParentLink Mobile App to your smartphone! The app allows you to check your child's grades and attendance information anywhere, anytime. The app will also keep you up to date on school news and announcements.

Click here to view a demo and download the application. The ParentLink Mobile App is available for download at the Apple App Store and on Google Play.
District Recognized as "Partner in Prevention" of Child Abuse
August 23, 2013
The School District of Pickens County has achieved “Partner in Prevention,” a nationally-recognized public standard to end child sexual abuse (CSA).
The designation was awarded for the school district’s commitment to protecting children by training over 90-percent of its staff on how to prevent, recognize the signs, and react responsibly to CSA.

The training and designation award is provided by Charleston, SC-based Darkness to Light (D2L). D2L has championed the movement to end CSA since its founding in 2000 and now has education programs in 49 states and 15 foreign countries.

“Partner in Prevention” was created as a national standard to help parents and caregivers recognize organizations who take CSA prevention seriously by implementing policy and training staff.

News Release
 
Registration Dates Announced For 2013 School Year
May 6, 2013
Attention Parents!

The registration and Meet the Teacher dates for the 2013-2014 school year are set. 

Meet the Teacher day and registration for all elementary schools will be Thursday, August 15 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

Registration times for middle and high schools vary by school and by grade. For a complete list of times and dates for middle and high schools, take a look at the Meet the Teacher Schedule.

2013 Registration Q & A

2013-14 Teacher and Support Employee of the Year Announced!
August 16, 2013
The 2013-2014 Teacher of the Year and Support Employee of the Year for the School District of PickensCounty were announced at the district’s Back-to-School Celebration on August 16.
 
The Teacher of the Year is Jan Burroughs, a biology teacher at Easley High School, and the Support Employee of the Year is Pauline Blackston, data entry clerk and instructional assistant at A.R. Lewis Elementary School. 

We could not be more proud of Jan and Pauline!

News Release

Vaccine Requirement for Rising 7th Graders
August 1, 2013
All South Carolina 7th graders now are REQUIRED to show proof of a Tdap shot to attend school. These mass vaccination clinics are a great opportunity for parents of rising 7th graders to get a free Tdap shot and meet entry requirements for the 2013-2014 school year.

The Tdap shot protects kids and adults from three dangerous diseases: tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough.

Students must have proof of having received the shot before school starts on August 20.


For a list of clinics offering the vaccine,
click here.

2013 Handbook Available
August 5, 2013
Back to School 2013: A Handbook for Students and Parents is ready to view and download. The student and parent handbook contains vital information for the coming school year. 

We want to encourage parents and students to help us "go green" by downloading the electronic version of the handbook as much as possible.

See you at school!



E3 Conference Just Around the Corner
July 23, 2013
Attention Teachers!

We look forward to seeing you at the E3 (Engage, Excite, Enrich) Conference on July 31 and August 1. The booklet for our back-to-school professional learning event is complete and ready for you to view! It will shed more light on the training opportunities available. We appreciate all of the extra learning you do to help our students. Just click below for more info.

E3 Conference Program

Teacher and Support Employee of the Year Finalists Selected!
July 17, 2013
The entries for 2013 Support Employee of the Year and Teacher of the Year have been narrowed down to eight finalists. The finalists for Support Employee of the Year are:
  • Pauline Blackston - A.R. Lewis Elementary
  • Darlene Dennis - Dacusville Middle School
  • Bonnie Forbes - Central Elementary School
  • Matt Owens - District Office
The finalists for Teacher of the Year are:
  • Barry Burnett - Clemson Elementary
  • Jan Burroughs - Easley High School
  • Amy Byrd - Gettys Middle School
  • Kelley Ponder - Crosswell Elementary
The two winners will be announced at the Back-To-School Celebration on Friday, August 16, and the other six finalists will all be recognized as Honor Roll Support Employees or Teachers. Congratulations!

CTC Students Win National Mechatronics Award
June 30, 2013
Brandon Hall and John Hayes won Bronze in the Mechatronics competition at the Skills USA’s 48th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City on June 28.

Hall and Hayes graduated from Daniel High School this spring, and were both students in the mechatronics program at the Pickens County Career and Technology Center.

Congratulations, Brandon and John!

News Release

Daniel High School Student Named Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year
June 18, 2013
Congratulations to Carley Hoover, 2013 DHS graduate, for winning this year's Gatorade National Player of the Year Award!

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court, distinguishes Hoover as the nation’s best high school softball player.  A national advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists helped select Hoover from nearly 373,000 high school softball players nationwide. Hoover is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade Female High School Athlete of the Year award, to be presented at a special ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in July. 

Official News Release

Thank you Dr. Weichel and Mr. Williams!
June 11, 2013
The school district is bidding farewell to two administrators who are retiring this year: Dr. Ken Weichel and Mr. Leonard Williams. Weichel has served as the principal at Clemson Elementary, and Williams has been the director of the Pickens County Career and Technology Center.
Both schools have enjoyed tremendous success under their leadership. On June 11, their fellow principals honored them with gifts, cake and a cookout.
We want to thank both men for the years they have dedicated to the growth of our students. They will be missed!

First Draft of 2014-2015 School Calendar
November 26, 2013
A draft of the 2014-2015 school calendar passed first reading by the board on November 25. A second draft will be submitted to the board in January for a second and final reading.

To view the draft calendar and provide feedback before the second reading, please click here.

We welcome  further input from  our parents and staff members as we develop the calendar for next school year.

Early Dismissal: June 5 and 6
May 29, 2013
Don't forget! Schools will dismiss early on the last two days of school, June 5-6.

Dismissal times are as follows:

       - Elementary 11:00 a.m.
       - Middle 11:50 a.m.
       - High 12:00 p.m.

Please remember to come pick up your children at the correct time!

Summer School Registration
May 29, 2013
Registration begins June 3 for the summer credit recovery program for high school students. 

The purpose of the extended credit recovery program is to allow students in grades 9-11 to recover credit, complete 4th quarter credit remediation, or complete seat time recovery in a course that was not successfully completed during the regular school year.  

More information on how to register for the credit recovery program is included in the link below. Registration ends June 7.

Registration Information

Graduation 2013!
May 28, 2013
Daniel, Easley, Liberty and Pickens high schools held graduation ceremonies on Saturday, June 1 at Clemson University's Littlejohn Coliseum.

Details of each ceremony including valedictorian and salutatorian are included on our Graduation 2013 page. Profiles of the valedictorian, salutatorian and most improved student from each school are also included below.

Daniel Students - Easley Students - Liberty Students - Pickens Students

Thank You, Retirees!
May 24, 2013
On May 23, the district held a banquet at Liberty High School to honor and thank our 2013 retirees. Our retirees have dedicated decades of service to building successful futures for young people.

This year, the retirees were awarded with an engraved plate, a certificate, a Red Apple Pass to district events, and a delicious dinner catered by The Parkette. We want to express our gratitude to WYFF News 4's Dale Gilbert for being our keynote speaker and to Blue Ridge Electric Co-operative for sponsoring the dinner.
 
Thank you, retirees. You will be missed!
 

Summer Feeding Program Has Begun!
June 7, 2013
When school is out during the summer months, many children do not have access to a nutritious meal during the day. Through the Seamless Summer Feeding Program, the School District of Pickens County is committed to ensuring that all children continue to receive nutritious meals during the summer months. The program provides nutritious, quality meals free to all school age children 18 years or younger and to disabled persons/children up to age 21. Meals are provided regardless of income. 

Nonprofit agencies and summer programs that would like to participate in the Seamless Summer Feeding Program are encouraged to apply. You can contact
Sally Nicholson, our Director of Student Nutrition Services, for more information.

News Release - Application - Flyer



District Unveils C3, A New Instructional Program
May 13, 2013
Beginning in the 2013-2014 school year, the school district will begin C3, a new drop-out prevention program for 8th-12th grade students.

The goal of C3 is to offer a safe, engaging learning environment to students who need an instructional approach that is different from traditional high school programs. It is a great place for students in middle and high school who feel that they can benefit from a smaller learning environment that offers hands-on learning activities that are connected to real-world applications.

As part of the transition to the C3 program, the J.T. Simpson Alternative Center will close. C3 will be located at the Pickens County Career and Technology Center, in Liberty.  However, students will have access to extra-curricular activities at their home schools.

News Release

Checking Your Child's Grades
May 8, 2013
As the end of the school year approaches, we know many parents are giving added attention to grades. Don't forget that ParentLink is the place for parents to access grades, attendance and assignment information.

Instructions on how to use ParentLink can be found by
clicking here.

If you have lost or forgotten your ParentLink login information, please come to the school office, and we'll be glad to help you out!

National Teacher Appreciation Day
May 7, 2013
 May 7 is National Teacher Appreciation Day! Please take time today to tell a teacher "thank you" for the impact they make on the lives of young people. 

To see more ways to honor our teachers, check out the
National Teacher Day website.

Take a moment to remember all the things made possible in your life by a teacher!


Summer LEGO Robotics Camps Announced
May 17, 2013
Our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) LEGO Robotics Camp is ready to gear up for the third summer in a row.  The camps are open to students from 1st through 8th grade, and they will be hosted at Clemson Elementary, Pickens High School, and East End Elementary (moved from Brice Middle School). There will be three classes at each camp based on grade level and experience:

WeDo Camp - designed for grades 1 and 2.

Basic NXT Building Camp - designed for grades 3-5.

Sumo Robot Camp - designed for grades 5-8.

To download a sign-up sheet with more information, click here!


Darleen Sutton Named SC Teacher of the Year!
May 1, 2013
Darleen Sutton, a first grade teacher at Pickens Elementary School, was named the 2013 South Carolina Teacher of the Year  at the South Carolina Teacher of the Year Celebration in Columbia on May 1.

“Last night was an exciting event for all of South Carolina’s teachers of the year.  I am so proud that Darleen was recognized South Carolina’s Teacher of the Year,” said Dr. Kelly Pew, district superintendent. “She will represent the excellence of Pickens County and South Carolina’s public educators.  She is a wonderful teacher to her students and mentor to her colleagues.  I am honored to know her and to have had the opportunity to work with her in Pickens County.”

The prize for the award is $25,000 and a BMW to drive for a year.

Congratulations, Darleen!

News Release - Welcome Parade at Pickens Elementary School



Ward, Barrett To Take On New Roles
April 26, 2013
We're happy to welcome two school district employees into new leadership roles in the coming year.

Danny Barrett will be the new Director of Operations and AITS Special Projects, and Janice Ward has been chosen as the new Coordinator of Secondary Education. Barrett currently oversees the technology installation projects as the district’s E-Learning Specialist, and Ward is an assistant principal at Daniel High School.

News Release


SDPC Invites Input on Federal Projects
April 30, 2013
The School District of Pickens County invites public input regarding its 2013-2014 federal projects.  A public meeting is scheduled at The Curtis Sidden Administrative Building at 1348 Griffin Mill Road, Easley on May 7, 2013 at 5:00-6:00 p.m. 
 
The meeting will focus on the Title II project on Teacher Quality, the Title III project regarding English Speakers of Other Languages and the Carl D. Perkins Vocational-Technical Education Act and the McKinney-Vento legislation regarding homeless children.  The meeting will also focus on the Title 1 project entitled “Improving the Achievement of the Disadvantaged.” There will also be an opportunity for input on 21st Century Learning Community grants. The Title I project serves students in schools that have a high percentage of students receiving free or reduced lunch and who may, therefore, be at a disadvantage educationally in the areas of English language arts and mathematics.

R.C. Edwards Team Wins 2013 Glider Challenge
April 25, 2013
Congratulations to the R.C. Edwards Middle School team, "The UFOs," for winning first place in the 2013 Glider Challenge, and congratulations to the "Chicken Strips" team from the J.T. Simpson Alternative Center for coming in second place!

More than 60 8th grade students from Anderson and Pickens Counties competed in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) learning event at Lockheed Martin at the South Carolina Technology and Aviation Center.

In the Glider Challenge, students explore the relationship between force and motion and the effects of weight and lift on the glider. Most importantly, they learn how to work in small teams to solve a problem and accomplish a goal. Teams competed in several categories, including Distance, Target (Accuracy), and Artistic Design.

View Slideshow - News Release

Tharpe Named New Principal at Dacusville Middle School
April 23, 2013
Wanda Tharpe has been chosen to lead Dacusville Middle School beginning in the 2013-2014 school year. Tharpe comes to DMS from Liberty Middle School, where she has served as an assistant principal since 2006. 

“I look forward to working with Mrs. Tharpe as principal of Dacusville Middle School.  She is committed to public education and works well with students, parents, faculty and staff,” said Dr. Kelly Pew, district superintendent.

“Wanda is uniquely qualified for the position with 17 years of experience in middle school education. She has proven herself as an educator and administrator during her time at Liberty Middle School, and we look forward to seeing her maintain a commitment to excellence at Dacusville Middle.”

Tharpe will begin as principal at the start of the 2013-2014 school year.

News Release

SDPC Students Compete in 2013 Special Olympics
April 19, 2013
Congratulations to nearly 100 SDPC special needs students who participated in the 2013 Area 13 Special Olympics, and we want to say "thank you" to Clemson University for hosting the event.

We are grateful to many teachers and volunteers who braved the rain to make it an unforgettable special day for our kids.

They make us smile, and they make us proud!

View slideshow

CTC Students Shine At SkillsUSA Competition
April 17, 2013
On April 11th through  April 13th Pickens County Career & Technology Center competed at the South Carolina State SkillsUSA spring conference and competition.  Our students won 27 medals from 19 contests - 16 gold, 6 silver, and 5 bronze.

The students medaled in competitions including Culinary Arts, Extemporaneous Speaking, Prepared Speech, Opening and Closing, Commercial Banking, Mechatronics, Job Skill Demonstration, Electrical Construction Wiring, Technical Drafting, Screen Printing, Mobile Robotics, First Aid/CPR, Firefighting, Cosmetology, Masonry and Precision Machining Technology. 

We could not be more proud of our students' demonstration of work-ready skills in such a variety of fields.

A complete list of medalists can be found in our
news release.

East End Elementary Teacher Wins Golden Apple Award
March 27, 2013
We are extremely proud of East End Elementary 5K teacher Kim Dockins for receiving the Golden Apple Award for teaching excellence from WYFF and Bi-Lo after being nominated by one of her students.  

Kim's segment aired on Thursday, March 28th in the 5pm hour on WYFF News 4. You can click here to see her and her students in action.

Congratulations to our star teacher!

Bates Wins Future Chefs Culinary Competition
March 27, 2013
Congratulations to Autumn Bates, the winner of the Future Chefs Culinary Competition! Autumn is a 4th grade student at Chastain Road Elementary School. Her winning recipe was a taco-inspired Southwestern Salad.

32 finalists--two from each elementary school--competed on Tuesday to have their salad recipe added to the school district's lunch menu. More than 80 students entered recipes at their schools. The students had 30 minutes to prepare their salads, which were judged based on healthiness, originality, ease of preparation, kid-friendliness, and plate presentation.

Sally Nicholson, director of Student Nutrition Services, said the finalists' entries were so impressive, that each will be served once at the contestants' schools this year. Autumn's salad will be added to the whole district's lunch menu next year!

View Slideshow


New Principals For Three Middle Schools Announced
March 26, 2013
The school district board of trustees approved new principals at Pickens Middle School, R.H. Gettys Middle School and J.C. Brice Middle School on Monday night.
 
Jeff Duncan has been selected to lead Pickens Middle School, Reggia Stapleton will head Gettys Middle School, and Mike Cory will lead the new J.C. Brice Middle School. Stapleton and Cory will work together as associate principals at Gettys Middle School in the coming school year to oversee the division of the school into Brice and Gettys in 2014.
 
“Having both principals named will better enable the district to transition to Brice Middle this school year, complete the renovations at Gettys Middle School and then split to two middle schools the following year,” said Dr. Kelly Pew, district superintendent. “I look forward to working with Mrs. Stapleton and Mr. Cory as we transition to Brice Middle this summer.”

News Release

17 Schools Earn Palmetto Gold & Silver Awards
March 25, 2013
The South Carolina Department of Education has revealed the winners of the 2012-2013 Palmetto Gold and Silver Awards recognizing 17 Pickens County schools for high academic achievement and high rates of improvement.
 
Clemson Elementary, Crosswell Elementary, Holly Springs Elementary, Liberty Elementary and Six Mile Elementary were recognized both for General Performance Closing the Achievement Gap. Of all 17 schools, only Clemson Elementary was given Gold in both categories.
 
“The gold and silver awards are a great reflection of our faculty, staff and administrators. They are committed to our students and their achievement,” said Dr. Kelly Pew, district superintendent. “We’re proud of all of our schools, and seeing these seventeen schools being highlighted for recognition is an honor. It shows that they not only achieve at a high level, but also that they continue to improve each year.”

News Release 

Vaccination Required for Rising 7th Graders
March 19, 2013
Beginning with the 2013-2014 school year, all students entering seventh grade must have received a Tdap vaccine in order to attend school. The Tdap vaccine protects students from tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough (pertussis). 

This vaccine is routinely recommended to be given at 11-12 years of age; however, if a Tdap vaccine was needed at an earlier age, a dose received on or after your child's seventh birthday will meet this requirement.  You must give your child’s school a South Carolina Certificate of Immunization to prove your child has had the shot.
 
Please avoid the last-minute rush.  Make an appointment with your rising seventh grader’s healthcare provider today to get the newly required Tdap vaccine, along with other vaccines that are recommended for your child’s protection.

View poster - More Information

LMS Raises $7,177 for St. Baldrick's Foundation
March 18, 2013
On March 15, Liberty Middle School raised $7,177 for the St. Baldrick's  Foundation. St. Baldrick's is a charity devoted to fighting childhood cancer.
More than 30 students and staff collected donations to have their heads shaved in solidarity with cancer victims. The top fundraiser was Celia Hayes, raising more than $600 dollars all on her own.
The school surpassed its target of raising $1,000 more than seven times over, and principal Donivan Edwards agreed to have his head shaved if the school raised more than $3,000. We applaud our students and staff and their friends and families for their charitable spirit!

View Slideshow

SDPC Website Recognized for Transparency Award
March 13, 2013
The district has again been recognized for a 2013 Sunny Award from the Sunshine Review, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to government transparency.

The organization audits government websites for openness of information on taxes, budget, meetings, elected officials, administration, contracts, audits, public records, academics and background checks. 

SDPC was the only South Carolina school district to earn a perfect A+ rating from the organization this year. 

We remain committed to making sure our parents and community have easy access to the information they need about our schools.

News Release


Corn Named South Carolina Athletic Director of the Year
March 12, 2013
On Sunday, March 10, Pickens High School Athletic Director, Steve Corn, was recognized by the South Carolina Athletic Administrators Association (SCAAA) as the South Carolina Athletic Director of the Year.

This is a tremendous honor for Coach Corn personally and professionally. It is also a great recognition of the Athletic Department, the PHS Athletic Association, the PHS coaching staff, and the many student-athletes that Coach Corn serves. Coach Corn has served as PHS AD for 13 years. 

Congratulations, Coach Corn!

News Release


SDPC Students Win Pickens County Cultural Commission Awards
March 7, 2013
Congratulations to our students who won the Pickens County Cultural Commission Awards as a part of 2013 Pickens County Youth Arts! Their artwork will be on display at the Pickens County Museum until March 28.

The museum is located at the corner of Hwy. 178 at 307 Johnson Street in Pickens SC, the museum is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Admission is free but donations are welcomed.

View Winning Artwork

Darleen Sutton Named Finalist For SC Teacher of the Year
March 4, 2013
Darleen Sutton, a first grade teacher at Pickens Elementary School, and our district's Teacher of the Year, has been selected as one of five finalists for the South Carolina Teacher of the Year Award.

"I am very proud of Darlene," said Dr. Kelly Pew, SDPC superintendent. "It is an honor for a teacher to be recognized at the school and district level for being an outstanding teacher. 

"To be recognized as one of the top five finalists in South Carolina demonstrates Mrs. Sutton’s excellence in teaching.  We wish her the very best as she continues in the selection process."


District News Release SC Department of Education News Release

East End Elementary Teacher Wins Golden Apple Award
February 28, 2013
Congratulations to Renee Anders, reading interventionist at East End Elementary, for receiving this week's Golden Apple Award for teaching excellence from WYFF and Bi-Lo after being nominated by the parent of one of her students. 

Mrs. Anders' segment aired Thursday, February 28 in the 5pm hour on WYFF News 4.

Way to go, Mrs. Anders!

Watch Story

SDPC Students Awarded in Heart Association Contest
February 27, 2013
 Congratulations to Brielle Suttles  from A. R. Lewis Elementary, and Aaron Medlin and Taylor Wiseman from Chastain Road Elementary for being recognized as winners in the American Heart Association Kids’ heART Contest.
 
The students were given awards for their art entries at the American Heart Association Ball at the Hyatt Regency in Greenville on February 16.
 
We're very proud of our young artists!

Congratulations Pickens County Has Talent Winners!
February 26, 2013
Allison Hale, an Easley High School student, wowed the audience and won Pickens County Has Talent with her vocal rendition of “How Great Thou Art.” Hale outshone a strong field of 16 contestants to win the competition and the $500 cash prize for first place.

Sponsored by Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative, the second year of Pickens County Has Talent raised almost $9,000 for supplies for Pickens County Schools.
 
As a district, we want to say a huge “thank you” to Blue Ridge Electric, our volunteers, and the members of our community who supported our schools and our contestants by being a part of Pickens County Has Talent.

News Release

Pickens County Has Talent Finalists Announced!
February 21, 2013
We are happy to announce the finalists for Pickens County Has Talent, sponsored by Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative.

The contestants were chosen by audience votes at the four preliminary shows at Daniel High School, Pickens High School, Liberty High School and Easley High School, and they have beat out dozens of competitors for a chance at first place.
The Grand Finale will be at 6 p.m. on Saturday night in the Easley High School Auditorium. $500 will be awarded to the first-place winner, $300 to the second-place winner, and $200 to the third-place winner of Saturday’s contest.

Please come out to support our talented competitors and our schools!

News Release

Sneak Peek: New Pickens Middle School
February 21, 2013
Renovations are nearly complete to convert the former Pickens High School building into a new Pickens Middle School for the 2013-2014 school year. 

This month, construction crews have put some of the finishing touches to make the building finally look like the school that students will step into in August. The entryways, cafeteria, hallways and practice rooms have started to take on the appearance that we hope students will remember fondly for years to come. Click on the link below for a look inside the new Pickens Middle!

View Slideshow
Pickens Middle Teacher Wins Golden Apple Award
February 21, 2013
We are extremely proud of sixth-grade math teacher Penny Mellett for receiving the Golden Apple Award for teaching excellence from WYFF and Bi-Lo after being nominated by one of her students. 

Mrs. Mellett's segment will air on Thursday, February 21st in the 5pm hour on WYFF News 4, so tune in to see her and her students in action.

Congratulations to our star teacher!


Forest Acres Students Win Jet Toy Challenge
February 20, 2013
Forty-eight 5th grade design teams and their balloon-powered toy cars competed at the 2013 SDPC Jet Toy Challenge on Tuesday, and a team from Forest Acres Elementary School raced to the top.
 
The winning team in the performance race was “The Riptides” from Stacy Bullard’s fifth grade class. The team members were Lexi Greer, Jamie Kay, Maggie McCord and Christian Prins.

The first and second place teams will advance to the regional challenge, competing with teams from Anderson 1, Anderson 2, Anderson 3, Anderson 4, Anderson 5 and Oconee school districts.  The regional competition, held at Daniel High School on March 1, will determine which team will advance to international competition in Detroit.

News Release - View Slideshow

Gettys Middle School Band Director Earns Statewide Recognition
February 18, 2013
Patrick Mainieri, the band director at Gettys Middle School, was recently honored with the 2013 Outstanding Young Music Educator of the Year Award from the South Carolina Music Educators Association.

In a recommendation letter to the SCMEA, Chesnee Middle School band director Christopher Smith wrote, “Mr. Mainieri exhibits all of the characteristics of an outstanding young music educator. He excels both in the rehearsal hall and in his community, and his work helps drive band programs and our organization to new heights.”

Congratulations to Mr. Mainieri on his tremendous accomplishment!


News Release

Hitchcock Named New CTC Director
February 11, 2013
Kenneth Hitchcock, an assistant principal at Easley High School, will be the new director of the Pickens County Career and Technology Center beginning in the 2013-2014 school year. 

“The vision I have is to build a really strong relationship between the teachers at the career
center and the high schools. We want them to work collaboratively to help our kids to move on into careers that they are interested in,” Hitchcock said.

He was confirmed as the choice for the post by the board of trustees on February 9, and he will replace Leonard Williams, who plans to retire at the end of this school year.

News Release

National Signing Day
February 7, 2013
Eleven Pickens County students signed with colleges across the country on February 6, better known as National Signing Day. The student athletes included seven football players, three cross-country runners, and a baseball player.

The diverse list of schools they committed to range from Division I NCAA schools to private religious schools to an Ivy League institution. Click on the link below for a complete list of signees.

News Release

Surplus Auction On Saturday, February 9
February 5, 2013
The school district will be auctioning off surplus and obsolete items from the old Daniel High School facility at 9 a.m. on Saturday, February 9. 

The sale will be held at the B.J. Skelton Career Center at 1400 Griffin Mill Road, Easley. Items for sale include a pickup truck, tables, chairs, excercise equipment, appliances and more. For a more information, including a longer list of sale items, click below.

Auction Information

2013-2014 Calendar Approved
January 29, 2013
The 2013-2014 School Calendar was approved by the board of trustees on January 28.

For the coming year, the district has developed two calendars: one with information pertinent to parents, and a second, more detailed calendar with information tailored specifically for teachers. Both calendars are available in a printable format on our site.

Our next school year is scheduled to begin August 20. Get ready!


View Calendars

2013 All-County Orchestra Concert Tonight!
January 31, 2013
Please join us for the 2013 All-County Orchestra Concert tonight at 7:00 in the Liberty High School Audtorium. 
The theme of the concert is The Best of the Classics (1770-2013). The concert will feature music ranging from Bach and Vivaldi to the Beatles and Coldplay. 
This concert will feature our Middle School All-County Orchestra directed by Mrs. Tina Pulley. It will also feature our High School All-County Orchestra directed by Dr. Andrew Levin. The performance is free and open to the public!

SDPC Athletes Earn State-Wide Honors
February 1, 2013
Congratulations to Carley Hoover, Daniel High School, the State AAA Volleyball Player of the Year, and Miranda Dalton, Liberty High School, the State AA Cheerleader of the Year.

They were recognized by the SC Coaches Association of Women’s Sports at their Fall Player of the Year Awards Program on January 27.

We are very proud of the achievements of our student athletes!

News Release

Clemson Elementary Announces New Principal for the Coming Year
January 29, 2013
The School District of Pickens County is happy to announce Michelle D. Craddock as Clemson
Elementary School’s principal beginning in the 2013-2014 school year.

She will succeed Dr. Ken Weichel, who plans to retire at the end of this school year.

“Mrs. Craddock is committed to students,” said SDPC superintendent Dr. Kelly Pew. “She is an
instructional leader who can transition the school to the new state standards, and she has
demonstrated her leadership as principal at Keowee Elementary. We look forward to working with
her.”

Mrs. Craddock comes to Clemson from Keowee Elementary School in Seneca, where she served as principal since 2006.

All Schools Dismiss at 10 a.m. Today
January 25, 2013
Because of a high probability of ice on the roads in the afternoon, Pickens County public schools will be dismissed at 10 a.m., Friday, January 25. We have had early reports of freezing rain in the northern part of the county, and we are avoiding the risk of families driving home from school in dangerous conditions. All after school activities are cancelled as well. Activities will resume as normal on Saturday.

Again, all Pickens County public schools are dismissed at 10 a.m., Friday, January 25.


Our Schools Mourn the Loss of Dr. Mike Carmical
January 23, 2013
Dr. Mike Carmical, a science teacher at Easley High School, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday night. Carmical was a teacher in the district since 1996.
 
“We are shocked and saddened by this sudden loss,” said EHS principal Tim Mullis. “Dr. Carmical always had a smiling face and was ready to help out anyway he could.”
 
Carmical taught one year at Getty Middle School as a ninth grade science teacher and moved to EHS in 1997, when the ninth grade moved up from GMS. “This is a tough loss for our school and the local community,” Mullis said. “Mike was very active in his church and Lions Club of Pickens.  He will be missed by all.”
 
Students and staff at EHS were informed on Wednesday morning, and counselors were made available for students.
 
 In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Pickens Presbyterian Church Child Development Center, 311 W. Main St. Pickens, SC 29671.

SDPC Celebrates New National Board Certified Teachers
January 10, 2013
Seven Pickens County teachers earned their National Board Certification this year, bringing the total number of national board certified teachers in the district to 121.

The teachers are 
Dawn Miller, Liberty Elementary School; Heather Greer, Dacusville Elementary School; Jennifer Hoover, Liberty Middle School; Nicole Richey, West End Elementary School; Brooks Fuller, Easley High School; Lindsey Hiott, Ambler Elementary School; and Valerie McCall, Dacusville Elementary School.

Like board-certified doctors and accountants, teachers who achieve National Board Certification have met rigorous standards through intensive study, expert evaluation, self-assessment and peer review. 

We appreciate these teachers who have gone the extra mile to become the best educators they can be.

SDPC News Release, Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, & Advancement 

School Boards: Locally Owned and Operated Since Forever
January 10, 2013
SDPC joins 80 other school districts throughout the state to celebrate School Board Recognition Month in January. More than 630 elected and appointed school board members throughout South Carolina will be recognized by schools and communities for their service and dedication to public education.

The theme of this year’s celebration, “School Boards: Locally Owned and Operated Since Forever,” reinforces the roles and responsibilities of school boards and the ownership they take for governing our local public schools. They are elected by the people in our local communities to represent our voice and vision for our public schools.

Please take time to let our board members know you appreciate their work this month!

SDPC Board of Trustees

J.C. Brice Middle School Mascot Announced
January 8, 2013
J.C. Brice Middle School will have a mascot and color scheme waiting for it when it opens in 2014.

Brice Middle’s athletic teams will take the field as the “Riptide” and will sport green and black on their uniforms.

The Riptide name continues the nautical tradition for Easley mascots, joining the Easley High School Green Wave
and the Gettys Middle School Breakers.

News Release

Pickens County Has Talent Is Back!
January 4, 2013
SDPC is holding its second annual Pickens County Has Talent Competition, sponsored by Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative. The event is open to everyone in Pickens County!

Winners from the shows in the Daniel, Easley, Liberty and Pickens areas will compete for first prize on February 23. Every kind of talent is welcome as long as submissions remain “G-Rated.”

Proceeds from ticket sales and sponsorships will directly support Pickens County Schools. There will be a total of five shows: one in each region plus the Grand Finale.

Audition Times and Schedule

Like it on Facebook!

Worksite Health Screenings
January 17, 2013
The school district is offering worksite health screenings on February 18th at Liberty High School. 

The screenings are available to some SDPC employees, retirees and their spouses. 

To sign up, contact Missy Ducker, Senior Benefits Specialist at melissaducker@pickens.k12.sc.us.

To find out if you are eligible, click on the link below.

More information


Flu Season Marches On
January 3, 2013
As cold and flu season continues, the SDPC is focused on trying to slow the spread of illness through our schools. 
Employees and parents are encouraged to read and heed our illness prevention flyer. 
Remember the no. 1 rule--if you have flu symptoms, please stay home!

Prevention Flyer


Crosswell Teacher Earns Golden Apple Recognition
December 20, 2012
 We are extremely proud of Mrs. Lindsey Donnan for being selected by WYFF News 4 as a week's Golden Apple Award winner. Mrs. Donnan is the chorus teacher at Crosswell Elementary School.

WYFF's crew came for a shoot during Mrs. Donnan's class on December 19.

Congratulations to our star teacher!
CTC Announces First School-To-Registered-Apprenticeship In the Upstate
December 12, 2012
The Pickens County Career and Technology Center has teamed up with United Tool and Mold Inc. and Apprenticeship Carolina to offer the first School-To-Registered Apprenticeship program in the Upstate.

The program will offer on-the-job training for 10th through 12th grade students combined with specialized classes at the Career and Technology Center. The goal is to give students job-ready skills as soon as they are finished with high school and to provide a pipeline of skilled workers for local manufacturers.

We applaud United Tool and Mold and the CTC for serving as a model of partnership between manufacturing and education!

News Release

Governor Haley Visits Liberty Elementary School
December 3, 2012
Governor Nikki Haley visited Liberty Elementary School on Tuesday morning. The governor spoke to our 3rd through 5th graders with a powerful message about leadership and bullying prevention.

Students also had the chance to ask the governor about anything and everything, and they took full advantage!

We want to thank the governor for investing her time in our students and for enouraging them to take a strong stand against bullying.

New Middle School Named "J.C. Brice"
November 27, 2012
On Monday night, the board of trustees voted to make "J.C. Brice Middle School" the name of the new school that will occupy the old Easley High School building beginning in the 2014-2015 school year.

The school is named for James C. Brice Sr., former football coach and principal at EHS and district superintendent. The football stadium at the school, "Brice Field," bore his name for decades.

J.C. Brice Middle will be formed with a split of R.H. Gettys Middle School. Feeder schools for J.C. Brice will be West End and Forest Acres Elementary. Students from Crosswell, East End and McKissick Elementary will continue to advance to R.H. Gettys.

News Release


SDPC Students Shine At Robotics Competition
November 27, 2012
A team of students from Daniel, Easley, Liberty and Pickens High Schools took home multiple honors at the Upstate VEX Robotics Tournament on November 17.

Team 7447 and their robot, “Walie,” earned the Design Award and were named Robotic Skills Champions and Tournament Champions. 

Team members were Triston Capps (LHS), Kevin Church (PHS), Brandon Clark (EHS), Arya Ecklund (EHS), Keigan Ecklund (EHS), Matthew Hayes (EHS, Team Captain), Matthew Lewis (DHS), Tamara Shaver (DHS), and Juston Talley (PHS).

Congratulations to our rising engineers!

News Release

2011-2012 Report To The Community
November 19, 2012
The 2011-2012 Report to the Community is ready to view!

As mandated by the Educational Improvement Act of 1984, each school district in South Carolina must publish by April 30th an annual report detailing financial and academic information for the preceding academic year. The report contains information about our district, including school and staff information, test scores, financial reporting, and enrollment.

Our report also includes Points of Pride and a summary of progress made on the Building Program over the past school year.

2011-2012 Report to the Community

American Education Week
November 15, 2012
From November 11-17, schools across the country are recognizing American Education Week. It is an opportunity for all Americans to celebrate public education and honor individuals who have dedicated their lives to giving young people a chance to succeed.

Each weekday this week is dedicated to honoring a group of difference-makers: Veterans on Monday, parents on Tuesday, support staff on Wednesday, educators on Thursday and substitutes on Friday.

Please take a moment to thank someone who has made an impact on children's lives this week!


District Earns "Good" Ratings On Annual School Report Card
November 13, 2012
The School District of Pickens County earned a “Good” rating on both Absolute and Growth 
categories on the 2012 South Carolina Annual School District Report Card. The rating is an 
improvement over the 2011 Absolute rating of “Average.” 

Every SDPC school scored “Average” or better on both Absolute and Growth ratings. 12 
schools were rated “Excellent,” nine were rated “Good,” and four were rated “Average.” No schools 
rated “Below Average” or “At-Risk” in any category.

Click below for a look at school-by-school report card results.

2012 Report Card News Release


Our Schools Celebrate Veterans Day
November 12, 2012
On the school days surrounding Veterans Day, our schools continued the tradition of honoring the men and women of the United States armed forces.

Many of our middle schools and high schools rolled out their bands and color guards in a show of respect for veterans, and our elementary school students were taught the value of service and sacrifice. 

To all of our members of the military--active, retired or fallen--we offer our deepest gratitude.


For pictures of how schools across our district observed Veterans Day, click below.

Veterans Day Celebration Slideshow

BMI Data Collection Postponed
November 9, 2012
The BMI data collection that was scheduled for the week of November 12 – 16 has been postponed.

This effort was to include students in the 1st, 3rd, and 5th grades. We encountered several scheduling conflicts during the week and felt it was in the best interest of our schools to postpone the data collection process that was to occur with DHEC. Parents will be notified at the time the effort to partner with DHEC to collect the BMI data is scheduled. 

Thank you for your cooperation throughout the data collection process.

Golden Apple Award Winner at McKissick Elementary
November 7, 2012
We are extremely proud of Ms. Renee Sardinas, a fourth grade teacher at McKissick Elementary, for being selected by WYFF News 4 as this week's Golden Apple Award winner. 

WYFF's crew came for a shoot during Mrs. Sardinas' class on Wednesday morning. The story aired Thursday on channel 4.

Congratulations to our star teacher!

Yearly Flu Vaccines
October 29, 2012
The school district is partnering with the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control to offer flu vaccines to our students.

Vaccine clinics will be held at Daniel High School on November 7, at Pickens High School on November 8, at Liberty High School on November 13 and at Gettys Middle School on November 14.

Parents are reminded to be sure to bring their child's Medicaid or health insurance card to the clinic.

Flu Clinic Flyer


Daniel High School Dedicated
October 26, 2012
Thank you to all of those who joined us on October 28 to dedicate the new Daniel High School building.

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham was our keynote speaker, and hundreds of friends, staff and alumni turned out to tour the new building.

We look forward to bright futures for our students in our beautiful new facility!

View Slideshow


SDPC Student Earns Highest Possible ACT Composite Score
October 24, 2012
Congratulations to Morgan Wang, a senior at Daniel High School, for earning a top composite score of 36 on a recent ACT test.

Nationally, while the actual number of students earning a composite score of 36 varies from year to year, less than one-tenth of 1 percent of students who take the ACT earn a top score. Among test takers in the high school graduating class of 2012, only 781 of more than 1.66 million students earned a composite score of 36.

In a letter recognizing this exceptional achievement, ACT CEO Jon Whitmore said, “While test scores are just one of the many criteria that most colleges consider when making admission decisions, this exceptional ACT composite score should prove helpful as Morgan pursues his education and career goals.”
Kudos to Morgan for his outstanding work!

Mary Gaston Named "Woman of the Year"
October 24, 2012
We are extremely proud of Dr. Mary Gaston, director of our Adult Learning Center, for being named "Woman of the Year" by the Easley Business and Professional Womens' Club!

The purpose of the South Carolina Career Woman of the Year program is to recognize a woman who has achieved outstanding success in her own career and has made significant contributions to civic and humanitarian or religious activities. This program is sponsored by the Easley Business and Professional Women’s Club for all Pickens County Women.

The award was made during the 52nd Anniversary Celebration of Pickens County Women by Easley BPW on Tuesday night. Congratulations Dr. Gaston!

SDPC Earns Highest Opinion in Financial Audit
October 23, 2012
Congratulations to our Financial Services staff for earning our district an "unqualified opinion" on our 2012 Financial Audit. The unqualified opinion issued by the auditing firm of Greene, Finney and Horton is the best opinion a school district can be given on its financial condition.

To view the presentation that was given to the Board of Trustees on Monday night about the audit, or to read the audit in its entirety, click on the links below. 

Presentation
Audit 2012


Website Changes
October 16, 2012
We have recently moved the 13 links to each of our departments under the new "Departments" tab on the left side of the page. We made the change to make our list of links less overwhelming for newcomers to our site.

In particular, parents looking for the link to Student Nutrition Services will find it there. 

We have also added a tab to take visitors directly to our Financial Transparency page. We hope these changes will help as we continually update our site to provide easy information access for familiar visitors and newcomers alike.


Attention Parents!
September 18, 2012
ParentLink, which is our new system for viewing student grades, assignments and attendance information online, is up and running.
 
A letter containing login information for each parent was attached to each student's interim progress report on Thursday, September 20. Once you have your login information, you can view your students' information on the ParentLink website.

Please click below to learn how to use our new system for checking grades, assignments and attendance.
 

Bus Drivers Needed
October 16, 2012
The school district is in need of full-time and substitute bus drivers.

We are holding a 20 hour new bus driver class November 12th to 15th. The class will be Monday through Thursday 8:30 to 2:30.

If you are interested in taking a class and applying for a bus driving position, click here for more information.

SDPC Students Improve On End-of-Course Exams Again!
October 9, 2012
For the fourth year in a row, average scores for Pickens County students rose on End-of-Course Exams. 

Our students outperformed state averages for 2012 in all four subject areas: Algebra/Mathematics, Biology, English and U.S. History.  The fail rate for our students also dropped in every subject area, falling dramatically in Biology from 30.9 percent to 17.1 percent.

Congratulations to our students for their hard work, and we want to thank our teachers and parents for helping our students become high achievers!

News Release



Superintendent's Message Regarding Recent Employee Arrests
October 1, 2012
Dear SDPC Parents,
Please
click here to view a letter from Superintendent Dr. Kelly Pew regarding the recent arrest of district employees.

Join Us To Dedicate Easley High School!
October 5, 2012
 The dedication ceremony for the new Easley High School will be held at 2 p.m. this Sunday, October 7.

We are proud to invite the community to tour our beautiful new facility. The after a program in the auditorium, we will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by self-guided tours of the new school. 

Please join us as we mark this milestone for the school district, our students and the Easley community.

Want To Give Input On Proposed Textbooks?
October 15, 2012
The public is invited to review textbooks and instructional materials that have been proposed for use in South Carolina’s public schools.

The instructional materials are on display at twenty-five colleges and universities throughout the state.  The materials will be on display from October 15 through November 23, 2012, with instructions for submitting comments available at each site.  State Board of Education members will review citizens’ comments before a final decision is made on adopting the materials.

For more information on where to view the materials, click here to head to the SC Department of Educations website.


2012 STEM Learning Program Sets Sail
October 4, 2012
The 2012-2013 STEM Learning Program (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) for Pickens County students launched last week with the beginning of the Sailboat Challenge for second graders.

The second grade program challenges students to build a Styrofoam sailboat that can float down a classroom “river” in 15 seconds or less.

On October 3, Pickens County second graders visited Portman Marina, Sadler’s Creek State Park and Hartwell Dam in order to get a background understanding of the real-world application of sailing, wind, waves, and weather. STEM activities for 5th and 8th graders begin later this year. Click below for pictures of our students taking their first steps into the world of engineering!

Slideshow
News Release

SDPC Ranks First Among County-wide Districts In SAT Scores
October 1, 2012
2012 SAT scores for Pickens County students have been released, revealing that they ranked first among county-wide districts and second in all public school districts in South Carolina!

The average scores for SDPC students again beat state and national averages. Congratulations to our students and teachers for their outstanding achievement!

SAT Scores News Release


Teacher Websites Are Now Available
October 4, 2012
Teacher websites in SchoolFusion are now up and running for the 2012-2013 school year!

Student grades and assignments will still be viewed in ParentLink from now on, but other events and announcements from teachers can be viewed on their SchoolFusion web pages. Click below for frequently asked questions regarding teacher web pages.

Teacher web page FAQ 

ParentLink Instructions


SDPC Awarded for Charitable Giving
September 14, 2012
On Thursday, September 13, the United Way of Pickens County honored the school district with the "Big 6 Award" for the 2011-2012 Community Campaign.
 
The award goes to campaigns with the highest employee giving each year. Last year, the SDPC raised more than $53,000 dollars for the United Way. Those funds help support more than two dozen charitable programs in our area.
 
We want to say a big "thank you" to the United Way of Pickens County for this recognition and an even bigger "thank you" to our employees for their giving spirit!


SDPC Students Get a Taste for Future Careers
September 12, 2012
Last week, 9th graders from all four SDPC high schools attended the Anderson-Oconee-Pickens Business Industry Showcase at Littlejohn Coliseum.

The event connects students with more than 50 businesses and universities to give them a taste for life in the workforce after high school. Students are shown what kinds of jobs are available in our area, and they are informed about what educational path they will need to take to achieve their dream career.

We want to thank Alliance Pickens, the Oconee County Economic Development Commission, and Anderson County Economic Development for sponsoring this event!

View Slideshow


EHS Student Remembered at Friday Night Game
September 10, 2012
The Easley High School community paid respects to Daniel Gabriel Smith, 15, at the Friday night football game against Wren High School.
 
Daniel passed away under tragic circumstances on August 30th. He was a 9th grade student at EHS as well as a member of the JV football team and the wrestling team. His number, 51, was painted on the field and worn on t-shirts by many of our students at Friday's game. In addition, the Wren High School football team presented EHS with a banner and a plaque which say  "Competition May Separate Us, But Tragedy Makes Us One."
 
The school district would like to thank the Easley and Wren High School communities for their outpouring of support for our students during this time of grief.

Slideshow


Student, Teacher Websites Still Under Construction
September 4, 2012
The school district is still in the process of upgrading to a new online information system for parents for the 2012-2013 school year. Until the upgrade is completed, grades, assignments and attendance information will not be available to parents. We expect this process to be complete within the next few days, and we will notify parents when they can begin logging in to check grades, assignments and attendance information.
 
We are also in the process of updating student information for teacher websites for the 2012-2013 school year.  We expect the websites to be ready within the next couple of weeks, and we will notify parents when they are complete. Until then, we appreciate your patience during this process. 

Revised 2012-2013 Calendar Released
August 28, 2012
On August 27, the Board of Trustees approved a revised calendar for the 2012-2013 school year.

The new calendar reflects corrections to dates for grading periods, interim reports, and report cards.

Please note that holidays, inclement weather days, professional learning days, and half days have not been changed.


To view and download a copy of the revised calendar, click here.



SDPC Schools Not Affected By Cantaloupe Recall
August 24, 2012
Several parents have contacted the school district with concerns about a food recall.
On August 22, the FDA announced a recall of some domestically produced cantaloupe, which had been infected with salmonella. The recalled cantaloupe were produced by Chamberlain Farms of Owensville, Indiana.

The cantaloupe that we serve in our school cafeterias is produced by Marvin's Produce of Greer, South Carolina. Marvin's Produce does not do business with Chamberlain Farms and is not affected by the recall.

Anyone with questions or concerns about food safety can contact Student Nutrition Services at (864) 397-1160.



Students Arrive for the First Day of 2012-2013
August 21, 2012
Welcome back students! We're happy to have every student from the Class of 2013 down to the Class of 2025. For a look at the students gearing up for a new year across the School District of Pickens County, click below!

First Day of School Slideshow


Teacher and Support Employee of the Year Announced!
August 17, 2012
The school district is happy to announce Darleen Sutton as our 2012-2013 Teacher of the Year and Kela Simpson as our 2012-2013 Support Employee of the Year.

Mrs. Sutton teaches first grade at Pickens Elementary School, and Mrs. Simpson is the Title I Facilitator at West End Elementary School.

Congratulations to Mrs. Simpson and Mrs. Sutton, and we wish them a wonderful school year!

News Release
Teacher of the Year page
Support Employee of the Year page
Back-to-School Celebration Pictures
Teacher and Support Employee of the Year Brunch Pictures

Teacher Websites Unavailable Until After Labor Day
August 16, 2012
The school district is in the process of updating student information for teacher websites for the 2012-2013 school year. Because this upgrade will be completed shortly following Labor Day, grades, assignments and attendance will not be available to parents online prior to September 3rd. Until then, information and instructions will be posted on district and school websites to help parents during the transition.
Letter to parents
Easley Area Schools To Run On Staggered Schedule
August 14, 2012
Schools in the Easley attendance area will run on a staggered bell schedule to start the 2012-2013 school year because of the new location of Easley High School and potential traffic flow issues on Highway 8.

Regular school days in the Easley attendance area will begin and end on the following schedule:
  • Elementary – Start: 8:00 a.m./Dismissal: 2:30 p.m.
  • Middle – Start: 8:30 a.m./Dismissal: 3:30 p.m.
  • High – Start: 8:15 a.m./Dismissal: 3:10 p.m.
Schools in the Easley attendance area are Crosswell Elementary, East End Elementary, McKissick Elementary, Forest Acres Elementary, West End Elementary, Gettys Middle School and Easley High School.




Honor Roll Teachers/Support Employees Recognized for 2012-2013
August 9, 2012
The Honor Roll Teachers and Support Employees for the 2012-2013 school year have been chosen!

Each year, four teachers and four support employees are chosen as finalists for the Teacher of the Year and Support Employee of the Year Awards. The finalists are chosen based on characteristics including dedication, skill, initiative and integrity.

This year's Honor Roll Teachers are:
  • Kathleen Dickel - Daniel High School, German
  • Kelly Sheppard - Pickens High School, Business Education
  • Darleen Sutton - Pickens Elementary School, 1st Grade
  • Frances Young - Liberty High School, Math
This year's Honor Roll Support Employees are:
  • Donyea Brown - Clemson Elementary, Asst. Director of After School Programs
  • Sharon Durham - Six Mile Elementary, Secretary/Bookkeeper
  • Kela Simpson - West End Elementary, Title I Facilitator
  • Gene Zeigler - Dacusville Middle School, Special Ed. Teaching Assistant
The Teacher of the Year and Support Employee of the Year winners will be announced at the Back-to-School Celebration on August 17 at Easley High School.

Congratulations to our Honor Roll honorees!

Teacher of the Year Homepage
Support Employee of the Year Homepage


Welcome 2012-2013 Teachers!
August 8, 2012
SDPC is happy to welcome our teachers for the 2012-2013 school year, including more than 100 faces who are brand new to our schools.

This week, dozens of teachers headed to the Pickens County Career and Technology Center and Liberty High School for the New Teacher Academy. Many returning teachers joined them at LHS for new technology training as well.

For a look at some of the new and returning faces to Pickens County Schools, click on the link below.


Congratulations Title I Schools!
August 7, 2012

Congratulations to A. R. Lewis Elementary, McKissick Elementary, & West End Elementary for being named 2012-13 Title I Reward Schools.  SDPC is proud of your faculty, staff and students for all of the dedication and hard work it takes to achieve this recognition. 

Title I Reward Schools are recognized for acheiving an "A" or "B" according to South Carolina's ESEA/Federal Accountability System for two straight years, having a free/reduced lunch count above 50 percent, and for not having any significant achievement gaps. Also, reward schools can not be Primary schools.

We appreciate the leadership from these schools!


Federal Report Cards and Test Scores Released
August 6, 2012
The SC Department of Education has released school and district performance on the federal government’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act, formerly known as No Child Left Behind.

For the 2011-2012 school year, schools and districts were assigned a numerical index score based on student performance. The School District of Pickens County earned a score of 88.9. Scores above 70 meet or exceed the state's expectation.

Results of High School Assessment Program testing were also released, showing more Pickens County high school students passing their exit exams for the third consecutive year.

Also, results of testing for the Palmetto Assessment of State Standards showed Pickens County 3rd through 8th grade students outperforming statewide averages.
 
For more detailed information, click on the links below:
Bus Driver Classes Offered
August 1, 2012
Transportation services is offering classes for teachers, coaches and volunteers. Classes are also open to prospective school bus drivers and activity bus drivers needing annual in-service credits.

All classes for SDPC are conducted at the Transportation Services facility located at 1400 Griffin Mill Road, Easley, SC 29640. We have two classes scheduled for September 2012. They will be held on Tuesday- Thursday (September 4,5, & 6) from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. with required attendance for the written test on Thursday September 13 (8:30 am -2:30 pm) or on Monday - Thursday (September 10-13) from 8:30 a.m. -2:30 p.m.


July 23, 2012

2012-2013 Registration Begins for Pickens County Students
July 21, 2012
Pickens County high school students will begin registration for the 2012-2013 school year on July 31st.  Daniel High School, Easley High School, and Pickens High School will register on the following dates:
Seniors and Juniors July 31, Sophomores August 1, and Freshmen August 2nd between 12:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. 

Daniel High School students will register at Edwards Middle School, and Easley High School students will register at West End Elementary School.

All Liberty High School students will register July 31st 10:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m

Late Registration for Daniel, Liberty and Pickens High Schools will be Tuesday, August 7th between 12:00 am-4:00 pm.  Easley High School's late registration will be Wednesday, August 8th between 12:00 pm-4:-00 pm. For more information,
2012-2013 Registration








The Reserve at Lake Keowee Recognized
July 16, 2012
 On Wednesday, July 11, The Reserve at Lake Keowee was recognized by the State Department of Education for its work with AR Lewis Elementary School. The State Department of Education recognized school districts in one of four categories: Business, Civic, Individual, and School Improvement. The Reserve at Lake Keowee was recognized as the State Department of Education's Civic Volunteer of the Year for the 2011-2012 school year. The School District of Pickens County and AR Lewis Elementary school appreciate the The Reserve at Lake Keowee.

 




Liberty Middle School Auction on July 21
July 10, 2012
Surplus and obsolete items of Liberty Middle School will be sold at auction on Saturday, July 21 beginning at 9:01.  Southeastern Acution Sales will conduct the auction at the current Liberty Middle School-- 310 West Main Street, Liberty SC 29657.  More Information and Partial Listing






Susan Nunamaker named finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and ScienceTeaching
June 28, 2012
Susan Nunamaker, Clemson Elementary Teacher, has been selected as the South Carolina state finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and ScienceTeaching for grades K-6. The PAEMST is the highest recognition that a kindergarten through 12th grade mathematics or science teacher may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States. Established by Congress in 1983, the PAEMST program authorizes the President of the United States to bestow up to 108 awards each year. National winners will be announced during the spring of 2013.  Congratulations Mrs. Nunamaker!

Easley High School Campus Closed
June 20, 2012
Because of current construction, the Easley High School campus on Pendleton Street and the new Easley High School off Highway 8 (Pelzer Highway)are closed.  The new Easley High School will open to faculty, staff, and parents at the beginning of August.  Phone and internet services are temporarily down at the new location   Service should be restored by Wednesday, June 27, 2012.  Please contact the school if you need to schedule a time to meet with an administrator or guidance counselor.  The new phone number is (864)397-3100. 


Daniel High School Campus Closed
June 15, 2012
Because of the ongoing construction activities, the campus of Daniel High School is now closed to all unauthorized personnel.  Only certified construction workers will be allowed on the premises.  Daniel High School administration and guidance offices are located at Edwards during the summer months.


Teacher Forum Supports Future Teachers
June 14, 2012
Pickens County educators have helped 10 teacher cadets move closer to their dreams of joining the education profession. Using employees’ contributions, the SDPC Teacher Forum awarded $7,600 in scholarships to the students. Laura Emily Dekle (Daniel), Krista Ellis Massingill (Easley), Matthew Scott Uselman (Liberty), and Abby Raye Thompson (Pickens) each received $1000 scholarships. $600 scholarships were awarded to Easley students Melanie Christine White, Anna Caroline Anderson, Lindsey Elizabeth McAlister and to Pickens students Camille Dacie Beavers, Christy Michelle Kay, and Rebecca Kimberly Hiott.
 
The SDPC Teacher Forum, made up of each school’s teacher of the year, established the scholarship fund for Pickens County teacher cadets several years ago. Annual scholarship funds are raised through two district wide fundraisers, one each fall and one each spring.  Pictured are (front) Camille D. Beavers (PHS); Christy M. Kay (PHS); Abby R. Thompson (PHS); Krista E. Massingill (EHS); (back) Jean Toole (11-12 SDPC Teacher of the Year); Sheila Beasley (10-11 SDPC Teacher of the Year).  News Release

Thank You, Student Transportation Staff
June 14, 2012
Student Transportation Services held its annual end-of-the-year banquet on June 7 at Chastain Road Elementary School.  The bus drivers honored Dr. Henry Hunt with a special presentation and a standing ovation. After the meal and awards recognizing many drivers' years of service, the group played "Bus Family Feud." The Pickens-area drivers were the winners.   We appreciate the many ways our bus drivers help us "build success beyond the classroom" for all SDPC students! Slideshow
Congratulations to Science Fair Winners!
June 12, 2012
Congratulations to all winners in the SDPC Elementary Science Fair!  First place winners are Matthew Alexander, Central Elementary School and Amber McNeely, Crosswell Elementary School.  Second place winners are Brady Cordell, Crosswell Elementary School and Thomas McCoy-Bruce, Dacusville Elementary School.  Third place winner is Sydney Skipper, Dacusville Elementary School.  Science Fair Winners



Artwork of PMS Student Added to Gallery
June 11, 2012
Pickens Middle School student Mary Gamble and her art teacher Avis Fisher added the next artwork entitled Richie the Ostrich to the Superintendent’s Art Gallery on May 29, 2012.
 
“Mary’s artwork is a special addition to the collection,” said Dr. Henry Hunt, superintendent.  “We’re proud that we can emphasize the importance of the arts by showcasing students’ work in the boardroom.”

In 2004 the School District of Pickens County opened the Superintendent’s Art Gallery in the boardroom at the Curtis A. Sidden Administration building.  With the goal of assembling a permanent display of student art, a committee selects and purchases a work of art from the Pickens County Youth Arts display each year.


Alive at 25 Course Required to Drive on SDPC Campuses in 12-13
July 16, 2012
Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, each student who drives and/or parks on a high school campus in SDPC must successfully complete Alive at 25, a defensive driving program developed by the National Safety Council.  Law enforcement officers teach the 4 ½ hour course in small groups with the goal of preventing traffic violations, collisions, and fatalities.  Students will not receive a parking permit until the course has been taken. 

Students may attend at any SDPC school or at any other site in South Carolina.  Additionally, summer classes have been scheduled at Liberty High and at Pickens High.  Because Daniel and Easley high schools will move to new campuses, summer classes will not be scheduled at those schools.

Students are encouraged to prepare now if they want to drive on SDPC high school campuses during the 2012-2013 school year.  Students will not receive parking permits until they successfully complete the Alive at 25 course.  More Information ... News Release ... Alive at 25 website ... Frequently Asked Questions ... Driver's Education vs. Alive at 25


Students, Staff & Schools Recognized in Spotlight
June 7, 2012
We’re proud of our students, our staff, and our schools for outstanding accomplishments! Our Spotlight on Schools & Students is where you’ll find news about good things happening for our students and our schools. You'll also find student and school news on the school websites. Thank you, school communication team members, for your hard work in spreading the good news! New Submissions: A+ Certified Technicians … Sarah Turpin Chosen for Williamsburg Institute … CTC Students Represent SC in Kansas City … Crosswell Hosts Around The World Festival … East End Honors Retirees … 4K Students Celebrate A Great Year

SDPC & Community Honor Dr. Hunt
June 4, 2012
At a reception on Sunday, School District of Pickens County staff and the Pickens County community honored Dr. Henry Hunt on his retirement. Dr. Hunt was joined by his wife Sonjia and their daughter Leah and her family. On behalf of SDPC, Dr. Kelly Pew presented Dr. Hunt with a crystal globe inscribed with the words “You changed the world.”   He also received a scrapbook commemorating his 41 years of service. Senator Larry Martin and representatives Davey Hiott, B.R. Skelton, and Phil Owens presented Dr. Hunt with a joint resolution of congratulations from the South Carolina State Legislature. Slideshow
Congratulations, Class of 2012!
June 1, 2012
Daniel, Easley, Liberty and Pickens high schools held graduation ceremonies on Saturday, June 9 at Clemson University's Littlejohn Coliseum. Details of each ceremony including valedictorian and salutatorian are included on our Graduation 2012 page. Congratulations to every member of the Class of 2012!!  News Release



Students, Staff & Schools Recognized in Spotlight
May 30, 2012
We’re proud of our students, our staff, and our schools for outstanding accomplishments! Our Spotlight on Schools & Students is where you’ll find news about good things happening for our students and our schools. You'll also find student and school news on the school websites. Thank you, school communication team members, for your hard work in spreading the good news! New Submissions: Crosswell's Beta Club Enjoys Memorial Day … East End Students Honor Teachers … Students Celebrate With PASS Party … Top Cops at CTC … Opening and Closing Team Take Gold … Prepared Speech Team Wins Silver and Gold …TOY and SOY Chosen at A. R. Lewis
Our "Perfect" Seniors
June 2, 2012
Four SDPC high school seniors in this year’s graduating class have gone to school through their entire academic careers without missing a single day.  Brittany Ann Holder (DHS), Morgan Leigh Cline (EHS), Robert Jackson McCachren (EHS), and Matthew Tyler Ratterree (EHS) are among nearly 1000 seniors who are being honored at commencement ceremonies on Saturday, June 9.  Seniors with 12 years of perfect school attendance will receive certificates and congratulatory letters from Dr. Mick Zais, South Carolina Superintendent of Education.

Brittany Ann Holder

Morgan Leigh Cline

Robert Jackson McCachren

Matthew Tyler Ratterree

SDPC Honors Retirees
May 30, 2012
Sixty School District of Pickens County employees who are retiring this year were honored for their years of dedication and service at a dinner on May 24 at the Pickens County Career & Technology Center.  Dr. Stephanie Lackey, executive director of Human Resource Services, Dr. Henry Hunt, retiring superintendent, and Dr. Kelly Pew, incoming superintendent, expressed their appreciation for the years of service and presented each retiree with a certificate and an engraved glass plate. Addressing the retirees, Dr. Henry Hunt said “Thank you. Thank you for your smile; thank you for your efficiency; thank you for providing a solution to those difficult daily problems based on your knowledge, experience, and understanding. Thank you for caring; thank you for your example in our students’ lives. Most of all, thank you for making the School District of Pickens County a better place through your faithful service.” News ReleaseSlideshowProgram
Fain Will Lead Pickens Elementary
May 30, 2012
The SDPC board of trustees has named Dr. Allen Fain the new principal of Pickens Elementary School. Fain has been assistant principal at West End Elementary School in Easley since 2007. “I am very grateful to be chosen as the next principal at Pickens Elementary,” said Fain. “I look forward to working with the staff and community to establish a cohesive and positive school culture that promotes academic success among all students.“ Fain began his education career as a teacher and coach at Parkwood Middle School in Monroe, North Carolina in 1998. He then taught for six years at Calhoun Elementary School/Calhoun Academy of the Arts in Anderson before becoming an assistant principal. He also coached at T.L. Hanna High School at the same time. Dr. Henry Hunt, superintendent, said, “Dr. Fain has served very effectively at West End Elementary as assistant principal, and I am confident he will do a great job at Pickens Elementary. I want to wish Dr. Fain much success as he steps into the principalship of PES.” Fain will succeed Dr. Del Freitag, who has been named principal of McKissick Elementary School in Easley. News Release
Congratulations, Support Employees & Teachers of the Year
May 24, 2012
We are proud to announce our 2012-2013 Support Employees and Teachers of the Year. Chosen by their peers for their outstanding service, these employees represent the best of the support employees and teachers in our district. Each one helps our students succeed beyond the classroom. Congratulations! 2012-2013 Support Employees of the Year2012-2013 Teachers of the Year





Over $10,000 Donated for STEM Initiatives; STEM Educators Announced
May 24, 2012
After a May 22 evening of celebrating Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Ray Farley of Alliance Pickens and Jeremy Arnett of United Tool and Mold presented SDPC with over $10,000 in proceeds from the event. The donation will be used for future STEM initiatives including purchase of robots, electronic, mechatronic and machine tool equipment. The donation will also be used to support students’ expenses for learning competitions.

Congratulations to Meredith Cross (Clemson), Jerry May (Dacusville Middle) and Hank Hutto (PC Career & Technology Center). The three were named School District of Pickens County STEM Teachers of the Year for their excellence in teaching Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics.

Thank you to the many individuals, businesses and industries that have supported our students and teachers at this event. We appreciate you! We also want to thank Ray Farley, Trent Acker and Melissa Carlson of Alliance Pickens for making the evening a reality. 
Slideshow

SDPC Schools Recognized for Safety
May 23, 2012
On May 23, Safe Kids Upstate recognized sixteen SDPC schools for their efforts to bring safety to our children through safety patrols, pedestrian safety, and safety resources. Honored were Ambler, Chastain Road, Clemson, Crosswell, Dacusville, East End, Forest Acres, Holly Springs, A.R. Lewis, Liberty, McKissick, Six Mile and West End elementary schools as well as DacusvilleGettys, and Pickens middle schools. Each school received a banner to display in the school and a certificate.  Thank you, Safe Kids Upstate, for your partnership in keeping our kids safe!




Tina Kelly Wins National Poster Contest
May 18, 2012
Tina Kelly, guidance counselor at Ambler Elementary School, has won national recognition in the National Career Development Association’s 46th Annual Poster & Poetry Contest entitled “My Career Dreams.”  Kelly won third place in the nation for Poster Category 2 Open Adult.  She will be recognized at the 2012 NCDA Global Career Development Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, in June.  Congratulations, Mrs. Kelly!





SDPC & Alliance Pickens Celebrate Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
May 18, 2012
An exciting event will take place Tuesday, May 22 at the Pickens County Career & Technology Center (CTC)Pickens County Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics:  An Evening of Celebration will be a celebration of students and teachers who have distinguished themselves in FIRST Robotics, mechatronics, international JetToy competition, and other STEM initiatives.  Along with the School District of Pickens County and Alliance Pickens, Pickens County business and industry representatives will celebrate the students’ state, national, and international achievements.  Thank you to Alliance Pickens as well as the business and industry community for sponsoring the event.  Alliance Pickens News Release  ... STEM Video
SDPC Student Nutrition Programs Among Nation’s Healthiest
May 17, 2012
Twenty-five SDPC student nutrition programs have become a part of an elite group. The programs are included among only three percent of the nation’s programs that have earned the distinction as HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) programs. At a ceremony held at Crosswell Elementary School May 15, Steve Hortin, deputy director of special nutrition programs from the USDA’s Food & Nutrition Service Southeast Region, praised the cafeteria managers and principals for the accomplishment.
 
Hortin said, “32 million students eat school lunch each day in 100,000 schools participating in the National School Lunch Program. Only 3000 of those schools are HealthierUS School Challenge schools. 178 of those are in South Carolina, and 25 are in Pickens County. That is quite an accomplishment!” Pictured are Dr. Henry Hunt; Meredith Faulling from the South Carolina Department of Education’s Office of Health and Nutrition; Steve Hortin from the USDA’s Food & Nutrition Service Southeast Region; Sally Nicholson, director of SDPC Student Nutrition Services News ReleaseSlideshow ... Cafeteria Managers

Cherie Latham Named Counselor of the Year
May 16, 2012
Liberty High School guidance counselor Cherie Latham has been named the 2011-2012 Pendleton Region Counselor of the Year.  As the Pendleton Region Counselor of the Year, Lathem is a candidate for the Barbara H. James Counselor of the Year Award from the South Carolina Department of Education’s Office of Career and Technology Education.  The state winner will be announced in late June at the Education & Business Summit.  Congratulations and good luck, Mrs. Latham!  Nomination Information from Pendleton Region Education Center








Students, Staff & Schools Recognized in Spotlight
May 16, 2012
We’re proud of our students, our staff, and our schools for outstanding accomplishments! Our Spotlight on Schools & Students is where you’ll find news about good things happening for our students and our schools. You'll also find student and school news on the school websites. Thank you, school communication team members, for your hard work in spreading the good news. New Submissions: PHS JROTC Team to Compete in Academic Bowl … Reading is Key at LES … Men Who Matter Most Breakfast At East End … MKE Students are Racing Fast
2012 Drive Reading All-Stars Recognized
May 14, 2012
Students from 17 SDPC elementary and middle schools were recognized for reading at the Greenville Drive game on Monday, May 14.  Students voluntarily took part in the Drive’s fifth annual reading incentive program which is designed to encourage learning and education success through reading.  Students who read a set number of extra-curricular books during February and March will receive free admission and special recognition at the game.  Participating in the 2012 Reading All-Stars Program were Ambler, Central, Chastain Road, Clemson, Crosswell, Dacusville, Liberty, Hagood, Holly Springs, A.R. Lewis, McKissick, Pickens, Six Mile and West End elementary schools.  Edwards, Liberty and Pickens middle schools also participated.  Congratulations to all our outstanding 2012 Reading All-Stars! Slideshow

SDPC Schools Celebrate HealthierUS School Challenge
May 14, 2012
On Tuesday, May 15, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (USDA FNS) honored 25 Pickens County schools with bronze awards in the HealthierUS School Challenge program. The HealthierUS School Challenge is a voluntary national certification initiative for schools participating in the National School Lunch Program. Sponsored by the USDA FNS, the initiative encourages all schools to take a leadership role in helping students make healthier eating and physical activity choices that will last throughout their lives.

“Every 10-11 student nutrition program received a bronze award, so we are thrilled,” said Sally Nicholson, director of SDPC Student Nutrition Services. “With the leadership of principals and cafeteria managers, we’re making positive changes in our schools’ student nutrition programs. We are proud of their accomplishments and congratulate each one who has been involved.” Additional information about the HealthierUS School Challenge program can be found online at http://www.fns.usda.gov
. News Release ... Slideshow

GMS Student Is District Winner of Lt. Governor's Award
May 10, 2012
Shannon Duke, an eighth grade student at Gettys Middle School, has been named the district winner of theLieutenant Governor’s Bridging Generations Award.  Shannon is a student in Cindy Whittemore’s Honors English 1 class.

The Lieutenant Governor’s Bridging Generations Award is a new award that pairs eighth-grade students with older South Carolinians, bridging the gap between generations in the state. Students learn from the past, while leading older South Carolinians into the future. The writing award allows students to showcase what they have learned by incorporating many subjects of the eighth grade curriculum, including South Carolina history. Each student vying for the award interviewed a senior citizen and then wrote an essay about the differences and similarities of the adult’s life when he or she was the same age as the student.  Awards were presented to a school winner, a county winner, and a state winner. News Release ... Shannon's Essay


US News Ranks Daniel as #1 Traditional Public High School in South Carolina
May 9, 2012
Daniel High School is South Carolina’s top traditional public high school according to U.S. News & World Report’s rankings released yesterday.  Only Charleston’s Academic Magnet High School and the Charleston County School of the Arts ranked above the Pickens County school.  Sharon Huff, principal, said, “I am very proud of our students and teachers.  Our teachers maintain high expectations for student learning, and the students challenge themselves by taking rigorous courses.  It truly means a lot to our school and community to receive this prestigious recognition.  I also think it’s important to note that Daniel High is a not a magnet or charter school; we are a traditional public high school with a wide variety of students.”  Congratulations!  News Release ... South Carolina Rankings
Thank You, SDPC Teachers!
May 8, 2012
This week is National Teacher Week, a time to recognize and acknowledge the impact teachers make on our lives.  To all SDPC teachers, we salute you and want you to know how much we appreciate you.  You make a difference each day.  You serve as positive role models for your students, helping them to explore and discover through the learning activities. Thank you for your dedication, your hard work, and your professional contributions.  You make a difference!




Students, Staff & Schools Recognized in Spotlight
May 8, 2012
We Celebrate School Nurses on May 9
May 7, 2012
On May 9, the School District of Pickens County will join other school districts across the nation in observing National School Nurse Day.  The annual observance provides a time to celebrate the nursing profession and the specialty of school nursing. This year’s theme “Advocacy, Access, Achievement: Making the Connection” reflects the overall positive impact school nurses have on the health and well-being of students.  Dr. Henry Hunt, superintendent, said, “School nurses have a valuable role in each school.  They impact students, staff, and the community through their work.  We all appreciate our school nurses and thank them for their significant contributions to the success of our students.”

In the photograph, Linda Robinson (center), school nurse at Chastain Road Elementary School, talks with parent Shawna Owens (right) after her daughter Kennedy visited the health room.  News Release ... Governor's Proclamation


SDPC Recognizes Student Nutrition Professionals
May 7, 2012
Preparing healthy school meals, teaching healthy nutrition habits, and offering a friendly greeting are all in a day’s work for the 186 School District of Pickens County school nutrition employees who serve over 4,450 breakfasts, 10,500 lunches and 800 snacks each day. Along with the School Nutrition Association, SDPC celebrates the professional commitment of these employees with School Nutrition Employee Week, May 7 – 11. Sally Nicholson, director of SDPC School Nutrition Services, says, “Thank you to the school nutrition professionals in Pickens County for their outstanding work providing healthy, nutritious meals to children every school day.” News Release

Robin Walsh To Be Featured in United Way Video
May 2, 2012
We’re proud of Robin Walsh, assistant principal of Dacusville Elementary School!  Mrs. Walsh will represent the School District of Pickens County in next year’s United Way of Pickens County campaign video.  The video, titled Rooted in Pickens County, will focus on gratitude to United Way contributors.  With Dr. Fleming’s help, United Way staff surprised Mrs. Walsh.  During the filming, several United Way clients thanked her and told her how the donations had helped in their lives.  We look forward to seeing Mrs. Walsh in the video.




Churches, Nonprofit Agencies & Others May Participate in Summer Feeding Program
May 1, 2012
When school is out during the summer months, many children do not have access to a nutritious meal during the day. Through the Seamless Summer Feeding Program, the School District of Pickens County is committed to ensuring that all children continue to receive nutritious meals during the summer months. The program provides nutritious, quality meals free to all school age children 18 years or younger and to disabled persons/children up to age 21. Meals are provided regardless of income.

Churches, community centers, city and county parks, nonprofit agencies and summer programs that would like to participate in the Seamless Summer Feeding Program are encouraged to apply. Representatives must attend the mandatory training session on May 17.   Applications should be faxed to (864) 898-5636 or emailed to
SallyNicholson@pickens.k12.sc.us by May 15.  News Release ... Information ... Application
Clemson Professor, Students Partner with DMS
April 27, 2012
Dr. Matthew Powers, associate professor in Clemson University’s School of Planning, Development, Preservation, and Landscape Architecture, and a team of 13 landscape architecture students gave Dacusville Middle School (DMS) students and teachers their first look at the school’s new math garden Tuesday, April 24. DMS students and staff also helped put the final touches on the garden. The math garden is one part of a larger learning project specifically designed to enable teaching though interaction with the natural landscape. According to Powers, the final design includes customizable, multifunctional spaces that teachers and learners can use to explore various concepts through experiential learning. The result is a garden that makes learning meaningful by bringing math to life. Pictured are Dr. Kelly Pew, assistant superintendent of instructional services, and Andy Hooker, principal. Slideshow

Clemson Elementary Team Wins International JetToy Challenge
April 30, 2012
Two teams from Clemson Elementary competed against 120 engineer design teams in the International JetToy Challenge in Detroit on April 25. Jakob Ables, Jonathan Dong, and Stone Ke walked away from competition as 2012 International JetToy Challenge Grand Champions. The team, along with a second team made up of Jacob Zambrano, Dylan Hall, Will Purkerson, represented the Anderson, Oconee, Pickens (AOP) region. All team members, who are fifth-grade students at Clemson Elementary School, advanced to the international competition after winning at the district level and then at the regional level earlier this year. Meredith Cross, the boys’ teacher, accompanied the teams to Detroit. “We are very proud of our boys,” said Dr. Ken Weichel, Clemson Elementary principal. “We are honored and humbled by their success. Ms. Cross is a superb teacher. Our school and kids are better because of her.” News ReleaseSlideshow from Detroit CompetitionSlideshow from Clemson Elementary Celebration
Summer Vacation Starts for Students
June 14, 2012
Summer vacation is nearly here! Our students, teachers and employees can celebrate many outstanding accomplishments this year. We've accomplished so much and have a lot to be proud of!  Our thanks go to our parents and our employees for your hard work and dedication to the children of our community.  Summer vacation for students begins Friday, June 15. Have a wonderful and safe summer!  And remember—students start school on August 21. Back to School 2012 Schedule


Students & Schools Recognized in Spotlight
April 26, 2012
We’re proud of our students and our schools for outstanding accomplishments!  Our Spotlight on Schools & Students is where you’ll find news about good things happening for our students and our schools.  You'll also find student and school news on the school websites.  Thank you, school communication team members, for your hard work in spreading the good news. 




New submissions:  A.R. Lewis Student Wins State Contest ... Jump Rope for Heart at A.R. Lewis ... Alive@25 at Daniel High ... Edward Middle Band Earns Gold



Thank You, SDPC Administrative Professionals
April 25, 2012
Thank you to the many secretaries, administrative assistants, and other office professionals who support teachers and administrators in the School District of Pickens County.  On Administrative Professionals Day -- and each day -- we recognize and celebrate each of you for the many contributions you make in "building success beyond the classroom."  We truly appreciate you!


Freitag Is New McKissick Principal
April 24, 2012
Dr. Del Freitag has been named principal at McKissick Elementary School in Easley. He has been principal at Pickens Elementary School since March 2006. Dr. Henry Hunt, superintendent, said, “Dr. Freitag is a positive leader who has a heart for all children. He is looking forward to returning to McKissick, the school where he began his career in education.”
 
Dr. Freitag began his education career as a classroom teacher, first at McKissick and then at Travelers Rest/Grove Elementary in Greenville County. In 1989, he began working as a counselor and administrative assistant at Crosswell Elementary and at East End Elementary. He moved to Gettys Middle School as an assistant principal in 1995. Dr. Freitag received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania Kutztown in 1978 and a master’s degree from Clemson University in 1981. In addition, he was certified as an educational specialist in guidance in 1989 and in educational administration in 1994. He earned a doctorate degree from Nova Southeastern University in 2001. Dr. Freitag will succeed Stephanie Price, who is retiring at the end of June.

Schools Honored for Palmetto Gold and Silver Recognition
April 24, 2012
At the April meeting, the SDPC Board of Trustees recognized the Palmetto Gold and Silver award schools. The awards recognize schools for general school performance as well as for progress in closing achievement gaps.  This year, 22 schools received awards in either general performance or in closing achievement gaps.  Seven of those schools received awards in both parts of the recognition program. News Release
Palmetto Gold Schools
Back: Carlton Lewis, Ambler; Ken Weichel, Clemson; Darian Byrd, Forest Acres; Clif Alexander, Six Mile; Tim Mullis, Easley High; Leonard Williams, PC Career & Technology Center; Gary Culler, Edwards Middle.
Front: Jamie Spinks, Central; Tom Polidor, A.R. Lewis; Tammy Day, East End; Donna Harden, Holly Springs; Angie Rodgers, West End; Cissy Floyd (Assistant Principal), Liberty Elementary; Sharon Huff, Daniel High.
Palmetto Silver Schools
Back: Tom Polidor, A.R. Lewis Elementary; Ian Williams (Assistant Principal), Crosswell; Michael Fleming, Dacusville Elementary; Andy Hooker, Dacusville Middle; Mike Cory, Gettys Middle; Donivan Edwards, Liberty Middle; Tim Mullis, Easley High.
Front: Jamie Spinks, Central; Karen Jackson, Hagood; Donna Harden, Holly Springs; Angie Rodgers, West End; Del Freitag, Pickens Elementary; Libba Floyd, Pickens Middle.

We Extend Our Sympathy to the Roach Family
April 24, 2012
The SDPC family mourns the loss of Justin Roach, 10th grader at Daniel High School and the Pickens County Career & Technology Center.  Justin was killed in an auto accident in Six Mile on Monday. We extend our sympathy to Justin's family, friends, classmates, and teachers; you will all be in our thoughts and prayers.

Students & Schools Recognized in Spotlight
April 18, 2012
We’re proud of our students and our schools for outstanding accomplishments!  Our Spotlight on Schools & Students is where you’ll find news about good things happening for our students and our schools.  You'll also find student and school news on the school websites.  Thank you, school communication team members, for your hard work in spreading the good news. 

New submissions:  A.R. Lewis Student Wins State Contest ... EHS student reaches top 10 in Chemistry Olympiad … Crosswell students participate in pioneer day ... Jump Rope for Heart at A.R. Lewis ... Alive@25 at Daniel High


SDPC Is Front and Center at Special Olympics
April 20, 2012
School District of Pickens County special education students were “determined spirits” as they participated in the Special Olympics held at the Rock Norman Track and Field Complex at Clemson University.  Many SDPC participants, volunteers, and staff were wearing T-shirts honoring the memory of Anita Beatty, former director of special education. Proceeds from the T-shirt sale provided a scholarship for Anita’s daughter Hannah.

Following the opening parade, Tina Hudgens from Liberty High School remembered Anita Beatty.  She said, “The students in Pickens County will benefit for years to come because of Anita’s determined spirit to do what was best for students no matter what obstacles she had to move.  In memory of Anita today, the School District of Pickens County would like to present Anita’s daughter Hannah with a scholarship to Lander University.”   Anita's family is pictured here.  Special Olympics Slideshows
We Mourn the Loss of Pam Scott
April 20, 2012
Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of Liberty High School teacher Pam Scott. Ms. Scott passed away on Thursday following a horseback riding accident. “Pam touched all of us in many ways,” said Lori Gwinn, principal. “She began her career in our district at Gettys Middle School and came to LHS about ten years ago. She had made plans to retire at the end of this school year and was looking forward to many adventures. She will be missed dearly.” We are keeping the Scott family and the Liberty High family in our thoughts and prayers.

Suspected Fraud Can Be Reported Anonymously
April 19, 2012
The School District of Pickens County has implemented two ways for individuals to report suspected fraud.  Anyone who thinks fraud may exist in the district can now call the SDPC fraud line at 864-397-1090 or send an email with the information to sdpcfraudline@pickens.k12.sc.us.  Dr. Henry Hunt said, “We will investigate and follow up all reports we receive by phone and email.  According to our policy, the purpose is to deter, prevent, react to, and reduce the impact of fraud.  This is a positive first step in achieving that purpose.”

Establishing the fraud line and email address for anonymous reporting of suspected fraud is one part of a fraud risk management program being developed in response to a recommendation by Greene, Finney & Horton LLP, external auditors who perform the district’s annual audit.  All details of the formal fraud risk management program are expected to be presented to the board by the end of the fiscal year. News Release


SDPC Invites Public Input for Federal Projects
April 16, 2012
The School District of Pickens County invites public input regarding its 2012-2013 federal projects. A public meeting is scheduled at the Curtis Sidden Administrative Building at 1348 Griffin Mill Road, Easley on May 8, 2012, from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.

The meeting will focus on the Title II project on Teacher Quality, the Title III project regarding English Speakers of Other Languages and the Carl D. Perkins Vocational-Technical Education Act and the McKinney-Vento legislation regarding homeless children. The meeting will also focus on the Title I project entitled “Improving the Achievement of the Disadvantaged.” The Title I project serves students in schools that have a high percentage of students receiving free or reduced lunch and who may, therefore, be at a disadvantage educationally in the areas of English language arts and mathematics.

If you would like to comment on these projects, please send your comments in writing to Dr. Kelly Pew, 1348 Griffin Mill Road, Easley, SC 29640. You may also send comments by email to Dr. Pew at
kellypew@pickens.k12.sc.us. News Release
Danny Merck Is New Daniel Principal
April 13, 2012
Dr. Danny Merck, SDPC Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services, has been named principal of Daniel High School. His official start date at the school is July 1. Merck began his education career in SDPC in 1991, teaching at Simpson Academy, Gettys Middle School and Liberty High School before being named an assistant principal at Easley High School in 2000. He became principal at Pendleton High School in 2005 and then returned to Easley High as principal in 2009. Merck has been assistant superintendent of administrative services since August 2011. 
 
A 1989 graduate of Wofford College, Merck also received an educational specialist’s degree in secondary and elementary administration in 1999. He earned a doctorate degree in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University in 2005 and superintendent’s certification from Clemson University in 2009. Merck will succeed Sharon Huff, who has been named assistant superintendent of instructional services. News Release

Students Recognized for Improvement on MAP
April 13, 2012
At a March 30 assembly at Liberty Middle School, Dr. Henry Hunt selected the names of three students as the lucky winners of Kindle Fire tablets.  The assembly was the culmination of a month-long incentive for students to improve their MAP scores.  For each point of improvement on MAP from fall to spring, the student’s name was entered into the drawing.  The Kindle Fires – one for each grade – were donated by PTO and local merchants.  Slideshow



PHS Production Dedicated to Trude & Max Heller
April 13, 2012
Marion Lawson welcomed Mrs. Trude Heller as a special guest at And Then They Came for Me … remembering the world of Anne Frank, the first live production in the Pickens High Center for the Performing Arts.  The March 29 production was dedicated to Mrs. Heller and her late husband Max, who were Holocaust survivors.  Mr. Heller was also the former mayor of Greenville. Slideshow





Reggia Stapleton Named SC Woman of Accomplishment
April 12, 2012
Congratulations to Reggia Stapleton, director of Simpson Alternative Center for Education, for being named the 2012-13 South Carolina Woman of Accomplishment.  Dr. Henry Hunt said, “All of us in the School District of Pickens County are proud of Mrs. Stapleton for this outstanding achievement.  She is a respected leader among her peers, teachers and students.  She also has great respect within the community.  We all congratulate Mrs. Stapleton on this prestigious award.”  News Release




Career & Technology Students Are Winners!
April 11, 2012
Pickens County Career & Technology Center students excelled again this year in the annual State SkillsUSA competition.  The students had an outstanding showing with 32 medals overall—19 gold, 5 silver and 8 bronze. The gold medal winners will compete in Kansas City in June 23 - 28 in the National SkillsUSA Competitive Events. SDPC SkillsUSA State Contest Winners for 2011-2012







Enjoy Your Spring Break, Students & Staff
March 30, 2012
All SDPC schools and offices will be closed from April 2 through 6 for spring break. April 2 was originally scheduled for an inclement make-up day but was not needed.  In addition, April 9 is a professional development day; students do not attend. Students will return to school on Tuesday, April 10. Enjoy your spring break!



Trash Bash Celebrates with East End Third Grade Teachers and Students
March 30, 2012
Every year, the Traveling Trash Bash challenges the students to go home, talk with their families, decide on some kind of an environmental project or task they can do at home, and return a parent-signed form describing their project.  Anytime a school’s third graders have 100% of the forms returned, the group provides ice cream for the entire grade.  Thanks to the efforts of the third grade teachers at East End Elementary, every single student in every third grade class returned the forms!  The ice cream celebration at East End Friday on March 29 let the students know what a great thing they have done for our environment. Slideshow


Three Teachers to Attend Marine Corps Workshop
March 30, 2012
Three School District of Pickens County educators are up for the challenge of being Marine Corps recruits and are headed to boot camp at Parris Island for four days. Easley High teachers Michael Stone and Tracy Todd  along with Donna Looper, media specialist at Dacusville Middle, will participate in The United States Marine Corps Educators’ Workshop, a four-day workshop that provides educators, community leaders, and other local influencers the opportunity to witness a young person’s transformation from a high school student into a United States Marine. Looper, Stone, and Todd will attend the workshop from April 10 through April 14. News Release


Videos of Board Meetings
March 28, 2012
Video recordings of SDPC Board of Trustees meetings are now available on the SDPC YouTube channel; click on the Board Meetings playlist. The playlist starts with the February board meeting.  Unedited, official videos will be added as soon as possible after each general meeting.



Start & Dismissal Times for Easley-Area Schools to Change in 2012-2013
March 27, 2012
Because of potential problems with traffic flow at the new Easley High campus as well as bus transportation to the Career & Technology Center, start and dismissal times for Easley-area schools will be changed next school year. The traffic flow will be reviewed during the first two weeks of school, and times may be modified if necessary. The time changes will affect Crosswell, East End, Forest Acres, McKissick and West End elementary schools, Gettys Middle, and Easley High.  Start and dismissal times will be elementary -- 8:00 a.m. & 2:30 p.m.; middle --  8:30 a.m. & 3:30 p.m.; high -- 8:15 a.m. & 3:10 p.m.



Most Improved Seniors Named
March 23, 2012
The Pickens Area Society for Human Resource Management recently honored four SDPC seniors with the 2012 J.B. “Red” Owens Most Improved Student Award. Award recipients are Robby Saunders (Pickens High), James Robert Allen (Easley High), Corey Travis Burgess (Liberty High) and Joseph Masceri (Daniel High). Congratulations to these outstanding students! Slideshow






Lawson Honored as AAA Conference Principal of the Year
March 20, 2012
Congratulations to Marion Lawson, principal of Pickens High School!  The South Carolina Athletic Administrators Association has honored Mr. Lawson by naming him AAA Conference Principal of the Year for 2011-2012.  The state honor is given annually to a principal in each classification for outstanding support in athletics at the school, region and state level.  We’re proud of you, Mr. Lawson!








SDPC Schools Earn Palmetto Gold or Silver
March 19, 2012
Twenty-two of Pickens County’s elementary, middle and high schools have earned recognition for achievement or for closing achievement gaps in the Palmetto Gold and Palmetto Silver awards program. Gold and Silver General Awards are given to schools based on both their absolute and growth ratings and the growth index found on school report cards. Gold and Silver Closing the Achievement Gap Awards are given to schools that show substantial progress in closing achievement gaps between groups of students.

Elementary schools recognized are Ambler, Central, Clemson, Crosswell, Dacusville, East End, Forest Acres, Hagood, Holly Springs, AR Lewis, Liberty, Pickens, Six Mile and West End elementary schools.  Dacusville, Edwards, Gettys, Liberty and Pickens middle schools were also recognized. High schools recognized were Daniel, Easley, and BJ Skelton Career Center (now the Pickens County Career & Technology Center). Dr. Henry Hunt, superintendent, said, “Student achievement is a priority in our district, and having recognition for the schools’ success is affirming. I congratulate each person who had a part in helping students achieve at this level.”
News Release

Exam Schedule for Second Semester Released
March 19, 2012
The exam schedule for the second semester of the 2011-2012 school year has been released. High school seniors will take exams May 29-31.  June 11-14 are designated as exam days for middle school students and high school underclassmen. Exams for underclassmen at Daniel High will begin early because of the construction schedule; their exams begin June 7 and finish June 12.   The exam schedule can also be found under the Upcoming link along the top of our home page. Exam schedule





SDPC Auction on March 24
March 19, 2012
Surplus and obsolete items of the School District of Pickens County will be sold at auction on Saturday, March 24 beginning at 9:01 a.m.  Southeastern Auction Sales will conduct the auction at the current Transportation & Nutrition Services site -- 133 Railroad Street, Pickens. More Information and Partial Listing


SDPC Sets 2012-2013 Meet the Teacher, Registration Dates
March 14, 2012
Pickens County students in the Class of 2013 will officially register for their senior year on July 31, 2012.  That date along with all registration dates have been set by the School District of Pickens County.

According to Dr. Henry Hunt, superintendent, having the Back to School 2012-2013 schedule now helps parents in planning summer trips and activities.  “We want parents to have the information as early as possible so that they can schedule their summer events.  We encourage them to mark the dates on their calendars so that students can register as scheduled.  Having the registration process complete helps students’ first days of the new school year run smoothly.”

Students will begin the 2012-13 school year on Tuesday, August 21, 2012.

Huff Named Assistant Superintendent
March 12, 2012
The board of trustees has named Sharon Messer Huff, principal of Daniel High School, as the School District of Pickens County Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services.  Huff will officially assume her new duties on July 1.

“I’m looking forward to working with Mrs. Huff,” said Dr. Kelly Pew, the district’s new superintendent.  “As an administrator in our district for over ten years, she has gained tremendous respect.  She understands the importance of rigorous, relevant instruction in every class from pre-K through twelfth grade.  She is committed to open communication, to building trusting relationships, and to drawing on each other’s strengths and talents as we provide quality educational experiences for all students.  She brings these commitments and many outstanding qualities to this position.”

Huff began her career as an English teacher at Lugoff-Elgin High School in 1990 and then moved to Pickens Middle School in 1998.  She was also a curriculum assistant at Gettys Middle School before being named assistant principal at Daniel High School in 2002.  She has been principal at DHS since 2005.  News Release


Holly Springs Student's Artwork Featured in New York City
March 12, 2012
Congratulations to Basia Allen, a kindergarten student at Holly Springs Elementary!  On March 2 and 3, her artwork was featured at the Big Screen Plaza event in New York City during the 2012 National Art Education Association Convention.  Basia’s self-portrait, created in the style of Paul Klee’s “Head of Man,” was one of 500 pieces selected nationally through a call for entries competition sponsored by Artsonia.  The original work is on display at the Pickens County Museum’s Youth Art Month exhibition.  Mrs. Alston Beckman is Basia’s art teacher at Holly Springs.





SDPC Wins National Transparency Award
March 8, 2012
Sunshine Review has awarded the School District of Pickens County a 2012 Sunny Award for its transparent website.  SDPC was the only South Carolina district to receive the award from the national nonprofit organization dedicated to government transparency. Editors at Sunshine Review analyzed more than 6,000 government websites and graded each on a 10-point transparency checklist. Editors looked at content available against what should be provided. They sought information on items such as budgets, meetings, lobbying, financial audits, contracts, academic performance, public records and taxes. SDPC’s grade of A+ was a score achieved by only 26 school districts across the nation. “We have made transparency a priority,” said Dr. Henry Hunt, superintendent.  “Transparency is important in everything we do, and we are honored to be recognized for our efforts.  We will continue providing information so that citizens can access what they need to be informed.” News Release
New Video Features Robotics, Lego Leagues
March 7, 2012
In the School District of Pickens County, we are proud of our initiatives that help STEM content come alive for students, and we’re excited to present a new video that showcases some, including our robotics program and Lego Leagues.

STEM education is a nation-wide initiative promoting science, technology, engineering and math education at all levels. STEM activities provide students with hands-on, integrated learning opportunities that emphasize questioning and inquiry as well as application of engineering design and problem-solving.

Take a few minutes to learn more about how we’re building success through STEM activities. We think you’ll be excited, too. Enjoy the show! STEM Education in the School District of Pickens County

Welcome, Dr. Zais!
March 6, 2012
State Superintendent of Education Mick Zais will visit three SDPC schools on Tuesday, March 6.  During his visit to Crosswell and West End elementary schools and Dacusville Middle School, Dr. Zais will meet with school administrators and teachers to discuss the successes and challenges that currently exist in Pickens County.  Following the discussion, Dr. Zais will take a brief tour of each school. State Department of Education Media Advisory


Pickens County Youth Arts Month
March 5, 2012
March is Youth Arts Month. To celebrate, the Pickens County Museum will be displaying student works from SDPC art programs beginning March 3 and continuing through March 29. The museum is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.; Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.; and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. For more information, contact the museum at (864) 898-5963. Slideshow of Winners






Danielle Yother Takes First Place in Talent Show
March 5, 2012
In Pickens County Has Talent’s final show, Danielle Yother, a bluegrass vocalist from Pickens Middle School, walked away with first prize -- $500 and an autographed guitar from Miranda Lambert. Placing second and receiving $350 was the rock band Redwire made up of band members Jed Hager, Jake Gantt, Morgan Parton and Bryson Capps. A cappella vocalists Jenna Rampey, Kaley Kerr and Will Raines performing as Trivocality placed third and received $150. Fourth-place winners were cloggers Abbey Bolick and Callie Durham. Fifth-place winners were the vocal and guitar duet Kaitlyn Kearse and Savannah Pitts.
 
According to Roy Costner, organizer of the county-wide competition, the event raised over $10,000 that will go directly back to schools and students of the School District of Pickens County. Pickens County Has Talent preliminary and final shows will air on Charter TV-10 on Saturday nights, beginning on March 10 at 7:00 p.m. Ingles sponsored the February 25th show so that the entire show will be aired. News ReleaseSlideshow

SDPC Teams Win Regional JetToy Challenge; Move to International Competition
March 1, 2012
Congratulations to Jacob Zambrano, Dylan Hall, Will Purkerson, Jakob Ables, Jonathan Dong, and Stone Ke and their teacher Meredith Cross from Clemson Elementary!  The fifth-grade students  will represent the Anderson, Oconee, Pickens (AOP) region in the International JetToy Challenge in Detroit, Michigan on April 25. 

The two SDPC teams reached international competition after garnering the highest scores in the AOP competition.  Approximately 20 students from schools in Anderson, Oconee and Pickens school districts competed at Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research (ICAR) on February 17.  News Release ... Photograph Courtesy of The Easley Progress/Pickens Sentinel


Save On School Supplies During Tax-Free Weekend
August 1, 2012
Students and parents are getting ready to head back to school, which means tax-free weekend is right around the corner!

Starting on Friday, August 3 and ending at midnight, August 5, students and parents can buy eligible items such as clothing, shoes, school supplies, computers and linens without paying sales tax on those items. Supply lists for schools can be found on school websites or through contacting the school directly. Don't forget, school starts on August 21, so be ready!
Dacusville Middle Principal Honored with Golden Apple Award
March 1, 2012
Congratulations to Andy Hooker, Dacusville Middle School principal, who received the Golden Apple Award this week from WYFF. His story will air Thursday, March 1 at 5:00 p.m. and again on Friday morning during the segments before the 7:00 a.m. news. The video will be available on the WYFF Golden Apple site after it airs. Andy’s wife, Dawn Hooker, nominated him and will also be featured in the segment. We’re proud of you, Mr. Hooker!





Ashton Named Director of Special Services
February 29, 2012
The board of trustees has named Catherine (Cathy) Ashton as director of special education for the School District of Pickens County.  Ashton has served as interim director since the death of Anita Beatty in early January.

“I am deeply humbled to be able to serve students with special needs along with the teachers, support staff and parents in the district,” said Ashton.  “Amidst the pressure of difficult challenges that lie before us, collaboration is most needed.   It is my hope that change will continue to flourish in the areas of perception, attitude, focus, and results.   Anita Beatty is very much missed, and my support staff is committed to maintaining her high standards of service to others.”  News Release


Building Futures Plan Now 80% Complete
February 28, 2012
In his February progress report, Bob Folkman reported that the Building Futures facilities plan is now 80% complete. According to Folkman, the relocation of the current Easley High School to the new site will begin June 16 while the new Daniel High School remains on schedule to be completed by June 16. The latest progress report has been posted to the Building Futures website. You can check the progress of our building program as well as see pictures of the building progress on that website. Each project has a listing with dropdown menus for facts, pictures, and plans. You can also take a virtual tour of Liberty High, the Career & Technology Center, and Pickens High. Check it out!


PCHT Final Event Is Saturday
February 23, 2012
Pickens County Has Talent finals are this Saturday, Feb. 25th at Pickens High School at 6:00 p.m. Competing in the finals will be Easley winners Vannahkate, Ella Hennessee, Hunter Holliday, The Morning Glories, and Don Nivens as well as Grant Hitt, RJ Little, Danielle Yother, Abbie Bolick & Callie Durham, Gail Higdon, Dylan Looper, Trivocality, Redwire, Vataydra Ferguson, Laura Nelson, Ruby Faith Dennis, and Gracie Dellinger.

With support from Ingles, the final show on February 25 will be filmed in its entirety and will air on Charter TV-10 beginning March 10.  Tickets for the final event are $10.  There will be guest performances from R.U.S.H, Taylor Stewart, Chris Haile, Jereomy Arnett and the Chinese Martial Arts group from Clemson as well as door prizes, including an I-PAD courtesy of Charter. Encourage as many people as you can to come to the event to see what happens live and to be a part of the TV production.

The audience will select the top five acts.  First place will receive $500 plus an autographed guitar from Miranda Lambert.  The second place winner will receive $350, and third place will be awarded $150.  Prizes were donated by Charter Communications as well as an anonymous donor.  Fourth and fifth place winners will receive trophies.

PCHT thanks the many volunteers and each of the host high schools for making these shows possible.   With your help we can make a direct impact on the schools and students in the School District of Pickens County.


Forest Acres Team Wins Design Challenge
February 23, 2012
Congratulations to Sidney Galloway, Rett Lister, Cameron Stewart, Matt Nunnery from Forest Acres Elementary School.  The team won the design competition for The Green Machine at the SDPC JetToy Challenge on February 17.  According to Darian Byrd, principal, The Green Machine has been “retired from future racing and is now on display at the school.”






Dr. Kelly Pew Chosen as New Superintendent
February 21, 2012
In a unanimous vote, the board named Dr. Kelly Pew as the new superintendent of the School District of Pickens County.  Pew will replace Dr. Henry Hunt, who is retiring at the end of June. Pew said, “I appreciate the board’s confidence in me as the school district’s new leader. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with our students, teachers, support staff, and administrators over the last 3 and a half years and am excited to continue in a different role.  Both my mother and grandmother are Easley High School graduates, so I have a true connection to Pickens County.”    
 
She continued, “I am passionate about the children our school district serves, and we are fortunate to have quality, dedicated personnel working with them every day.  Each employee is important as we pursue our goal of providing all students from K4-12th with a rigorous, relevant education program that will prepare them to reach their individual life goals for college and careers.  We will continue the curriculum initiatives that teachers have worked on including preparing for the common core state standards and implementing technology in our classrooms.  In addition, we will continue preparing our students for our ever-changing world by providing quality education in all of our classrooms. Over the next few months, I will be working with board members to develop specific goals for the district for the 2012-2013 school year,” she said.  “I will be listening carefully as the principals and I look together toward the future of our district.  I also look forward to working with Dr. Hunt and continuing to benefit from his experience during the transition.”
 
Pew was named assistant superintendent of instructional services in May 2011 after serving as the district’s assistant superintendent of human resource services for three years.  She will begin her tenure as superintendent on July 1.

Clemson Elementary Teams Win JetToy Challenge
February 21, 2012
At the SDPC JetToy Challenge held on February 17, two Clemson Elementary teams advanced to the regional challenge.  SDPC’s winning teams will compete with teams from Anderson 1, Anderson 2, Anderson 4 and Oconee school districts at Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research on February 24.  The regional winner will advance to international competition in Detroit. Pictured are members of the two winning teams, left to right: Jacob Zambrano, Dylan Hall, Will Purkerson, Jakob Ables, Johnny Dong, and Stone Ke.  Good luck, SDPC JetToy teams! News Release ... Slideshow

   

Last Preliminary Event on Saturday, February 18
February 16, 2012
Pickens County Has Talent competition continues Saturday, February 18, with the Easley-area preliminary event at 6:00 p.m. in the Easley High auditorium at 6:00 p.m. Tickets for this event are $5. Competing will be TIG – Trust In God, Chloe Morris, Don Nivens, Ella Hennessee, The Redmonds, Vannahkate, The Morning Glories, Riley Rutland, The Taylor Duos, Rudolph Fulgham, Alexa Joy Haynes, Lindsey Chapman, James Allen, Hunter Holliday, Alan “Biscuits” Fulgham, and Ellison Batson & Hailey Gannt.
 
The Easley show will add a twist as the judges will determine a former contestant who they want to “save” and ask back to perform in the finals.  To be considered, the contestant must be present and sign in with the judges.  Judges will announce their choice that night.
 
The “saved” contestant and the sixteen preliminary event winners – including finalists Grant Hitt, RJ Little, Danielle Yother and the band Redwire selected in last week’s Liberty-area preliminary show -- will compete in the district-wide Pickens County Has Talent event on Saturday, February 25 in the Pickens High auditorium at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are $10, and all funds go to SDPC. At the final event, a $1000 cash prize donation and an autographed guitar from Miranda Lambert will be given away. We encourage everyone to come and then watch all the shows on Charter Local TV-10, made possible by Ingles.   Watch as together we do something incredible for our children, our schools, our businesses and our communities.

Fifth-grade Engineers to Compete in SDPC Jet Toy Challenge
February 13, 2012
Fifth-grade design teams and their balloon-powered toy cars will be in competition at the SDPC Jet Toy Challenge on Friday, February 17 at the Pickens County Career and Technology Center located at 990 Chastain Road in Liberty. The competition begins at 9:00 a.m.  
 
Approximately 140 students from Central, Chastain Road, Clemson, Crosswell, Forest Acres, Hagood, Holly Springs, Liberty, McKissick and West End elementary schools will participate. One team will represent each fifth-grade classroom from the participating schools. Teams were selected during classroom challenges. Two teams with the highest points will advance to the regional challenge, competing with teams from Anderson 1, Anderson 2, Anderson 4 and Oconee school districts. 
 
The regional competition, held at Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research on February 24, will determine which team will advance to international competition in Detroit. News Release

Course Selection for Rising 9th – 12th Graders Begins
February 14, 2012
At Pickens County’s four high schools, plans are underway for students to select 2012-2013 courses. Course selection, completed annually in early spring, is the first step in registering for the next school year. “Each school has a slightly different schedule and format for the course selection process,” said Ron Webber, coordinator of career and secondary education. “All students, however, will be using the same resources as they follow their Personal Pathways to Success and their Individual Graduation Plans (IGP) called for by South Carolina’s Education and Economic Development Act of 2005 (EEDA).”
 
Course selection for the upcoming year is the next step for rising ninth through twelfth graders to complete their IGPs. Students will use the 2012-2013 Career Planning Guide, a comprehensive listing of courses and their descriptions. The guide also provides graduation requirements, information about the clusters and majors as well as sample course progressions. According to Webber, students and parents are encouraged to access the career planning/course selection guide online. “We’re trying to be good stewards of the taxpayers’ money and the environment, so once again we only printed a limited number of guides,” he said. “Hard copies are available at the high schools for anyone without Internet access.” Webber added, “Most importantly, students should work with their guidance counselors to review their IGPs, make adjustments, and select appropriate courses for the next year.”

Each high school will distribute its own schedule and information for course selection. Information will also be posted on each school’s website. High School Course Selection 2012-2013Schedule News Release

Competition Continues on Saturday, February 11
February 10, 2012
The Pickens County Has Talent competition continues Saturday, February 11, with two events:  auditions for the Easley area and the preliminary event for the Liberty area. Auditions for the Easley area will be held in the Easley High School auditorium beginning at 10:00 a.m.

The Liberty-area preliminary event will begin at 6:00 p.m. in the Liberty High School auditorium. Competing will be Donna O’Shea, Grant Hitt, Jay Young, RJ Little, Danielle Yother, Tori Pegram, Alyson Ballard, Redwire, Tiffany Angeledes, Codi Wilson, Bubba White, Jackylyn & Gracie Trotter, Chanda Murphy, James Flanagan, Revenge of the Saints, and Ariana Senn.

In last week’s Daniel-area preliminary show, Abbie Bolick & Callie Durham, Gail Higdon, Dylan Looper and Trivocality were selected as finalists. Thank you for your continued support of Pickens County Has Talent!

DHS Students Named National Merit Finalists
February 9, 2012
Seven students from Daniel High have been named finalists in the prestigious National Merit Scholarship competition.  These students will advance through the selection process and be considered for National Merit Scholarships to be offered in 2012.  Merit Scholarship awards are based on the student’s abilities, skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in college. Congratulations to these outstanding students! Pictured are: Kirin Khan, John Custer, Paul Fang (front row) and Henry Liu, Megan Hembree, Jessica Creager, Zachary Templeton (back row).



Board Names Merck, Pew as Finalists for Superintendent
February 7, 2012
Dr. Danny Merck and Dr. Kelly Pew, both assistant superintendents in the School District of Pickens County, have been named the finalists for the superintendent.  The new superintendent will succeed Dr. Henry Hunt, who is retiring at the end of June.  Dr. Merck has been assistant superintendent of administrative services since August 2011.  Dr. Pew was named assistant superintendent of instructional services in May 2011 after serving as the district’s assistant superintendent of human resource services for three years. 

In a statement, Board Chairman Alex Saitta said, “Last year board members fanned out and spoke with each principal. This year we are visiting the faculties at each school.  One of the questions we asked is what would you like to see in the next superintendent? All stressed the need for an internal hire, someone who knows our culture and has first-hand knowledge of our district office operation. By narrowing the search to Dr. Pew and Dr. Merck, the board has taken this input, thereby giving employees and principals some ownership in the selection.”

At a called board meeting on February 20, the board will interview each candidate.  According to Saitta, the board may vote following the interviews or wait until the regular meeting on February 27.   News Release


Free Tax Preparation Program Offered
February 6, 2012
United Way of Pickens County is sponsoring VITA, a volunteer tax assistance program, to low and moderate income families.  Assistance is available at six sites with convenient hours including evenings and weekends.  To make an appointment, call 2-1-1 or 1-877-648-9900 (toll-free).  More Information








Competition Continues on Saturday, February 4
February 3, 2012
The Pickens County Has Talent competition continues Saturday, February 4, with two events:  auditions for the Liberty area and the preliminary event for the Daniel area.

Auditions for the Liberty area will be held in the Liberty High School auditorium beginning at 10:00 a.m.

The Daniel-area preliminary event will begin at 6:00 p.m. in the Daniel High School auditorium. Competing will be Ally Green, Dylan Looper, Trivocality, Linda Gail Higdon, Laura Nelson, David Burke, Joe Rice, Kristopher Luo, Rebecca Mason, Forrest Wang. Abbey & Callie Clogging, Sonny Nodine, Chinese Martial Arts, Hot Foot Cloggers, Tyler & Caleb Music, and Tsomorlig Khishigbold.

In last week's Pickens-area preliminary show, Vataydra Ferguson, Laura Nelson, Ruby Faith Dennis, and Gracie Dellinger were selected as finalists.

Thank you for your continued support of Pickens County Has Talent!


Easley-Area Middle School Will Include Renovations to '39 & '79 Buildings
February 3, 2012
At a called meeting on January 31, Dr. Hunt presented the board with another option for converting Easley High School into a new Easley-area middle school.  Approved unanimously, the plan includes renovation of the 1939 and 1979 buildings.  The new conversion plan does not impact the original cost or schedule.  The new middle school is scheduled to open for the 2013-2014 school year.





We Extend Our Sympathy to the Chastain Road Family
February 3, 2012
Our hearts are heavy over the tragic loss of Emma Boughman who was a first grader at Chastain Road Elementary School.  We extend our sympathy to the Boughman family and the Chastain Road family.  All of you will be in our thoughts and prayers.

January 27, 2012
Daniel Area auditions for Pickens County Has Talent will be held at Edwards Middle School this Saturday, January 28, beginning at 10:00 a.m. More information
January 27, 2012
The Pickens Area preliminary event for Pickens County Has Talent will be held at Pickens High School this Saturday, January 28, starting at 6:00 p.m. Finalists for the event are Vataydra Ferguson, Lucy Porter, Caitlyn Howard, Samantha McClain, Laura Nelson, Hunter Holliday, Carley Scruggs, Jessie Lee Gilstrap, Chelsea Whitlock, Kaitlyn Holder, Kenneth Barton, Ruby Faith Dennis, Breann Griffin, Grace Chen, Chandra Murphy and Gracie Dellinger. More information
Families May Apply Online for Free, Reduced Price School Meals
June 11, 2012
The School District of Pickens County has announced its policy for free and reduced price meals for children served in schools under the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program.  Children from families whose income is at or below the published levels may be eligible for free or reduced price meals. 

Through the
Student Nutrition Services website, parents may apply safely, securely, and privately to determine their eligibility.   A new meal application is required every year, so we encourage families to begin submitting applications online now. 
 
Families without Internet access may use computers at all Pickens County public libraries or at the Adult Learning Center in Easley.  Clemson Community Care also has a computer and assistance available to parents wishing to complete the application online.
News Release

SDPC’s YouTube Channel Offers Tutorial Videos
January 30, 2012
SDPC’s YouTube channel is geared toward middle and high school students with links to tutorial videos in the core academic subjects. Each three- to five-minute video provides a quick lesson overview.  “We hope this site helps students who are struggling with homework or who’ve been absent from class,” said Dr. Barbara Nesbitt, coordinator of instructional technology. “We encourage everyone to check out the SDPC YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/SDPickensCounty.  Our teachers are doing a great job creating videos that will help students.  It’s really exciting." Look for the SDPC YouTube link under the banner on the top of our site.

First Round of Finalists Chosen for PCHT
January 27, 2012
Congratulations to the first round of competitors for Pickens County Has Talent! Vataydra Ferguson, Lucy Porter, Caitlyn Howard, Samantha McClain, Laura Nelson, Hunter Holliday, Carley Scruggs, Jessie Lee Gilstrap, Chelsea Whitlock, Kaitlyn Holder, Kenneth Barton, Ruby Faith Dennis, Breann Griffin, Grace Chen, Chandra Murphy and Gracie Dellinger have been chosen from the Pickens area and will compete on Saturday, January 28, at the Pickens area preliminary event held at Pickens High School starting at 6:00 p.m. The audience will select the top four acts to represent the area in the competition on the final night, Saturday, February 25, at Pickens High. More information




Trustee Cooper Honored for 20 Years of Service
January 27, 2012
Dr. Herbert P. Cooper, Jr., board member for the School District of Pickens County, has been recognized by the South Carolina School Boards Association (SCSBA) for 20 years of service. Dr. Henry Hunt, superintendent, announced the milestone at the January 23 board meeting and presented Cooper with a certificate from SCSBA.
 
Cooper is one of 25 South Carolina school board members commemorating 20, 25, and 30 years of service.
Cooper was elected to serve as the Clemson-area representative in November 1992. A graduate of Clemson University and the Medical University of South Carolina, he is a physician and owner of Pendleton Medical Clinic. News Release


Middle School Students Will Shadow Mentors
January 25, 2012
Each year, SDPC middle school students have the opportunity to participate in job shadowing. The district’s Job Shadow 2012 officially begins on February 3 as Pickens Middle students shadow workplace mentors across the county.  Other SDPC middle schools will hold their events throughout February and March. In Pickens County, hundreds of businesses mentor to SDPC middle school students. Businesses include Pickens County Sheriff’s Department, Clemson University, and many local governmental departments. 
 
“The district’s participation in the national job shadowing program provides an opportunity for our middle school students to explore a career they are interested in by talking with a career mentor and going into the workplace,” said Danny Fahey, school-to-work facilitator.  “It is a great experience, and we invite students, parents and businesses to participate.” News Release

Take a Virtual Tour of CTC’s New Facilities
January 25, 2012
You now have a chance to visit the new facilities at the Pickens County Career & Technology Center, thanks to photos provided by Jumper, Carter, Sease, architects of the building. To take a virtual tour of the new facilities, follow the link on the Building Futures website under Career & Technology Center.






Exams Begin on January 24
January 3, 2012
Students in SDPC begin first semester exams on January 24, continuing through January 27.  Days will not be shortened for exams.   First Semester Exam Schedule








Report to the Community Highlights Successes & More
January 24, 2012
As mandated by the Educational Improvement Act of 1984, each school district in South Carolina must publish by April 30th an annual report detailing financial and academic information for the preceding academic year.  We are pleased to present the 2010-2011 Report to the Community. To save costs, we will only print a limited number of hard copies.  We hope that our community members will access the electronic publication to see summaries of our academic achievement, finances, successes and building program.



Career & Technology Center Will Hold Open House for Prospective Students
January 18, 2012
Pickens County students and parents are invited to the Prospective Student Open House at the Pickens County Career & Technology Center (CTC), 990 Chastain Road, Liberty, on Thursday, January 26 from 6 to 8 p.m. Dinner will be served by students in the CTC Culinary Arts Program.
 
Students and parents can visit twenty classrooms and labs to explore the wide variety of educational experiences CTC offers for students in grades 9 through 12.  Instructors and current students will be available to answer questions and demonstrate classroom activities. Programs offered by CTC


Pickens Soil & Water Conservation Poster & Essay Contest
January 23, 2012
The Pickens Soil & Water Conservation District is sponsoring a poster contest for children in grades K5 through fourth and an essay contest for students in grades fifth through eighth. The theme of the contest is Soil to Spoon. First place winners in the poster contest at each grade level will win a smoothie party for the entire class. Cash awards at each grade level in the essay contest will be $40 for first place, $30 for second place, and $20 for third place. For more information about requirements and deadlines, visit the PSWCD contests page on our website.
Students Taken to Hospitals Following Bus Accident
January 17, 2012
Following an early morning bus accident in Easley, ten students from Easley High, Gettys Middle and McKissick Elementary were transported to two area hospitals.  School and district administrators have contacted all parents of students who were taken to the hospitals.  Students at both hospitals are being examined to determine the extent of injuries.

Worksite Screening Available for SDPC Retirees
January 19, 2012
SDPC retirees may take advantage of this year’s Worksite Screening that will be offered on Monday, February 20 at the new Liberty High School between the hours of 6:45 a.m. and 11:45 a.m.  The co-payment for the screening is $15.  The provider will collect payment at the time of screening or you can pay online during the health survey.

To schedule your appointment, email Missy Ducker, SDPC Benefits Specialist, at melissaducker@pickens.k12.sc.us.  Make sure to put "Worksite Screening" in the subject line and list three preferred appointment times in the body. You will receive an email confirmation with additional instructions and more information about the health survey.


Auction Set for Surplus, Obsolete Items at Skelton Career Center
January 3, 2012
Surplus and obsolete items from BJ Skelton Career Center will be sold at auction on Saturday, January 14 at 9:01 a.m. The career center has moved to a new location on Chastain Road in Liberty; the auction will be at the old site – 1400 Griffin Mill Road, Easley. Southeastern Auction Sales will conduct the auction at the BJ Skelton Career Center site. More Information and Partial Listing


Adult Learning Center Provides Online Opportunity for Learning New Languages
January 13, 2012
If you’ve ever wanted to learn a new language, now is the perfect time.  Rosetta Stone is working with the School District of Pickens County and its Adult Learning Center to offer adults in our community and SDPC employees a web-based language learning resource at a reduced cost. Rosetta Stone is the top-selling language learning software across the world. For more than fifteen years, learners have used Rosetta Stone to discover new languages naturally and easily, just like they learned their first language.
 
Through the district’s partnership with Rosetta Stone, you can purchase a subscription to one of twenty-five languages. You will need a high-speed Internet connection and a USB headset with microphone.
 
For a limited time, special introductory rates for a six-month subscription are available:  $75 for adults in our community and $50 for SDPC employees.  To purchase your subscription at the special introductory rate, complete the Rosetta Stone Registration form.  Mail or drop the form and your fee by the SDPC Adult Learning Center at 106 Glazner Street, Easley, SC 29640.  You will receive an email with instructions for accessing your subscription.

Duke Energy Foundation Grant Will Support Lego League Teams
January 12, 2012
The School District of Pickens County has received a $5000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation to support the district’s Lego League teams.  Dacusville, Edwards, Gettys and Pickens middle schools will each receive $1000 to help support Lego League teams.  Mike Wilson, Duke Energy District Manager of Government and Community Relations, presented the check to Danny Fahey, SDPC School-to-Work Facilitator, at Gettys Middle on January 12.  GMS parent Jennifer Willis, who was instrumental in preparing the grant, and Mike Cory, principal, were also present.  Thank you, Duke Energy Foundation, for your support of our Lego League teams and our STEM initiatives!
State Department to Hold Virtual Meeting
January 10, 2012
On Wednesday, January 11 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., the South Carolina Department of Education will host a statewide virtual meeting regarding the state’s request for flexibility from certain provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), commonly called No Child Left Behind.  Beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, the public may submit questions for the virtual event at http://ed.sc.gov/events/esea/.

This event is part of the public comment period State Superintendent of Education Mick Zais announced on December 16 and continues through January 23.  The draft proposal, public comment form, and schedule of community stakeholder meetings are online.


East End Teacher Honored with Golden Apple Award
January 12, 2012
Congratulations to Phyllis Venable, East End Elementary, who received the Golden Apple Award this week from WYFF.  Her story will air Thursday, January 12 at 5:00 p.m. and again on Friday morning during the segments before the 7:00 a.m. news. The video will be available on the WYFF Golden Apple site after it airs.  Phyllis’ former student, Houston Cassell, nominated her and will also be featured in the segment. We’re proud of you, Phyllis!




All-County Bands Clinic, Concert Scheduled
December 26, 2011
The Pickens All-County Bands will perform at a free concert on Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. in the new Pickens High School auditorium. The concert concludes a two-day clinic for the Pickens All-County Junior Band and the Pickens All-County Senior Band.  Clinicians Jocquin Fuller, from Dutchcreek Middle School in Rock Hill and Dr. Lorrie Crochet, Associate Professor of Music and Director of Bands at Winthrop University, will lead the bands.  

Earlier in December, over 300 students auditioned before the School District of Pickens County band directors for seats in the all-county band. With representation from all five middle schools, 78 students were seated in the
Pickens All-County Junior Band.  The Pickens All-County Senior Band includes 63 students from all four high schools “We are proud of these students and congratulate them on their accomplishment,” says Patrick A. Mainieri, director of bands at Gettys Middle School.  “We also want to express our appreciation to Pickens High School Principal Marion Lawson for hosting the event at Pickens High School this year.”  The concert on Friday is free and open to the public.

We Mourn the Loss of Anita Beatty
January 8, 2012
The entire School District of Pickens County family mourns the loss of Anita Beatty who passed away on January 6.  Mrs. Beatty was the SDPC Director of Special Education.  Through her work as a special education teacher and administrator, she touched the lives of many children and families in Pickens and Greenville counties.  We extend our sympathy to her family.

World of Energy Hosts Student Art Show
January 10, 2012
The Blue Ridge Arts Council and the World of Energy have partnered with the School Districts of Oconee and Pickens Counties to showcase the artwork of students and teachers.  The show consists of three student works of art selected by each art teacher as well as a piece of art created by the teacher.  The art on display will be 2D and 3D and will encompass a wide variety of styles and mediums. The show gives students a unique opportunity to see artwork created by their teachers.

On Th
ursday, January 12 from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m., the World of Energy will host a show opening.  The event is open to the public, and admission is free. The show will remain on display until February 12  during normal business hours. The World of Energy is located at 7812 Rochester Highway in Seneca and is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from noon until 5 p.m.
4K and 5K Registration Begins January 9
January 4, 2012
The School District of Pickens County will conduct registration for four-year-old (4K) and five-year-old (5K) kindergarten beginning January 9, 2012.  Children must register at the school in the attendance zone in which they reside and must be registered by their parent/legal guardian.  Registration hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. each day. Parents are encouraged to register kindergarten students the scheduled dates of January 9 through January 31, 2012.  However, students may be registered at the elementary school in their attendance zone during normal school hours any time before the first day of school begins.

A child who is four years old on or before September 1, 2012 may register for four-year-old kindergarten; however, the child must qualify for the program.  A child who is five years old on or before September 1, 2012 can register for five-year-old kindergarten.
 
To enroll, a student must reside in Pickens County with his/her parent or legal guardian and provide the following three required documents:
  1. Student’s state-issued birth certificate – not the hospital keepsake copy;
  2. Student’s South Carolina Certificate of Immunization;
  3. Proof of Pickens County residence. A parent or guardian must provide proof of Pickens County residence when a student first enrolls at any school. Acceptable proof of residence is a current electricity, gas, water or cable/satellite bill in the parent/guardian’s name.  The bill must show the service address. 
Since 4K programs are funded only for identified four-year old children who have significant readiness deficiencies, students are screened prior to placement.  All elementary schools have 4K programs on site; however, 4K programs for the upcoming school year are contingent on funding.

You Are Invited to Send Comments on NCLB Proposal
January 4, 2012
The South Carolina Department of Education’s draft proposal requesting a waiver from some requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, commonly called No Child Left Behind, is now available.
 
The document proposes significant changes to South Carolina’s educational system.  Superintendent of Education Zais says that the proposal is an “opportunity to ensure we provide every student a personalized education, we modernize the State’s accountability system, and we fairly evaluate and recognize effective teachers and principals.” We encourage all SDPC stakeholders to read the proposal and then provide comments to the state department. 
 
An online comment form is available.  Additionally, the state department will hold community stakeholder meetings during January.  A meeting is scheduled at 6:00 p.m. on January 9 at the Easley campus of Tri-County Tech. The public comment period will be open until January 23. 

Holiday Break Begins December 19
December 8, 2011
Following a regular day of classes on Friday, December 16, School District of Pickens County students will begin a two-week holiday break.  December 19 is a Professional Learning Day for staff; students do not attend. Schools reopen on Monday, January 2, 2012.  First semester exams begin on Tuesday, January 24, continuing through January 27.  2011-2012 School Calendar


LHS Special Education Department Celebrates
December 16, 2011
The Liberty High School Special Education Department cut the ribbon on its new facility on December 15 and then held its annual Christmas reception for friends, family and district staff. The celebration featured a Christmas tree with decorations made by the class, music by the LHS band, and a visit from Santa who delivered gifts to students.  Also present were students from Sherry Haithcock’s civic responsibility class, who partner with the special education students during physical education classes each week. Slideshow
SDPC Induction Teachers Honored
December 14, 2011
The SDPC Teacher Forum joined with Human Resource Services to honor induction teachers on December 8.  Dr. Harris Heath from Furman University addressed induction teachers, forum members, and the first year teachers’ mentors.  Congratulating the induction teachers for their success so far, Sheila Beasley, chair of the Teacher Forum, also surprised them with a special gift from the Forum. Thank you for supporting our induction teachers!




AR Lewis Elementary Receives Grant for Recycling
December 15, 2011
Through the efforts of Sue Phillips, guidance counselor at A. R. Lewis Elementary, the school has been awarded a 2012 Litter Trashes Everyone Education Grant.  With the $2349 grant from Palmetto Pride, the school will move forward with its recycling program.






SDPC Board Begins Search for Superintendent
January 5, 2012
The School District of Pickens County Board of Trustees has begun its search for the district’s next superintendent.  Jim Shelton, chairman of the board’s employee/public relations committee, is directing the search process.

Shelton said, “Our expectation is to choose a candidate who will make Pickens the premier school district of South Carolina. The resources are all in place:  a stable student population; a motivated, experienced team of educators; and modern facilities. Much will be expected of our next superintendent, but we're confident that we can find the right person who will meet the challenge and achieve our vision."

A description of the required qualities, education, training, and experience is published under Human Resources/Vacancies.  Applications are being accepted through January 31.

The new superintendent will succeed Dr. Henry Hunt who is retiring at the end of June.


Be a Part of Pickens County Has Talent 2012
December 28, 2011
Pickens County Has Talent, SDPC’s first county-wide talent show, will be a family-oriented fun event that will showcase the best of the best within Pickens County.  Most importantly, 100% of the proceeds will be distributed to the schools for instructional supplies.  Auditions, preliminary shows, and the final event will be held at our high schools, but the contest is not only for high school students.  It’s open to all SDPC students and to any Pickens County resident.  There’s no age limit or entrance fee.  We only ask that acts are “G-rated.” 
 
Read the contest details and get involved.  Tell everyone possible about the contest.  Encourage all the talented people you know to audition.  Volunteer to help or ask local businesses to be sponsors.  To become involved, contact Roy Costner at 864-270-3675 (cell), 864-843-3139 (home), or Roy.Costner@chartercom.com (email).  He’s eager to enlist many volunteers who will make Pickens County Has Talent a success.

Three SDPC Schools Receive Grants
December 12, 2011
Congratulations to Ambler and A.R. Lewis elementary schools as well as Pickens Middle School for receiving 2012 Palmetto Pride Litter Trashes Everyone education grants! Pickens County was one of only eight school districts in the state to win grants from Palmetto Pride. Way to go!



Pickens Middle Receives Environmental Grant
November 28, 2011
Congratulations to Pickens Middle School for receiving an  2012 Challenge for the Environment Grant!  The 8th grade students at Pickens Middle will film a commercial to be posted on the Champions of the Environment website.  Way to go, Pickens Middle!
 

Get Ready for Winter Weather!
December 28, 2011
With the arrival of cold weather, we want to remind everyone of our inclement weather procedures.  Decisions to close schools or delay opening because of weather are always based on student safety.  Our goal is to communicate the decision by 6:00 a.m. through a ParentLink message and a website announcement. We also notify local television stations.  

In case of weather emergencies, we can also send text messages—if parents request the service.  Parents who request texts are responsible for all associated charges.  To receive a text, parents must complete the Text Messaging Permission form and return it to their child’s school.

Remember that ParentLink uses contact information from our PowerSchool student database.  To make sure you receive calls, e-mails, and texts, please notify your school immediately when your contact information changes.

Thanks to Our Board Members Who Speak Out for Public Schools!
January 1, 2012
SDPC joins 82 other school districts throughout the state in celebrating School Board Recognition Month this January. We salute our board members and extend our appreciation for their service and dedication to public education. The theme of this year’s celebration, “School Boards Speak Out for Public Schools,” reflects the combined commitment of school boards to lead and advocate for quality, accountable public schools that ensure all students can experience success beyond the classroom.


DHS Teacher Receives DHEC Grant
December 14, 2011
Congratulations to Daniel High’s Chuck Conrad, who has been awarded a $1,000 recycling education grant from DHEC. Conrad’s Environmental Science class heads up the recycling efforts at Daniel, picking up and emptying the recycling bins from all classrooms each week. The money from the grant will be used to expand the recycling program at Daniel by funding the purchase of both additional recycling bins for classrooms and bottle-shaped bins for common areas and athletic venues.  It will also be used to help sponsor a program to educate the student body on the benefits of recycling motor oil.


Pickens County Has Talent: Looking for Volunteers
December 5, 2011
Pickens County Has Talent is a county-wide talent show that will showcase the best of the best within Pickens County.  All proceeds from the family-oriented, fun event are specifically earmarked for education in Pickens County – all funds raised will be used for instructional supplies that directly benefit students.

We’re looking for volunteers to help with auditions and the final show.  Meetings to learn more about volunteering will be held at Liberty High (Room 208) on December 5, Daniel High (Room 112) on December 6, Easley High (cafeteria) on December 8, and Pickens High (cafeteria) on December 12.  All meetings are scheduled at 7:00 p.m.

Watch our websites and the local media for more information about Pickens County Has Talent.  The district-wide show is scheduled on February 25 at 6:00 p.m. in the Pickens High School Auditorium. More Information ... News Release from Pickens County Has Talent

Three SDPC Teachers Earn National Board Certification
December 8, 2011
Congratulations to William Chandler (Edwards Middle), Susan Chapman (Dacusville Elementary) and Melissa Giacci (Gettys Middle) for earning  National Board Certification!  Like board-certified doctors and accountants, teachers who achieve National Board Certification have met rigorous standards through intensive study, expert evaluation, self-assessment and peer review.  You can read more about National Board Certification at the National Board website or at the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, & Advancement (CERRA) site. CERRA News Release
Need Help with SDPC & School Sites?
December 7, 2011
Parents and teachers—do you need help with pages on our school and district websites? SchoolFusion now offers help for teachers and parents! To view these useful instructions, go to http://helpcenter.users.schoolfusion.us/ You’ll find videos for teachers on creating and maintaining pages and helpful information for parents and students on receiving email notifications and changing personal settings.





SDPC Students Honored as Young Innovators of the Year
December 8, 2011
At the 13th annual Innovision Awards Dinner held in Greenville, two Pickens County Career & Technology Center mechatronic students were honored with the Ibrahim Janajreh Young Innovators of the Year award.  Russell Brinson, Pickens High senior, and Jared Venesky, Easley High senior, were honored with this award, sponsored by Michelin North America, Inc. Mechatronics instructor Henry Hutto, Venesky, and Brinson were recognized by top innovative business and technology leaders in South Carolina, many of whom were competing for six other awards presented by Innovision.  Last year Vinesky and Brinson placed first in the state in the SkillsUSA Mechatronics competition and fifth in the nation at the National SkillsUSA Competition. Congratulations to both of these successful students! Video interview with Venesky and Brinson
Crosswell ES Honored for Participation
December 7, 2011
Baptist Easley Hospital recently invited Easley-area schools to participate in the first annual Walk/Bike-a-Thon in support of the hospital. The event raised over $18,000 to support the 64-Slice CT Scanner for Baptist Easley Hospital. Crosswell Elementary was honored as the Easley school with the largest student, teacher and administrative participation. Principal Traci Boyles accepted a $1,000 award from sponsor Sharp Business Systems. "The children and staff of Crosswell Elementary had such a good time walking or riding to support our hospital in Easley,” said Boyles. “To hear that our school won the award for the most participation is a wonderful surprise. We will use this special award to help our PTO purchase an AED Machine for Crosswell Elementary.” Sharp Press Release
Holly Springs Celebrates Blue Ribbon Award
December 6, 2011
Staff and students at Holly Springs Elementary School celebrated their National Blue Ribbon Award for 2011-2012 with a blue parade. After the parade, Principal Donna Harden presented the plaque she received at the national award ceremonies in Washington, DC. Ice cream was provided by Blue Bell.  Congratulations to everyone in the Holly Springs community! Slideshow





CES Teachers Honored
November 30, 2011
Central Elementary recently received a $5000 National Association of Education Grant to transform an unused courtyard into the Cougar Reading Garden. Honored for their Excellence in Teaching and for their efforts in bringing the reading garden to completion were Bonnie Forbes and Hope Shirley, pictured here with Central Assistant Principal Paula Alexander and Jackie Hicks of the SC Education Association. The garden will be used by classes for whole group instruction, small group work, tutoring and mentoring, or independent reading. Congratulations!



Board Elects Officers for 2012
November 30, 2011
At the November meeting, the board of trustees elected its 2012 officers.  Reelected  were Alex Saitta, chairman, and Jimmy Gillespie, secretary.  Also serving will be Judy Edwards, vice-chairman.  We appreciate these board members' willingness to serve and support us as we "build success beyond the classroom" for all students in Pickens County.







TAP Schools Excel
November 28, 2011
Congratulations to our TAP (Teacher Advancement Program) schools! With less than a full year of implementation, seven of the nine TAP schools either met or exceeded expected student growth as measured through MAP and PASS scores. In the TAP system, scores ranging from 1 to 5 are called “value-added student growth.” A value-added score of 3 demonstrates average student growth.
 
Dacusville Middle, Holly Springs Elementary and West End Elementary made the highest score of 5; Pickens Elementary and Six Mile Elementary made the next highest score of 4; AR Lewis and JT Simpson scored a 3. Congratulations to the faculty, staff, administration, and students of these schools!

School Calendar for 2012-2013 Approved
November 29, 2011
The calendar for the 2012-2013 school year was approved Monday by the SDPC Board of Trustees. Students will report for the 2012-2013 school year on August 21 and have their last day of classes on June 6. 2012-2013 Calendar







Support Future Teachers with Teacher Seed Fund
November 15, 2011
It’s time for the annual Teacher Seed Fund scholarship fundraiser. Sponsored by the SDPC Teacher Forum, the fundraiser supports SDPC teacher cadets who plan to enter the teaching profession and who are children of SDPC employees. Last year, ten $1,200 scholarships were awarded. Let’s top that this year! 

Employees who donate a minimum of $5 to the scholarship fund may wear jeans on Thursday, November 17!  If you would like to participate in this worthy cause, please give your donation to your teacher of the year; employees at district services sites should send their donations to Danny Rogers at Central Services by Thursday, November 17.  Thank you for supporting the SDPC Teacher Forum.

SDPC Teachers Renew National Board Certification
November 14, 2011
Congratulations to Sarah Aiken, Kelly Bearden Moncus, Amy Breazeale, Amy Evatt, Virginia Hicks, Dena Hiott, Christine Lightsey, Dianne   Mays Pope, Virginia McCoy, Louise Pence Hope, Ann Rash, Cynthia Whittemore, & Donna Wright for successfully renewing their National Board Certification! 

Like board-certified doctors and accountants, teachers who achieve National Board Certification have met rigorous standards through intensive study, expert evaluation, self-assessment and peer review.  You can read more about National Board Certification at the
National Board website or at the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, & Advancement (CERRA) site.

Thank You to All SDPC Educators
November 15, 2011
American Education Week is celebrated each year during the week before Thanksgiving. During this time, we pause to thank all our employees; each one is an essential partner in fulfilling America’s promise of great public schools.
 
Our schools are staffed with outstanding teachers, principals, school support staff, nurses, custodians and student nutrition workers. Bus drivers and many district services staff members also make valuable contributions. Each School District of Pickens County employee is an essential partner in building success for our students. Pickens County’s public schools are strong and growing stronger because our educators make student achievement the focus in classrooms and schools.
 
During American Education Week--and every day--please join us in saying “thank you” to all educators for the outstanding jobs they do each day for our children. Each one helps make Pickens County schools strong.  American Education Week website ... Dr. Hunt's message to SDPC teachers

SDPC Honors Our Veterans
November 7, 2011
Thursday and Friday SDPC schools will honor our veterans, those brave men and women who answered the nation’s call to serve and to defend our freedom.   Across our district, schools held special events to honor our veterans for serving our country and for serving us.  Happy Veterans Day to all who have served. Thank you for your courage and your dedication and especially for our freedom. Veterans Day Slideshow

SDPC Schools Excel on Report Cards
November 10, 2011
2011 Report Cards are in, and the results are good. Twenty-three of SDPC’s elementary, middle and high schools either improved or maintained their Absolute ratings from 2010. On the Growth rating, twenty schools either increased or remained at the same level. Almost 50 percent of the schools earned the highest ratings possible – Excellent on both Absolute and Growth ratings. Earning the perfect ratings were Ambler, Clemson, Forest Acres, Holly Springs, Liberty and Six Mile elementary schools as well as Edwards Middle, Daniel High, Easley High and the Career & Technology Center.

The district saw its Absolute rating lowered from Good to Average. On the Growth rating, however, the district maintained a Good. “We congratulate the school administrators, teachers and staff for their positive School Report Card ratings,” said Dr. Henry Hunt, superintendent. “The ratings show that student achievement is a priority. Certainly, we are disappointed that the district’s Absolute rating declined, but we will continue focusing on our weaknesses. Those include our passing rate on HSAP and PASS.”

The district’s on-time graduation rate increased from 2010 as did graduation rates at Daniel, Easley and Liberty high schools. News ReleaseResults Report Cards

SDPC Teachers Attend Science P.L.U.S. Institute
November 11, 2011
Application for the 2012 Science P.L.U.S. Institute is now open to any certified South Carolina public school teacher in grades 3-8 whose job responsibilities include teaching science.  There is no application fee and housing is provided free for teachers who live more than an hour’s drive from the Center and have no other housing options.  The deadline for the initial selection is February 3, 2012.  Teachers submitting applications after that date will be placed on an alternate list. For more information go to www.ropermountain.org and choose “Science P.L.U.S.” under “Education” on the sidebar. Applications are accepted via fax: 864-355-8951. Slideshow of Four SDPC Teachers Participating in 2011 Institute:  Christopher Rodriguez (Dacusville Elementary), Grace Henson (West End Elementary), Melissa Jefferson (Dacusville Middle) and Jennifer Marchbanks (Gettys Middle)
Committee Recommends Changes to Calendar Draft
November 8, 2011
The SDPC Board of Trustees Instruction Committee met with a group of parents on November 7 for input into the 2012-2013 School Calendar.  The group suggested two changes to the calendar draft that had been presented in October:  (1) moving the first day for students to August 21; and (2) moving the August 21 professional learning day to March 8.  The board is expected to make a decision on the 12-13 calendar at its November meeting.  Revised Calendar Draft


Smith, Stewart Receive Top Coaching Honors
November 6, 2011
Congratulations to Easley High School Coach Chad Smith and Liberty High School Coach Kyle Stewart, South Carolina Coaches of the Year!  The South Carolina Football Coaches Assocation has named Coach Smith the AAAA Football Coach of the Year and Coach Stewart the AA Football Coach of the Year.  We are proud of you and wish you continued success! Pictured are Coach Stewart (left) and Coach Smith.






FIRST LEGO League Contest
November 4, 2011
SDPC will be offering a first-ever "friendly" FIRST LEGO League “Coopertition” event on Monday, November 21 at Gettys Middle School from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.  The competition will allow our teams to get together to participate in the LEGO League experience and will be very similar to an FLL regional competition except much smaller in length and scale. The contest will enable teams to experience a competitive event, including the actual table and contests with a referee, teamwork judging, presentation judging, and technical judging. No fees or registration is required, and there will be no winners or losers.  All LEGO League students, advisors and parents are invited. Pizza and soft drinks will be available for purchase.  FlierSDPC FIRST LEGO League Web Page
Welsh Honored with 2011 Yale Educator Award
November 1, 2011
Dr. Pat Welsh from Daniel High School has been honored with the 2011 Yale Educator Award.  The Yale Educator Recognition Program recognizes outstanding educators from around the world who have supported and inspired their students to achieve at high levels.  Dr. Welsh was one of 50 teachers selected from 228 nominees, representing 33 states and 18 countries.  Congratulations, Dr. Welsh!





SDPC Students Are High Achievers
November 1, 2011
SDPC has recently received good news about achievement on several standardized assessments. Student achievement information as measured by state and college assessments is now easier to find on the SDPC website. Go to Our District—Facts and Figures—Achievement Data to learn more about student achievement in our district. Links on the page will take you to graphs and charts of the student and the school scores.




Nutrition Nuggets Newsletters for November Available
November 1, 2011
Student Nutrition Services provides Nutrition Nuggets, a valuable monthly nutrition newsletter for all elementary schools, as part of the district’s wellness initiatives. The issues for November are now available on the Student Nutrition website on all school sites. Click on Nutrition to see the latest newsletters as well as an archive of past issues. The newsletter is available in both English and Spanish. We strive to promote healthy lifestyle changes for all students and families. Thank you for your partnership and support of Student Nutrition Services!



Central Elementary Named the 2011 South Carolina Title I Distinguished School
October 25, 2011
Congratulations to Central Elementary for being selected as the 2011 South Carolina Title I Distinguished School for Closing the Achievement Gap!  Three state schools were nominated for “Closing the Achievement Gap." Central's selection was announced at the South Carolina Association of Title I Administrators Conference on October 25; the school will be recognized at the national conference in Seattle in January.  Congratulations to the entire Central ES team!  News Release



SDPC in “Good Financial Condition”; Unassigned Fund Balance Grows by $2.2 Million
October 24, 2011
On the annual external audit required by South Carolina law, SDPC has received an unqualified opinion – the best opinion a district can receive.  Auditors from the CPA firm of Greene, Finney & Horton, Certified Public Accountants, conducted the audit for the year ended on June 30, 2011.  At the October 24 board meeting, Mike Downing, one of the firm’s partners, presented the audit report and financial statements and pronounced the district in “good financial condition at year end.”

Despite a financially challenging year, the “unassigned” balance for the General Fund grew $2.2 million.  Downing stressed that “proactive and timely decisions by the district’s financial management” resulted in growth of the “unassigned” fund balance.

Downing also stressed that challenges continue because of the poor economy and the impact it will have on future revenues and expenditures.  Presentation


Board Reviews 2012-2013 Draft Calendar
October 25, 2011
Dr. Danny Merck, assistant superintendent of administrative services, presented a draft 2012-2013 school calendar at the October 24 board meeting.  According to Dr. Merck, the draft calendar was developed with input from employees, parents, and students.  Calendars from all Anderson districts, Oconee, and Clemson University were also considered in developing the SDPC calendar draft. 
 
The board chairman referred the administration’s draft calendar to the instruction committee, asking that the committee create an alternate version.  The board will make its decision after considering both calendars at the November board meeting. 2012-2013 DRAFT Calendar

Public Invited to Review Proposed Textbooks
October 25, 2011
The public is invited to review textbooks and instructional materials that have been proposed for use in South Carolina’s public schools. The instructional materials are on display at 27 colleges and universities throughout the state. The materials will be on display from October 10 to November 22, 2011, with evaluation forms for citizens’ comments available at each site. State Board of Education members will review citizens’ comments before a final decision is made December 8 on adopting the materials. The materials are in the following subject areas: Chinese, Grades 6–12; Fashion, Fabric, and Design 1 and 2, Grades 9–12; Financial Fitness 1 and 2, Grades 9–12; Integrated English Language Arts, Grades K–5; Self-Contained Educable Mentally Disabled (Mildly Disabled), Grades K–12; Sports Nutrition, Grades 9–12. SDE News Release & Site List

SDPC Students, Staff Earn State & Regional Honors in Poster Contest
January 11, 2012
Ambler Elementary School student Logan Redding has earned regional and state honors in the National Career Development Association’s (NCDA) Poetry and Poster Contest.  Also earning honors at both levels were Tina Kelly, guidance counselor at Ambler, and Frances Hulme, a guidance intern.  Logan, a fifth grader, placed first in the Pendleton Region and second in the state.  Kelli Callahan, who is also a fifth-grade student at Ambler, placed third in the regional competition.  Hulme placed first in both the regional and state division for adult students; Kelly earned first place for adult professionals in both competitions. Edwards Middle School seventh grader Averey Jordan also earned regional recognition, placing second in the competition’s middle division.  News Release


Chastain Road Elementary School Dedication on October 23
October 19, 2011
Students, families, and community members are invited to attend the dedication of the Chastain Road Elementary on Sunday, October 23.  The ceremony will begin at 2:00 p.m. and an open house will follow.  Chastain Road Elementary is located at 940 Chastain Road just outside of Liberty.  We hope you'll join us at this exciting event for the School District of Pickens County and Chastain Road Elementary.   Invitation

Gettys Middle Recognized for Character Education
October 24, 2011
The Character Education Partnership (CEP) has named Gettys Middle School a 2011 Promising Practices Award winner.  The award was announced at a school-wide assembly on Friday, October 14. 
 
The Promising Practices program recognizes schools and districts that have developed specific, unique, and effective educational practices that promote character development.  GMS received national recognition for two programs: Gettys Gives Back and Breaking Into Business.  GMS’s winning practices will be featured in CEP’s annual National Schools of Character publication and on the CEP website.
 
We’re proud of everyone at Gettys Middle School for your commitment to character education.  Congratulations! Slideshow

SDPC Students Outperform Peers on End-Of-Course Exams
October 21, 2011
School District of Pickens County students scored higher than their South Carolina peers on 2011 end-of-course examinations in Algebra 1, English 1, physical science, and U.S. History and the Constitution, according to results released today by the South Carolina Department of Education. Additionally, in three of the subjects, SDPC students’ mean scores increased from 2010 scores.
 
“The data shows overall positive growth, and we are pleased with that,” said Dr. Kelly Pew, assistant superintendent of instructional services. Pew said that the district has made progress but still has room to improve. Pew continued, “We know our weak areas, and we will continue to work on those. Our educators are among the best in the state, and I have full confidence in them. I’m sure that they will accept each challenge as an opportunity to continue a focus on student achievement.” News ReleaseEnd-of-Course Results

More Students Passing Exit Exam for Second Consecutive Year
October 21, 2011
2011 results released by the South Carolina Department of Education today show a 0.9 percent increase in SDPC students passing the high school exit exam on their first attempt. This year’s increase follows a 2.6 percent increase on the 2010 scores. With 83.5 percent of students passing both sections on the first attempt, district scores were above the state score by 4.1 percent.
 
Scores of all four district high schools were above the state score as well. Each school also improved its percentage of students passing both tests on the first attempt. “We are pleased to see our students be successful on their first attempt,” said Kelly Pew, assistant superintendent of instructional services. “Our teachers work hard in the classroom. I credit them as well as the principals who provide strong instructional leadership with much of the success.” News ReleaseHSAP Scores for 2011

Stapleton Named 2011-2012 Woman of Accomplishment
October 19, 2011
Congratulations to Reggia Stapleton who was named the “2011-2012 Pickens County Woman of Accomplishment.”  The award was presented on October 18 by the Easley Business and Professional Women’s Club.  Mrs. Stapleton, director of Simpson Alternative Center for Education, will compete on the state level later in the year. 







Teacher Websites, Grades Now Online
October 13, 2011
We have now resolved the problems with our websites and online grade access.  We encourage you to register for our websites so that you can use the many features available.  With a parent or student login, you can check grades, know what homework, projects and tests have been assigned and when they’re due, receive daily reminders of assignments, and communicate with teachers.  You’ll find complete registration instructions under Families & Communities/Parent Communications/SDPC Website Registration.  Thank you for your patience and understanding as we have worked through the problems over the last few weeks.

Since 4K, 5K and 1st grade students do not receive progress reports, each elementary school is providing specific details about its method for distributing the PowerSchool Student Number to parents of students enrolled in these grade levels.

2011-12 United Way Employee Campaign Begins
October 18, 2011
Our 2011-2012 United Way Campaign has officially begun.  The campaign kicked off with a dessert social for chairpersons of each school and site campaign.  Dr. Valerie Ramsey, chairman of the United Way board, spoke about the impact our contributions have on children and youth throughout Pickens County.

When you donate to United Way of Pickens County, you invest in local programs and initiatives that focus on the building blocks for a good life – education, financial stability, and basic needs. Thank you, SDPC employees, for caring about the quality of life for everyone in Pickens County.   Slideshow


Free Exam Reviews
October 13, 2011
The Office of eLearning in the Division of School of Effectiveness is offering free access to ACT, PSAT, SAT, and AP Exam Reviews for any South Carolina student who wishes to prepare for one or more of these exams during the 2011-12 school year.  This includes public school, charter school, private school and home school students.  Educators, students and parents can gain access to the reviews at http://scvspconnect.ed.sc.gov/.  Click on the Course Information tab and then the Test Preparation tab. More information
Changes Announced for Gateway to College Program
October 11, 2011
Gateway to College, a dropout recovery program offered by the school districts of Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens Counties and Tri-County Technical College, is transitioning out of the Gateway to College National Network (GtCNN). Starting January 1, 2012, the program will operate independently of GtCNN and be known by a new name. The new name and logo are being finalized and will be unveiled in coming weeks.

Since opening in 2006, the local Gateway program has served hundreds of deserving youth in the tri-county area. Over the past five years, the program has evolved to the point where a new name and more local discretion are needed to better support and shape the program’s future.

The district superintendents, along with the president and commissioners of Tri-County Technical College, are committed to offering a quality, responsive dropout recovery program for the region that connects high school and postsecondary study for youth who need and deserve a second chance. This program, built on a solid foundation made possible by GtCNN and its signature Gateway to College program, will continue to fill a unique niche in the educational offerings for youth in Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens counties.


Career & Technology Center Dedication on October 16
October 11, 2011
Students, families, and community members are invited to attend the dedication of the Pickens County Career & Technology Center (CTC) on Sunday, October 16.  The ceremony will begin at 2:00 PM, and tours of the building will follow.  CTC is located at 990 Chastain Road just outside of Liberty.  We hope you'll join us at this exciting event for the School District of Pickens County and for the Career & Technology Center.   Invitation
SDPC Substitutes Must Update Eligibility
September 14, 2011
Substitute teachers play a vital role in Pickens County classrooms, and just like teachers, they must go through required training annually. This year, the Human Resource Services staff will make training for current, active substitutes available on multiple days.“To remain on the district’s active substitute list, an individual must attend one update meeting,” said Dr. Stephanie Lackey, executive director of human resource services. Lackey stressed that the sessions are for current, active substitutes only and that those who do not attend training will no longer be eligible to sub. The district is not hiring new substitute teachers at this time.
 
Substitute update sessions will be held at Central Services, 1348 Griffin Mill Road, Easley, on the following dates and times:.
  • Thursday, October 20                5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Substitutes may attend any of the sessions and do not need to reserve a spot. Substitutes who have questions may contact Amanda McCauley, benefits specialist, at 864-397-1026. News Release

Tracy Todd Recognized for Excellence in Teaching
October 5, 2011
Congratulations to Easley High's Tracy Todd who has received the South Carolina Council for the Social Studies (SCCSS) Thomas Lowell “Tom” Buckland Teacher of Excellence Award, South Carolina’s top award presented annually to a social studies teacher.  According to the SCCSS website, “the annual award honors the outstanding performance of teachers, college professors, and other worthy individuals and programs that work to promote quality social studies in the Palmetto State.”

Todd said, “Basically the award is the equivalent of being named teacher of the year for social studies for the state.  What an amazing honor!  I am still floored - completely thrilled, humbled, and amazed.”

Tracee Simpson, president of SCCSS and a social studies teacher at Gettys Middle School, presented the commemorative plaque and $100 cash award to Todd at the SCCSS Fall Conference in Greenville on September 30.  News Release ... Article from SCCSS Program


Central & Gettys "Running for Something Better"
October 5, 2011
Congratulations to Central Elementary and Gettys Middle schools!  Central and Gettys are two of 50 recipients from across the nation to receive grants in the ING Run For Something Better® School Awards Program.  The award, presented by ING in partnership with the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE), helps introduce kindergarten through eighth-grade students across the country to the benefits of running and active lifestyles through school-based running programs.  Each school will receive up to $2,500 in funding to support a minimum of an eight-week running program.  Each program will culminate with a running event in celebration of the students’ achievements.

Gettys Middle School has received the ING Run For Something Better grant for three consecutive years.  Central News Release ... Gettys News Release


Schemainda Named Adult ESL Teacher of the Year
October 5, 2011
Stanley Schemainda, an ESL instructor at the Adult Learning Center, was named the South Carolina Adult ESL Teacher of the Year during the Adult Education Training Day in Columbia on Friday, September 30th.  Pictured with Schemainda are Dr. Mary Gaston, director of the Adult Learning Center, and Dr. David Stout, director of the South Carolina Department of Education Office of Adult Education.  More information and a slideshow of the event are available on the Regional Adult Education Technical Assistance Center website.



Pickens High Dedicated
September 26, 2011
On Sunday, September 25, Pickens High School administrators, staff, students, families, and community members celebrated when the school was dedicated. Participating in the program with Principal Marion Lawson were Pickens High School Teacher of the Year and SDPC Honor Roll Teacher Denise Hodges, Reverend Isaiah Scipio, Dr. Henry Hunt, and Assistant Principal Max Monroe.  Representative Davey Hiott and Senator Larry Martin provided remarks before Mr. Lawson led the audience in dedicating the school.  A ribbon-cutting and open house followed the dedication program.   Pickens High School is the second of the new high schools in SDPC to be dedicated.  Slideshow ... Article and Pictures from Anderson Independent
9th Graders Visit Business & Industry Showcase
September 27, 2011
The Anderson-Oconee-Pickens Business and Industry Product Showcase, held September 21 and 22 at Clemson University’s Littlejohn Coliseum, included approximately 55 businesses from the three counties. Over 1400 SDPC ninth grade students attended the event, sponsored by area economic development councils, schools districts and area businesses. Students had a chance to learn more about the businesses, either the product manufactured or the service provided.  Students also explored career opportunities as well as workplace skills and expectations. Slideshow



Pickens High School Will Be Dedicated September 25
September 19, 2011
The dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony for Pickens High School will be held Sunday, September 25 beginning at 2:00 p.m. in the auditorium at 150 Blue Flame Drive. After the dedication ceremony, participants will move to the front of the school for the ribbon cutting. Following the ceremony, the school will be open for self-guided tours. Invitation News Release

SAT Scores Above National Average, #3 in State
September 20, 2011
SAT scores for the School District of Pickens County, released today by the South Carolina Department of Education, were 23 points above the national average.  The district’s composite score is 1523 compared to the national average of 1500.

SDPC’s composite score places the district as the third highest in South Carolina and first among upstate districts. The district’s score, however, did drop from the 2010 composite of 1547.  The drop mirrored the trend in South Carolina.  Individual high school results show Daniel High and Easley High well above the national average with composite scores of 1570 and 1546. 
 
“We are proud of our students, teachers and administrators for SAT performance,” said Dr. Kelly Pew, assistant superintendent of instructional services.  “We did see a decline in all three areas, and we know we will always have areas to work on.  We will continue our focus on student achievement.” 
News Release ... Scores from SC State Department
... SDPC SAT Results


Mystery of the Missing Pictures
September 20, 2011
One of the symptoms of the issues SchoolFusion has been experiencing is missing pictures on the SDPC website front page. Sometimes you may see the “Red X Box” in place of a picture. Try refreshing the website with the circular arrow (Refresh) button. According to SchoolFusion, “we’re working around the clock to get these issues fixed ASAP; we’ve brought in additional resources from our various locations to assist and are implementing new hardware as we speak.” Please be patient as SchoolFusion works to resolve these issues.


President Obama To Address Students
September 21, 2011
President Obama will deliver his third annual back-to-school speech on September 28 in a live online broadcast at 1:30 p.m.  The President will speak directly to students across the nation in a non-partisan address.

Individual schools will have flexibility in how they choose to have students view the address.  Parents who do not want their child to view the speech should notify their child’s school in writing by Monday, September 26.  Those students will participate in alternative activities, and their grades will not be penalized.

President Obama is not the first nor will he likely be the last to give an address to students.  It has become somewhat of a tradition for Presidents to address students.  Former President George H.W. Bush spoke to students across the nation in 1991 as did former President Clinton in a “Webside” chat in 2001. In addition, former President Reagan spoke to the nation’s students during a nationally broadcast question and answer session in 1986.

The President’s back-to-school speech will be available for patrons to view online. Information on how to view the address is expected to be posted soon at
www.whitehouse.gov.
SDPC Awarded "Big 6" for 10-11 United Way Campaign
September 20, 2011
At a luncheon to kickoff Pickens County’s 2011 United Way Campaign, Dr. Hunt, superintendent, and Dr. Merck, assistant superintendent of administrative services, accepted a “Big 6 Award” for SDPC’s 2010-2011 United Way campaign, one of six campaigns with highest employee giving.  District employees donated over $58,000 to live UNITED in Pickens County.  SDPC’s 2011-2012 campaign will kick off in early October.  Thank you, SDPC employees, for making a difference.
SDPC Robotics Team Helps Attract New Business
September 19, 2011
The SDPC robotics team, Team Spark 2751, ranked in the top 50 teams internationally, has helped attract a new business to Pickens County. Alliance Pickens announced recently that JR Automation Technologies, LLC will expand operations into Pickens County. Ray Farley, executive director of Alliance Pickens said the expansion represents 54 new jobs in the county by a dynamic and growing company that is investing $2 million. Speaking for the company, sales executive Brian Jones said, “The local education system is a major component in our desire to come to Pickens County. We were impressed when we learned your students are national winners of robotics competition.” WYFF Video
Liberty High Dedicated
September 19, 2011
On Sunday, September 18, Liberty High School administrators, staff, students, families, and community members celebrated when the school was dedicated. Jean Toole, Liberty High chorus and drama teacher and 2011-2012 SDPC Teacher of the Year, began the ceremony with a welcome.  Dr. Henry Hunt recognized current and former SDPC board members. Following an address by Mary Babb, former assistant superintendent, LHS Principal Lori Gwinn, principal, led the audience in dedicating the school. A ribbon-cutting and open house followed the dedication. Liberty High School is the first of the new high schools in SDPC to be dedicated.  Slideshow
September 12, 2011
Monday, September 12:  SchoolFusion, the company that hosts all of our websites, is still experiencing technical difficulties.  Those issues are creating problems for our district.  We are working with SchoolFusion to solve these problems and hope to have a resolution by early next week.  Until then, teachers cannot post assignments and other information on their websites. We ask for your continued patience and your understanding.


Holly Springs a National Blue Ribbon Winner
September 16, 2011
Holly Springs Elementary School has been selected as a 2011 National Blue Ribbon School. This year only 413 schools across the United States were nominated, and only 304 schools were selected.  With Mrs. Donna Harden as their principal, the dedicated teachers and staff at Holly Springs have every reason to be proud of their accomplishments. They are committed to student achievement and preparing students for success beyond the classroom. As a national Blue Ribbon School, Holly Springs is truly among the nation’s elite schools. Congratulations! Slideshow


Trustee Shelton Recognized for Leadership Training
September 14, 2011
SDPC Board Member Jim Shelton has earned Level 3 recognition by the South Carolina School Boards Association (SCSBA) for achievement in the association’s 2010-2011 Boardmanship Institute.  Dr. Henry Hunt, superintendent, presented Mr. Shelton with a certificate and pin at the August 29 board meeting.
 
The SCSBA Boardmanship Institute, established in 1982, offers a year-round training curriculum to help board members develop skills and stay abreast of state and national educational issues. Workshops focus on school law, school finance, legislation, improving board operations, leadership for improving student achievement, and other timely topics.  Board members can achieve up to six levels of recognition by earning points that are accrued annually from July through June for participation in statewide conferences and training provided onsite in their districts.
Congratulations, Mr. Shelton!  News Release

LHS Will Be Dedicated September 18
September 12, 2011
The dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony for Liberty High School will be held Sunday, September 18 beginning at 2:00 p.m. in the auditorium at 124 Red Devil Drive. Participants in the dedication ceremony will include Liberty High School teacher Jean Toole who is also the 2011-2012 SDPC Teacher of the Year, the Liberty High School JROTC Color Guard, the Liberty High School band and chorus. Speakers have not been confirmed at this time. After the dedication ceremony, participants will move to the front of the school for the ribbon cutting.
 
Following the ceremony, the school will be open until 5:30 p.m. for self-guided tours. Members of LHS graduating classes are scheduled for reunion meetings as well. News Release

Meet the Teacher Night at Career & Technology Center
September 13, 2011
Pickens County Career & Technology Center (CTC) will hold its annual Meet the Teacher Night on September 15 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Students and families are invited to visit CTC teachers and the new CTC facility, located at 990 Chastain Road in Liberty. 








It's a Tie for EHS, PHS in Annual Competition
September 11, 2011
During half-time festivities at the Easley-Pickens football game, both schools were declared winners in the annual Pickens County Meals on Wheels Sam Wyche Food Fight Bowl.  Students at each school raised over $30,000, bringing a grand total of over $60,000 in contributions to Pickens County Meals on Wheels. Thank you, EHS and PHS students, for your commitment to this annual competition.  Thank you to each individual who contributed generously. Thank you, Coach Sam Wyche, for your leadership and your model of philanthropy in Pickens County. Slideshow
Students Invited to Attend 2011 Academy Day
September 9, 2011
US Senator Lindsey Graham is host for  the “2011 Academy Day” program  to be held at the National Advocacy Center, 1620 Pendleton Street in Columbia on Saturday, September 17. Registration begins at 10:00 a.m.; the official program will begin at 10:30 a.m. The “2011 Academy Day” will include presentations by representatives from the 5 service academies –Air Force, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine, Military, and Naval academies – as well as the US Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board. Following the program, students and parents will have the opportunity to meet with the various representatives.  To RSVP and for additional information, please contact Rene Ann Brown–(803) 933-0112, or via email. More Information

Fire at Bus Office May Cause Delays in Daniel, Liberty Areas
September 9, 2011
Thursday night a fire destroyed one of the two portables at the Daniel-Liberty bus office.  The initial investigation indicates that the fire was caused by an electrical problem.  Buses will be running normal routes, but some delays may be experienced in the Daniel and Liberty areas. 

The Daniel Bus Office may be contacted at 639-5143.  The Liberty Bus Office may be contacted at 639-5142.  The District Bus Transportation Office may be contacted at 397-1160.
SchoolFusion Technical Issues Affecting Our Websites
September 8, 2011
Thursday, September 8:  Because of SchoolFusion technical issues, we are currently experiencing problems with creating and activating teacher Web pages, user logins, uploading and downloading files, display and speed.  We are working with SchoolFusion support to solve these problems. 

Please continue to check our website for updated information on these problems  We appreciate your understanding and patience.

Auction Set for Surplus, Obsolete Items at Dacusville Elementary
September 7, 2011

Surplus and obsolete items of Dacusville Elementary School will be sold at auction on Saturday, September 10 beginning at 9:01 a.m.  Southeastern Auction Sales will conduct the auction at the current DES site --- 2671 Earls Bridge Road, Easley. More Information and Partial Listing

Jean Toole and Bonnie Agostino Selected for District Honors
September 6, 2011
Congratulations to Jean Toole and Bonnie Agostino for earning top honors among Pickens County teachers and support employees.  Dr. Henry Hunt announced Toole as the 2011-2012 SDPC Teacher of the Year and Agostino as the 2011-2012 SDPC Support Employee of the Year during the district’s virtual back-to-school celebration on September 2.

For the past 22 years, Toole has been a chorus and drama teacher at Liberty High School.  She has been chosen as an SDPC Honor Roll Teacher twice. Agostino, a two-time Support Employee of the Year at Clemson Elementary, has been a kindergarten assistant and technology assistant for eleven years.  We are proud of you both and of all our 2011-2012 teachers of the year and support employees of the year


Jean Toole
2011-2012 SDPC
Teacher of the Year
Bonnie Agostino
2011-2012 SDPC
Support Employee of the Year

Welcome Back to School!
September 6, 2011
The 2011-2012 school year begins on September 6 when teachers and staff welcome 16,000+ students into classrooms across the district.  The opening of five new schools and several renovated schools will be one of the day’s highlights.  New schools are Chastain Road and Dacusville elementary schools; Pickens County Career & Technology Center (CTC); and Liberty and Pickens high schools.   Liberty Elementary School will open renovated facilities.  Major renovations continue at McKissick Elementary School as well as Edwards and Dacusville middle schools. Many SDPC schools will hold celebrations and special events to welcome students and parents.  To all students and staff, we hope you have a great and successful year!

Thank You, Jaime Benton
September 1, 2011
SDPC and the Building Futures program say thank you and farewell to Jamie Benton. He has served as project manager for three of SDPC’s four new high schools. Benton specializes as a construction administrator and project engineer on K-12 school construction projects and is an LEED Accredited Professional. He will be moving next week to Greenville County Schools as the Director of School Facilities Planning. Good luck, Jaime!


SDPC Employees Start New Year with Virtual Celebration
August 31, 2011
School District of Pickens County employees will come together “virtually” to kick off the new school year on Friday, September 2. The virtual celebration, beginning at 8:30 a.m., will include the announcement of the district’s 2011-2012 Teacher of the Year and support employee of the year. Finalists for the district support employee of the year are Bonnie Agostino (Clemson Elementary), Gail Gwinn (Pickens Middle), Nancy Suddeth (East End Elementary), and Ellen Walsh (Forest Acres Elementary). Finalists for the 2011-2012 SDPC Teacher of the Year are Denise Hodges (Pickens High), Teeka Holtzclaw (Dacusville Middle), Tina Kelly (Ambler Elementary), and Jean Toole (Liberty High).
 
The program will be broadcast to all schools from the auditorium of the new Pickens High School. Technology upgrades provide the district with the capability of broadcasting live video to all schools. Rather than traveling to a central location within Pickens County for a district-wide meeting, staffs can gather within their schools and watch the program.
 
In addition to the announcement of teacher and support employee of the year, the celebration will include addresses by Alex Saitta, chairman of the SDPC Board of Trustees; Dr. Kelly Pew, assistant superintendent of instructional services; Sheila Hogan, 2010-2011 SDPC Support Employee of the Year; and Sheila Beasley, 2010-2011 SDPC Teacher of the Year. Henry Hunt, superintendent, will deliver the keynote address.

Gwinn Accepts Keys, Opens LHS for Registration
August 28, 2011
Following a phone call notifying her that Liberty High School had passed final inspection and that she could pick up the “keys to the castle,” Lori Gwinn, principal, and her staff immediately began preparing for student registration on Saturday.  SDPC Project Manager Jaime Benton made the call to Gwinn on Tuesday, August 23.

“After weeks of uncertainty, it was a tremendous relief,” said Gwinn.  “We left immediately to pick up the key and began moving in our offices. Our goal was to have the administrative and guidance offices fully functional by noon Friday."

Liberty High seniors, juniors and sophomores began registering on Saturday, August 27.  Freshmen are scheduled to register on Sunday, August 28 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.  High school teachers will officially begin the new school year on Tuesday, August 30.

“We have an opportunity to prepare our students for the future simply through everything this facility will provide,” Gwinn said.  “We are truly blessed.”  News Release


2011-2012 School Year Kicks Off with Registration, Meet the Teacher Events
August 8, 2011
The School District of Pickens County’s 29 schools and sites are preparing to welcome students to the 2011-2012 school year.   High school students will be the first to register.  Check the registration schedule for dates at each high school.  Elementary and middle school students will have the opportunity to meet their teachers and see their classrooms at Meet the Teacher events.  Elementary schools will host Meet the Teacher events on Thursday, September 1 from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.  Middle schools and the Simpson Alternative Center will host events for different grades on different days; check the schedule for your child’s school.  You should also find more information on school websites.  News Release ...  Back-to-School Information ... 2011-2012 Student/Parent Handbook ... 2011-2012 Calendar

Dacusville Middle Closed on August 26
August 26, 2011
Dacusville Middle School will be closed on Friday, August 26.  The school does not have water or air-conditioning as a result of construction.  The problems are expected to be resolved by Saturday.





School Meal Prices to Increase
August 16, 2011
For the first time in three years, school breakfast and lunch prices will increase but only by five cents. Elementary students will pay $1.05 for breakfast and $1.65 for lunch; middle and high schools students will pay $1.05 for breakfast and $1.90 for lunch. Prices for reduced meals will be $0.30 for breakfast and $0.40 for lunch. Check out the SDPC Student Nutrition Services website for all meal and a la carte prices; click on Information



SDPC Administrators Approved
August 24, 2011
Following board approval of Dr. Henry Hunt’s recommended candidates, all district and school level leadership teams are in place.  Named to district administrative positions are Andy Coleman, director of Accountability, Information and Technology Services (AITS); Bob Folkman, administrator of Operational Services and Building Program; and Clark Webb, director of Financial Services. 
Andy Coleman
Bob Folkman
Clark Webb

Also approved are new assistant principals Cissy Floyd at Liberty Elementary, Brad Blackston at Liberty High, Jessica Max at East End Elementary and Wendy Cawood at Hagood Elementary. Sammy Owen was named assistant director at Simpson Alternative Center. 
News Release
Lawson Accepts Occupancy of PHS; Staff Begins Unpacking
August 21, 2011
Pickens High School Principal Marion Lawson received the official word in an email from Bob Folkman, operations and building program administrator, “Captain Kirk … The Enterprise is all yours!!”  The new Pickens High School, cleared for occupancy, was turned over to Lawson at 2:42 p.m. on Friday, August 19.

Lawson notified the PHS staff of the occupancy late Friday afternoon.  He opened the new school to faculty and staff beginning at 6:30 a.m. Saturday morning and again on Sunday afternoon for unpacking, organizing and preparing for registration. 

Registration for the 2011-2012 school year will proceed according to the schedule released earlier in the summer.  PHS seniors will be the first students to see the new school when they register beginning at noon on Monday, August 22. 

Pickens High School is the first of the four new Pickens County high schools to open. Slideshow


Daniel High Stadium Opens for Jamboree
August 19, 2011
School District of Pickens County officials are proud to announce another milestone in the Building Futures facility program – opening of the new Daniel High School Stadium on August 19.  The Lions will play in the new stadium for the first time when the school hosts the Daniel Day Jamboree at 6:30 p.m. 

Because construction of the school continues, stadium parking will not be permanent this season.  Fans may use a temporary parking lot adjacent to the stadium or any parking spaces around the existing school site.  School officials also encourage fans to carpool to help lighten traffic.  News Release


LHS Registration Dates Adjusted
August 19, 2011
The new Liberty High School is almost ready to open its doors to students, staff, parents and community members.  Finishing touches are being put on the new school, and life safety tests are being verified and completed. 

“When our students and their families first walk into our beautiful new school, we want them to have a positive experience,” said Lori Gwinn, principal.  “We want to be unpacked and organized, so we’re adjusting our registration schedule.  Our staff and the district staff will have a little extra time to make sure we’re ready to welcome everyone.”

Registration will now be held on Saturday, August 27 and the afternoon of Sunday, August 28.  Seniors, juniors and sophomores will register from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 27.  Freshmen will register on Sunday, August 28 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.  Makeup registration will be Monday, August 29 from 12:00 noon to 6:00 p.m.  News Release


McKissick Elementary Closed Until Tuesday
August 26, 2011
McKissick Elementary School is closed until Tuesday, August 30 at 9:00 a.m.  While school and district officials are waiting for final inspections, the staff is moving and getting ready for students to return for Meet the Teacher on Thursday, September 1.  We will appreciate understanding and cooperation from parents during this time.








Welcome, Induction Teachers!
August 15, 2011
We welcome our first-year teachers who began the New Teacher Academy on August 15.  Almost forty induction teachers will attend the academy daily through August 18 and monthly until the end of the school year.  We wish you the best as you join us in “building success beyond the classroom” for all students.
Stapleton Named Director of Simpson Alternative Program
August 12, 2011
The School District of Pickens County Board of Trustees has named Reggia Stapleton as the director of Simpson Alternative Center for Education.  Stapleton has been assistant director at the school since 2008.

 “I am very grateful to Dr. Hunt and the SDPC School Board for the opportunity to serve as the director of John T. Simpson Alternative Center for Education,” said Stapleton.  “Serving as the assistant director for the past four years has given me the opportunity to work with our dedicated staff in helping our students gain self-confidence both academically and personally.  I am excited and looking forward to continuing our work in moving our programs forward and meeting the needs of more Pickens County students.”  News Release


District, School Administrators Approved
August 12, 2011
At a called meeting on August 11, the board approved several administrators at both the district and school levels.  Andy Coleman was named director of Accountability, Information and Technology Services (AITS).  Bob Folkman was named Operations and Building Program Administrator.  New assistant principals are Cissy Floyd at Liberty Elementary School and Brad Blackston at Liberty High School.  Samuel Owen was named assistant director at Simpson Alternative Center.  An assistant principal at East End Elementary School was not named.  Additional details about the district administrators will be released later. 
Final Days for Laptop Exchange
August 11, 2011
Teachers who have not yet exchanged their current HP laptops for new Dell laptops should take their old laptops to the former BJ Skelton Career Center on Monday, August 15 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. or Tuesday, August 16 from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Pick up will be on Wednesday, August 17 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. If teachers miss this opportunity, they will not be able to exchange their old computers until October. The old computers will not access the new system at new schools.

Auction Set for Surplus, Obsolete Items at LHS
August 10, 2011
Surplus and obsolete items of Liberty High School will be sold at auction on Saturday, August 20 beginning at 9:01 a.m. Southeastern Auction Sales will conduct the auction at the current LHS site – 319 Summit Drive. More Information and Partial Listing






Congratulations to Our Honor Roll Employees and Teachers
August 10, 2011
Congratulations to this year’s finalists for SDPC Support Employee of the Year and Teacher of the Year!  Bonnie Agostino (Clemson Elementary), Gail Gwinn (Pickens Middle), Nancy Suddeth (East End Elementary), and Ellen Walsh (Forest Acres Elementary) have been selected finalists for the 2011-2012 SDPC Support Employee of the Year.  Finalists for the 2011-2012 SDPC Teacher of the Year are Denise Hodges (Pickens High), Teeka Holtzclaw (Dacusville Middle), Tina Kelly (Ambler Elementary), and Jean Toole (Liberty High).  The district’s support employee of the year and teacher of the year will be announced at the back-to-school celebration on Friday, September 2.
Shop During Tax-Free Weekend and Save!
July 25, 2011
Students and parents are getting ready to return to school, and that means South Carolina’s tax-free weekend is coming soon! Starting on Friday, August 5 and ending at midnight on Sunday, August 7, students and parents can purchase eligible items such as clothing, shoes, school supplies, computers, and linens without paying sales tax on those items. Supply lists for schools are available on each school’s website or by contacting the school directly. Don’t forget, school starts September 6 this year, so be ready! Back to School Information

Newman Chosen Assistant Superintendent in Orangeburg 4
August 4, 2011
After being named assistant superintendent of human resources in Orangeburg Consolidated School District 4, Tim Newman has resigned as the SDPC Executive Director of Technology and Operational Services.  Newman resigned his senior leadership position Tuesday morning.

Dr. Henry Hunt said, “I completely understand and support Mr. Newman’s decision to accept this promotion in another district.  Some of the first budget cuts affected him personally, both in salary reduction and a significant increase in responsibilities.  In spite of the changes, he has continued to be a very positive, proactive leader.  He has played a valuable role in implementing technology, in working with the building program, and in establishing vision to move forward.” 
 
According to Hunt, reorganization plans for the district administration continue to develop.  Newman is the third member of the district’s senior administration to leave since mid-May. 
News Release


Merck Named Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services
August 2, 2011
The board of trustees has named Dr. Danny Merck, principal of Easley High School, as the School District of Pickens County Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services.  Dr. Merck began his education career in SDPC in 1991, teaching at Simpson Academy, Gettys Middle School and Liberty High School before being named an assistant principal at Easley High School in 2000.  He became principal at Pendleton High School in 2005 and then returned to Easley High as principal in 2009.

“No principal has been more content and happy as I have been the past two years,” said Dr. Merck. “I have absolutely loved coming back to Easley High School. It was a great honor to follow in the footsteps of Dick Gettys, Bill Houston, and Betty Garrison. While I do find it very difficult to leave behind our culture of family and the excitement of the upcoming new school, I am grateful for the opportunity to work closely with Henry Hunt, Kelly Pew, and principals as the district braces for a wide variety of challenges in the near future.”

Dr. Merck will assume duties of the new position within the next two weeks. 
News Release


Tim Mullis Named New Leader at EHS
August 2, 2011
The board of trustees has approved Dr. Tim Mullis as Easley High School’s next principal.  Dr. Mullis was principal at Pickens Middle for four years before becoming the director of Simpson Alternative Center for Education in May 2007.  He previously worked as a teacher at Daniel High and as an assistant principal at both Gettys Middle and at Easley High.

“I’m confident that Dr. Mullis will use his varied leadership experiences to build on the tradition of excellence at Easley High School,” said Dr. Henry Hunt.  “Knowing the school culture and the community so well will be a plus for him, especially as he leads the move to a new building.  He has an opportunity that is both exciting and challenging.  I look forward to working with him during the coming year.”  News Release


Gwinn Named LHS Principal
August 1, 2011
At a called meeting on August 1, the School District of Pickens County Board of Trustees approved Lori Gwinn as principal of Liberty High School.  Gwinn has served as interim principal at the school since late February.  According to Dr. Henry Hunt she has begun implementing a number of positive things and has also worked to prepare for the transition to the new facility.

“Liberty High is a very special place to me, said Gwinn. “I’ve served here as teacher, coach, curriculum assistant, and assistant principal. I don’t think I could imagine serving anywhere else. I am looking forward to the challenges that the role of principal brings. Liberty High is looking forward to a well-deserved, bright future.”  News Release


Administrative Changes Announced
August 2, 2011
On August 1, the board approved Dr. Danny Merck as the district's assistant superintendent of administrative services, Dr. Tim Mullis as principal of Easley High School, and Reggia Stapleton as director of Simpson Alternative Center for Education.  The Simpson assistant director’s position, previously held by Stapleton, will be posted for applications.  Additional information about the changes will be available later today.


Move to Career & Technology Center Begins
August 2, 2011
On August 1, the South Carolina Office of School Facilities granted a “Conditional Temporary Occupancy” permit for the Pickens County Career & Technology Center. The move from BJ Skelton Career Center to the new building will proceed as planned.  No staff, faculty or students may visit or occupy the building until August 8.








Superintendent's Evaluation: Hunt Exceeds Expectations
August 2, 2011
The School District of Pickens County Board of Trustees concluded its 2010-2011 evaluation of Dr. Henry Hunt, rating his performance as “exceeding expectations.”  The process, which took place during June and July, evaluated Hunt in six areas:  academic performance, budgeting, teacher development, employee morale, internal and external communication, and the building program.   News Release from Board of Trustees





2011-2012 Teacher Web Pages Coming Soon
August 15, 2011
Teacher Web pages with assignments, grades, and other information for 2011-2012 are not available yet.  We hope to have the new pages online by Thursday, September 1.  Our schools are still working on schedules and making sure all the information in our student database system is ready for the new school year.  Watch our websites for an announcement letting you know that teacher pages are up and running.  We’ll also provide information about registering for student and parent access to our teacher pages.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.



Schools Set To Open as Planned; No Delays Expected
July 28, 2011
Five new schools are on schedule to open for classes as planned on September 6. Several media reports have referred to a “delayed opening”; however, the post-Labor Day start date was planned well in advance to allow additional time for construction.  No delays are expected. 

As work continues, we ask that students, staff and community members cooperate.  No one is allowed on the sites until the South Carolina Office of School Facilities issues a “certificate of occupancy.” Construction sites are dangerous, and only authorized personnel with hardhats and eye protection are allowed access.  Additionally, the sites are not ready to accommodate traffic.

Get an up-close view of progress through our Building Futures website.  Up-to-date photographs of all construction and other details can be found there.

Thank you for your understanding.   Back to School Information


SDPC's PASS Scores Show Some Gains, Some Areas for Improvement
July 25, 2011
While 2011 PASS results for students in the School District of Pickens County show gains in some areas, results also show other areas in need of improvement.  The percentage of SDPC students meeting standards exceeded their South Carolina peers in all but four of the 26 assessments:  sixth and seventh grade math, seventh grade science and sixth grade social studies.

“We are certainly proud of the accomplishments, especially since expectations increase yearly,” said Dr. Kelly Pew, assistant superintendent of instructional services.  “At the same time, we are keenly aware that we have some weak areas.   We will continue to analyze all assessment data at both the district and school levels.  Then, we can help classroom teachers integrate appropriate instructional practices for all students.  Ultimately, we must decrease the percentage of students who don’t meet standard while we also increase the percentage of students scoring at the exemplary level.”  News Release


Auction Set for Surplus, Obsolete Items at PHS
July 27, 2011
Surplus and obsolete items of Pickens High School will be sold at auction on Saturday, August 6 beginning at 9:01 a.m.  Southeastern Auction Sales will conduct the auction at the current PHS site --- 111 Blue Flame Drive.  More Information and Partial Listing




SDPC Misses AYP Federal Rating
July 28, 2011
For the second consecutive year, the School District of Pickens County failed to make AYP by missing two of its annual goals.  The number of schools making AYP dropped from fifteen last year to ten.

Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, a school or district can make AYP only by meeting 100 percent of its federal “proficiency” goals.  The district’s target was 33 objectives, and objectives for SDPC schools ranged from a low of thirteen to a high of 29.

Elementary schools making AYP were Ambler, Central, Crosswell, East End, Forest Acres, Holly Springs, Liberty, A.R. Lewis, Pickens and Six Mile.  No middle or high schools met the 2011 requirements.  News Release


Building Futures Facilty Program Remains Strong
July 11, 2011
According to Bob Folkman, administrator of the Building Futures facility program, the program is 62% complete as of June 30.  Folkman says that “progress on all construction projects remains strong, schedules remain optimistic, project budgets continue to be stable and cost projection through completion remains realistic.”  The complete report and all previous reports are available on the Building Futures website.


July 4 Holiday
June 29, 2011
All SDPC offices and schools will be closed on Monday, July 4. Schools and offices are currently operating on a summer schedule through August 18 and are closed on Fridays. Regular schedules will resume on August 22. Don’t forget—students return to school on September 6!




Bus Driver Certification Class Offered
July 11, 2011
SDPC Transportation Services is offering a 21-hour class for new bus drivers. Although this is a class for new drivers, current employees with bus licensing may also attend to obtain some of their annual required in-service.  The class meets 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. July 18-21 at Transportation Services, 133 Railroad Street, Pickens. Contact Cindy Weir at 397-1165 with questions.



Families May Apply Online for Free, Reduced Price School Meals
July 19, 2011
The School District of Pickens County has announced its policy for free and reduced price meals for children served in schools under the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program.  Children from families whose income is at or below the levels shown may be eligible for free or reduced price meals. 
 
Also, we are pleased to offer the option of applying online for free and reduced price meals.  Through the Student Nutrition Services website, parents may apply safely, securely, and privately to determine their eligibility.   A new meal application is required every year, so we encourage families to begin submitting applications online now. 
 
Families without Internet access may use computers at all Pickens County public libraries or at the Adult Learning Center in Easley.  Clemson Community Care also has a computer and assistance available to parents wishing to complete the application online.
News Release


Campbell Chosen As Chief Financial Officer in Spartanburg 7
July 18, 2011
Congratulations to Missy Campbell, executive director of financial services, who has been named Spartanburg School District Seven’s Chief Financial Officer.  Dr. Henry Hunt said, “We will certainly feel the loss throughout the district.  I wish Missy well as she pursues her career goals.”  Campbell will assume her new duties in Spartanburg 7 on August 1.  Spartanburg District 7 News Release







Schools Offer Free Summer Meals
June 28, 2011
Through its Seamless Summer Feeding Program, the School District of Pickens County offers free, healthy meals to Pickens County children who are 18 and younger.  Any school-age child may eat for free, regardless of income. Free breakfast and lunch are being served at Pickens Elementary and West End Elementary Monday through Friday through August 19.  The program will be closed July 4 in recognition of Independence Day. Breakfast is served from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.  Lunch is served from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.  Any school-age child who comes to West End Elementary or Pickens Elementary during those times will be served. Pickens Elementary is located at 567 Hampton Street, Pickens.  West End Elementary is located at 314 Pelzer Highway, Easley.  News Release
 
According to Sally Nicholson, director of SDPC Student Nutrition Services, “By the end of the first week, we had about 78 walk-ins at Pickens Elementary.  We hope to serve many more as the summer months move forward. We’re trying to make sure that no child goes hungry.”
Class of 2011 Earns $26 Million in Scholarships
June 27, 2011
Students in SDPC’s Class of 2011 earned $22,537,819 in scholarships.  Dr. Henry Hunt said, “We are proud of each member of the Class of 2011 and are especially pleased to see the large amount of scholarship money the class earned.  I commend these students for their commitment to continuing their education and pursuing their dreams.”  A breakdown of each high school’s total shows Daniel with $7,541,745, Easley with $9,268,520, Liberty with $1,700,400 and Pickens with $5,727,554.




Edwards Middle School Closed for Construction
June 22, 2011
Because of construction, Edwards Middle School will be closed beginning Friday, June 24 at noon.  While the school is closed, Mr. Culler will maintain his office in the conference room at Daniel High School.  You may reach him there at 624-4430.  You may also leave a message for him at 397-4210.  We expect Edwards Middle to reopen the second week of August.
Volunteers Are Valuable to our Schools
June 25, 2011
SDPC has nearly 1,500 active volunteers who contributed more than 50,000 volunteer hours in the 2010-2011 school year.  According to Independent Sector, the estimated dollar value of volunteer time is $21.36 per hour for 2010. That places the value of SDPC volunteers at $1,084,874! A.R. Lewis Elementary recorded the highest number of volunteer hours for 2010-2011; this year the school’s volunteers contributed 10,705 hours. Thank you to all our valuable volunteers!

Robotics Camp at East End Elementary
June 21, 2011
SDPC students in grades two through six are participating this week in a FIRST LEGO Robotics camp at East End Elementary.  Participants are learning basic principals in robotics, including types of gears, gear ratios, levers, pulleys, programming NXT robots, and much more.  On Thursday at 11:30 a.m., there will be a “ROBOCITAL.”  Students will show off their robots and demonstrate what they’ve learned. SDPC now has robotics teams in all middle schools and five elementary schools.  SDPC’s Team 2751 SPARK – (Students Preparing for Advanced Robotics Knowledge) -- is the high school robotics team.  The team has just returned from International FIRST Robotics Competition in St. Louis, placing in the final 48 teams in the world.  Slideshow

Summer Academy Celebrates “The Places You’ll Go”
June 14, 2011
“Oh, the Places You’ll Go” is the theme of the Title 1 Summer Academy, a program for over two hundred students attending the district’s five Title 1 elementary schools:  Central, A.R. Lewis, Liberty, West End and McKissick elementary schools.  The summer program is being held June 13-24 at West End Elementary. As students arrived for the start of the Summer Academy, the Cat in the Hat, Thing 1, and Thing 2 welcomed them to the Town of Seussville. Also on site for the kick-off celebration was a hot air balloon piloted by the academy’s administrators:  Paula Alexander, Allen Fain, and Kerry Tucker.  The administrators welcomed the students to Seussville and their Summer Academy adventure with a special message – “You will succeed! Yes, you will indeed!” Slideshow   ... Summer Academy Featured on WYFF

FY12 General Fund Budget Approved
June 15, 2011
The FY12 General Fund Budget of $94,772,925 was approved at a called board meeting on June 14.  Based on a Base Student Cost of $1876, the budget includes $40,000 for Chastain Road’s media center; reinstatement of 14 reading interventionist positions; an internal auditor’s position; $275 VISA supply cards for teachers; a $250,000 operations/maintenance contingency; and nearly $1 million in general contingency.  An amendment to use $595,000 of the contingency to reinstate an additional seven positions – assistant principals, guidance counselors, media specialists, and other reading interventionists – failed.  Budget details will be online soon.
Dacusville Elementary Presents $10,000 to SDPC
June 14, 2011
Dacusville Elementary students, staff, and parents presented Dr. Henry Hunt, superintendent of the School District of Pickens County, with $10,000 for playground equipment at the new Dacusville Elementary School.  Raised through Pennies for Playgrounds, the donation will supplement building program funds designated for playground equipment.  Presenting the check in front of the Dacusville Elementary student body were students (l to r) Will Farmer, Macie Gentry and Lamia Sweet along with Dr. Michael Fleming, principal, and Ronda Marley, PTO president.



Lackey Named Executive Director of HR
June 13, 2011
The board of trustees has named Dr. Stephanie Lackey as the School District of Pickens County’s executive director of human resource services.  Since 2006, Dr. Lackey has been in several human resource positions, most recently in recruitment and retention.  

“I am pleased that Dr. Lackey will be leading the district’s Human Resource Services,” said Dr. Henry Hunt, superintendent.  “Her leadership in our induction program, mentoring program, teacher evaluation, and recruitment has been exemplary.  She also has worked alongside Dr. Pew in other human resource areas.  Through her professionalism and her dedication, she’s gained the respect of our administrators and other employees.”

In addition to Lackey’s appointment, the board named Beverly Ashemore, who is assistant principal at Clemson Elementary, to fill Dr. Lackey’s former position as coordinator of recruitment and retention.  News Release


SDPC Students Recognized
June 13, 2011
At the June 7 Alliance Pickens and South Carolina Department of Commerce announcement that VCI-SC Inc. will establish a new plant near Easley, SDPC students were front and center.  Prior to the announcement, the SkillsUSA state champion mechatronics team, the SC runner-up champion machine tool student (both from Skelton Career Center), and the robotics team were recognized for their technical capabilities and higher level of thinking.  The robotics team was also recognized as the North Carolina regional champion and one of the world’s top 48 robotics teams.  Slideshow



SDPC Teachers Chosen for Science P.L.U.S.
June 13, 2011
Congratulations to SDPC teachers who have been chosen to participate in the Science P.L.U.S. Institute at the Roper Mountain Science Center.  Melissa Jefferson (Dacusville Middle), Cadence Jowers (West End), Jason Bebber (Six Mile), Christopher Rodriquez (Dacusville Elementary), and Jenifer Marchbanks (Gettys) will take hands-on classes in their chosen subject for one week and receive science materials for their classrooms.  We are proud of this year’s Science P.L.U.S. participants from Pickens County!




SDPC Teacher Forum Awards Scholarships
June 9, 2011
Pickens County educators have helped ten teacher cadets move closer to their dreams of joining the education profession.  Using employees’ contributions of $10,700, the SDPC Teacher Forum awarded a $1070 scholarship to each of the ten students. Forum leaders Anita Richardson and Sheila Beasley are pictured here with recipients:  (front) Sarah Jo Skelton (DHS), Rebecca Bottoms (LHS), Shelley Burroughs (EHS), Brittany Mayo (LHS) -- (back) Anita Richardson (09-10 SDPC Teacher of the Year), Katherine Brank (PHS), Jennifer Mulkey (PHS), Rebekah Fogle (EHS), Larsen Kiser (EHS), Alexandra Ramsey (EHS), Aubrey Blalock (EHS), Sheila Beasley (10-11 SDPC Teacher of the Year)

Annual scholarship funds are raised through two district-wide fundraisers, one each fall and one each spring.  School district employees donate $5 to the scholarship fund and in turn wear jeans to show their support of the future educators.  News Release


Teachers to Get New Laptops
June 7, 2011
Teachers will be turning in nearly 2400 old laptops for new ones during June and July. Each school has been assigned a drop-off day and a pick-up day (see schedule). On the assigned drop-off day, employees will take their old laptops to BJ Skelton Career Center, Building 1, between 7:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.  AITS staff will take each old laptop and transfer files to the new laptop. Then, the employee will pick up the new laptop on the assigned day between 7:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
 
Laptop bags will not be replaced, but teachers should remember to bring the power supply and cords for the computer. Teachers will also be responsible for backing up files. AITS will transfer files from the existing laptop, but all files may not copy to the new laptop. Teachers should not rely on backups to the school or district networks. Use an external hard drive or a thumb drive for the backup copy.

Summer Vacation Starts for Students
June 6, 2011
Summer vacation is here! Our students, teachers and employees can celebrate many outstanding accomplishments this year including the anticipated opening of five new school buildings in September.
We've accomplished so much and have a lot to be proud of!  Our thanks go to our parents and our employees for your hard work and dedication to the children of our community.  Have a wonderful and safe summer!  And remember—students start school on September 6.
Back to School 2011-2012


Congratulations, Class of 2011!
May 27, 2011
Daniel, Easley, Liberty and Pickens high schools will hold graduation ceremonies on Friday, June 3 at Clemson University's Littlejohn Coliseum. Details of each ceremony including time, valedictorian and salutatorian are included on our Graduation 2011 page. Congratulations to every member of the Class of 2011!!  News Release



SDPC Schools Receive Grants
June 1, 2011
Two SDPC schools received $3,000 “Farm-to-School” grants to help plant on-site gardens aimed at getting more fresh fruits and vegetables onto lunchroom tables.  Students at Holly Springs and A.R. Lewis elementary schools will take lead roles in developing the gardens, and grant funds will be used to purchase everything from seeds and planting soil to gardening tools.  Student gardeners will be coached by representatives from the South Carolina Department of Agriculture and Clemson University, and food grown in the gardens will be used for students to sample in school cafeterias and classrooms. State Department of Education News Release



SC Supreme Court Justice Visits Clemson ES
June 1, 2011
SC Supreme Court Justice Kaye Hearn, the second woman justice in South Carolina, visited first and fourth grade classes at Clemson Elementary. Students in Mrs. Turpin’s first-grade class prepared for Justice Hearn’s visit by conducting a mock trial to determine if Gold E. Locks was guilty of using bad manners. Justice Hearn spoke to the students about her job and answered their questions about our legal system.  Slideshow





SDPC Schools Recognized for Safety
May 31, 2011
Safe Kids Upstate recently recognized fifteen SDPC schools for their efforts to bring safety to our children through safety patrols, pedestrian safety, and safety resources. Honored were Clemson, Crosswell, Dacusville, East End, Forest Acres, Holly Springs, A.R. Lewis, Liberty, McKissick, Pickens, Six Mile and West End elementary schools as well as DacusvilleGettys, and Pickens middle schools. Each school received a banner to display in the school. Slideshow





PMS Celebrates Schools to Watch Recognition
May 31, 2011
Pickens Middle School recently celebrated being named a School to Watch, one of five South Carolina middle schools to receive the honor.  The Schools to Watch® program honors high-performing middle schools that implement best practices in academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity, and organization. The celebration featured a celebration with music, photographs, and recognition by Pickens area principals. Slideshow





AR Lewis Wins Bronze for Health
May 27, 2011
A.R. Lewis Elementary has been recognized with a South Carolina Healthy School Bronze Award.  The South Carolina Department of Education awarded a banner for the school's accomplishments in helping to improve the education and health of students.  Congratulations to everyone at A. R. Lewis for your accomplishment!






Our "Perfect Seniors"
May 26, 2011
Four SDPC high school seniors in this year’s graduating class have gone to school through their entire academic careers without missing a single day.  Ryan William Bowick (EHS), Daniel Colby Burdette (EHS), Brandon Dakota Couch (PHS), and Taylor Garrett Smith (DHS) are among nearly 1000 seniors who are being honored at commencement ceremonies on Friday, June 3.  Seniors with 12 years of perfect school attendance will receive certificates and congratulatory letters from Dr. Mick Zais, South Carolina Superintendent of Education.   State Department News Release

Ryan Bowick
Daniel Burdette

Brandon Couch

Taylor Smith


Duke Energy Donates Books to Media Centers
May 25, 2011
Thank you, Duke Energy, for your donations to our high school media centers.  In late April, Duke Energy hosted chambers of commerce from Oconee and Pickens counties.  As part of the event, Duke Energy donated books in honor of each of the speakers to Oconee and Pickens high school media centers.  Addie Bradshaw (fifth from left) presented the books to media specialists Karen Williamson (PHS), Dana Whelchel (EHS), Beth Miller (EHS), Lexi Somerville (DHS), and Yvonne Mayo (LHS).




SDPC Honors Retirees
May 24, 2011
Fifty-nine School District of Pickens County employees were honored for their years of dedication and service in building success beyond the classroom at a dinner at Easley High School. Dr. Henry Hunt, superintendent, and Mr. Alex Saitta, chairman, SDPC Board of Trustees, expressed their appreciation for the years of services and presented each retiree with a certificate and an engraved glass plate.
 
“Each of these employees has been valuable – to our district and to our students,” according to Dr. Hunt.  “Each one has made a difference by touching the lives of students and colleagues in some way.  I sincerely appreciate these retirees for their many contributions to the School District of Pickens County.” News ReleaseSlideshow ... Program
Rolling Forward on "Chastain's Road to Reading"
May 24, 2011
Students, SDPC employees, parents and community members are on a mission – a mission to ensure that Chastain Elementary students have a well-stocked media center when the new school opens in September.  Organized by the Liberty Elementary PTO and School Improvement Council, “Chastain’s Road to Reading” is a fundraising campaign with the goal of raising $80,000 to purchase library books. 

SDPC employees have another opportunity to help Chastain Road Elementary—a Jeans Week! Employees who contribute at least $10 by May 31 can wear jeans all week long! Contributions should be given to the school’s bookkeeper. Help us continue rolling along "Chastain's Road to Reading." 
Poster


Celebrate Dacusville & SDPC Pride on May 21
May 20, 2011
Celebrate school and community pride with us as we show off the first of SDPC's five new schools in the Building Futures facilities plan.  The new Dacusville Elementary School will be dedicated on Saturday, May 21 at 2:00 p.m. The Dacusville school and community will begin a day of celebration at homecoming from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.at the current Dacusville Elementary, 2671 Earls Bridge Road,   At 2:00 p.m. the activities move to the new building at 200 Cherokee Trail for a ribbon cutting and open house.  More details are available on the Dacusville Elementary website.  We look forward to seeing you!
Congratulations, Support Employees & Teachers of the Year
May 19, 2011
We are proud to announce our 2011-2012 Support Employees and Teachers of the Year. Chosen by their peers for their outstanding service, these employees represent the best of the support employees and teachers in our district. Each one helps our students succeed beyond the classroom. Congratulations! 2011-2012 Support Employees of the Year2011-2012 Teachers of the Year






Jamie Spinks Named Principal at Central
May 18, 2011
The board of trustees has approved Dr. Henry Hunt’s recommendation of Jamie Spinks as Central Elementary School’s principal.  Spinks, a principal in Georgia's Habersham County, will succeed Elliott Southard who was named principal of Chastain Road Elementary in late January.

“We’re fortunate to have Mr. Spinks come to the School District of Pickens County,” said Dr. Henry Hunt, superintendent.  “His approval was the culmination of a thorough application and interview process.  A team representing parents, teachers, and the district administration interviewed applicants and then recommended the top three candidates for final interviews with me.  I looked for the leader who would be the best fit for Central, and Mr. Spinks is that person.”  News Release


Superintendent's Contract Extended
May 17, 2011
Following executive session on May 16, the board of trustees officially extended Dr. Henry Hunt’s contract through the 2011-2012 school year. Hunt’s salary and compensation package are unchanged.
 
“The board has affirmed its support of me, and I will continue working with them to provide quality public schools in Pickens County,” said Hunt. “I am committed to making the best decisions for our students, for regaining what has been lost during the budget crisis, and for moving this district forward. I ask the board for the same commitment.”
 
Hunt began his tenure as superintendent of the School District of Pickens County in June 2009.   He has been a district-level administrator since 2000 when he was named SDPC Assistant Superintendent for Administration. He also served as principal at A.R. Lewis, Crosswell, and West End elementary schools during his career.

Pew Named SDPC's Instructional Leader
May 17, 2011
At its May 16th meeting, the board of trustees approved Dr. Kelly Pew as assistant superintendent of instructional services.  Pew has been the district’s assistant superintendent of human resource services since July 2009.

“Dr. Pew is highly-experienced in both district and school leadership,” said Dr. Henry Hunt, superintendent.  “She is firmly committed to the School District of Pickens County and to our mission of providing quality education experiences to all students.  Dr. Pew has worked tirelessly and provided support for many employees during some of the most difficult financial times in this district’s history. Through her professionalism and genuine concern for others, she has gained great respect from our administrators, teachers, and support employees.”

“The opportunity to work with our principals and teachers in curriculum and instruction is a privilege,” said Pew.  “Our district has dedicated professionals who truly care about students and helping each one find success.  I sincerely look forward to working together as we continue our focus on student achievement.”  News Release


Second Reading Approval Includes Internal Auditor's Position
May 17, 2011
The district administration presented the FY12 General Fund Budget for second reading on May16.  As presented, the budget of $94,893,488 projects a revenue surplus of $737,295.  Following the presentation, the board of trustees unanimously approved amending the budget to fund an internal auditor’s position by using extra state revenue or by further reducing district-wide expenses.  The board then unanimously approved second reading of the FY12 General Fund Budget as amended.  The third and final reading of the budget is scheduled on May 23.  Details of the budget can be found in the May 16 Board Packet.
AR Lewis Receives Awards for School Communications
May 11, 2011
The South Carolina chapter of the National School Public Relations Association (SCNSPRA) honored A.R. Lewis Elementary with two awards for exemplary works in school communications.  In the 2011 Rewards for Excellence program, the school received a Golden Achievement Award for Math Superstars Family Night and a Publications and Electronic Media Award for the A.R. Lewis Elementary All-Stars Weekly.  Dr. Tom Polidor, principal, accepted the awards in Columbia on May 6.  Pictured with Dr. Polidor is Libby Roof, SC/NSPRA President.  Congratulations to everyone at A.R. Lewis!


Thank You to Our School Nurses!
May 11, 2011
What profession combines being the school health expert, working across a broad spectrum of demographics, working with children and families and coordinating the health and wellness of the entire school community? If you guessed school nurse, you’re correct!

May 11 is National School Nurse Day. School nurses share a unique passion to promote health and provide high quality care to students and their families. They are innovative and resilient, despite hard economic times and less than desirable staffing scenarios, and always have the best interest of children first.  All the SDPC school nurses help support student success, so give them your thanks today—and every day! School Nurse Day website... SDPC School NursesGovernor’s Proclamation for School Nurse Day

EHS Students Excel on Spanish Exam
May 12, 2011
Congratulations to four world language students from Easley High School who attained national recognition for excellent performance on the 2011 National Spanish Examinations. Austin Kunzler (left) and Hannah Hansen (center) earned silver, Rebecca Pack (right) and Monica Vite earned bronze placement. Ten other students received honorable mention. The examinations are the largest of their kind in the United States with well over 140,000 students participating this year.


New Website Helps Teachers Find Jobs
May 10, 2011
The Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (CERRA) has launched a new website - TEACHSC.org - to improve the job search process for educator applicants and assist the state’s school districts that access information from the website. The site features the South Carolina Online Educator Employment and Certification System, which is a common application recognized by each district in the state, and an online job vacancy database that displays positions in many districts across the state. The website also connects with the United States Department of Education’s TEACH campaign. CERRA News Release

LES Wins With Classworks
May 10, 2011
Elaine Dacus' essay recently received Honorable Mention in the Win with Classworks! contest.  Liberty Elementary will receive a $75 gift card to Best Buy. The essay described ways that LES has implemented Classworks, a self-paced online learning tool, into the curriculum and how much her students enjoy the program and look forward to using it. Liberty ES used Classworks more than any school in the district and had the highest percentage of students scoring “mastery.”  Read the essay at the Classworks website; scroll down to the essay winners and click on Liberty Elementary School. Congratulations!

PASS Testing Underway
May 6, 2011
The Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (PASS), a statewide assessment program based on the South Carolina Curriculum Standards, will be administered to students statewide in grades 3-8 on May 9 and May 11-13.  PASS is a rigorous testing program designed to measure the achievement levels of South Carolina students. PASS includes tests in writing (previously administered in March), English language arts (reading and research), mathematics, science, and social studies. PASS test results will be used for school and school district accountability as well as for federal accountability (No Child Left Behind). PASS 2011 Schedule ... PASS Information from the South Carolina Department of Education






Rolling Forward on "Chastain's Road to Reading"
May 5, 2011
Students, SDPC employees, parents and community members are on a mission – a mission to ensure that Chastain Elementary students have a well-stocked media center when the new school opens in September.  Organized by the Liberty Elementary PTO and School Improvement Council, “Chastain’s Road to Reading” is a fundraising campaign with the goal of raising $80,000 to purchase library books. 

Among the fundraisers planned for “Chastain’s Road to Reading” are a Corporate & Civic Challenge and Adopt-a-BookSponsorships in the Corporate & Civic Challenge range from $2500 for “Nobel Level” to $100 for “Classic Level.”  Individuals or groups may also make online donations through the Adopt-a-Book program at http://www.titlewish.com/cre.   For each donation made in someone’s memory or honor, a personalized nameplate will be placed in a new book.  The online site is safe, and all donations go directly to the purchase of books.

This is a great opportunity for civic groups, book clubs, businesses and individuals to provide children with books.  Help us continue rolling along "Chastain's Road to Reading."  News Release


Building Futures Program on Schedule
May 6, 2011
In his April 30 report, Bob Folkman, building program administrator, says that progress on all projects in the Building Futures facilities program “remains strong, schedules remain optimistic, project budgets continue to be stable and cost projection through completion remain realistic. The building program is 53% complete.” 
 
Seven new schools are on track to open for classes as scheduled: Pickens High, Liberty High, Dacusville Elementary, Chastain Road Elementary and the Pickens County Career & Technology Center in September 2011; Easley High in January 2012; and Daniel High in August 2012.  Dacusville Elementary will hold its dedication ceremony on May 21; other dedication ceremonies are scheduled in the fall.

Career Center Students Win SC Culinary Arts Competition
May 9, 2011
At the 2011 Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America state Culinary Arts Competition, BJ Skelton Career Center Culinary Arts students Kelly Hunter (center) and Moriah Hughes (right), both seniors at Pickens High, won first place and will each receive a $1000 renewable scholarship to Johnson and Wales University and a $1000 renewable scholarship to Art Institute.   During the competition Corey Fox (left), also a Pickens High senior, won second place and will receive a $750 renewable scholarship to Johnson and Wales University and a $750 renewable scholarship to Art Institute.  All three plan on continuing their education in the culinary field.  Congratulations!

Skelton Career Center Students Win SkillsUSA Competitions
May 9, 2011
B.J. Skelton Career Center students excelled again this year in the annual State SkillsUSA competition held at the Carolina First Center in Greenville April 1 and 2.   The eleven first place winners will represent the career center, the School District of Pickens County and the state of South Carolina at the National SkillsUSA Competition June 20 – 25 in Kansas City.  Two of these students, Emily Rochester (junior at Daniel High) and Lakota Armstrong (senior at Easley High) are returning state champions.  In addition, BJ Skelton students had fifteen second place winners and six third place winners. B. J. Skelton Career Center List of Winners



Career Center Students Place Second in State Competition
May 9, 2011
B. J. Skelton Career Center Auto Tech students Dean Gochneaur (Pickens High) and Emily Orr (Daniel High) competed in the State Ford/AAA Auto Skills competition in Charlotte, NC,  finishing second in the state.  The Ford AAA Auto Skills competition gives auto tech students the opportunity to showcase their automotive problem-solving capabilities by resolving “real world” repair challenges in a timed, head-to-head match-up of top teams from South Carolina.  As a result of their second place finish, Emily and Dean will each receive the following scholarships:  From Universal Technical Institute - $5000, From Nashville Auto-Diesel College – $6,000, Ford ASSET or FACT scholarship (full tuition to a FACT or ASSET program), and Ohio Technical College - $8000. Congratulations to you both!
SDPC Employees Donate Over $10,000 for Scholarships
May 6, 2011
The SDPC Teacher Forum raised $5,070 in the annual It’s in the Genes Day scholarship fundraiser.  Approximately $10,700 has been raised in this year's fall and spring fundraisers.  Funds will be used to award scholarships to teacher cadets who have now enrolled in college with education as their declared major.  The SDPC Teacher Forum will announce scholarship winners by the end of May.  Thanks to all SDPC staff who helped to support the Teacher Seed Fund and It’s in the Genes Day fundraisers this year.




LHS Coach Named Region 1 AA Coach of the Year
May 6, 2011
Coach Bob Davis, Liberty High School, was named the Boys Track Region 1 AA Coach of the Year. Congratulations, Coach Davis!








Ambler's Tina Kelly Honored for Excellence in Counseling
May 4, 2011
Congratulations to Tina Kelly, Ambler Elementary counselor, who has received the 2011 HEART Award for excellence in elementary school counseling.  Each year the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, in collaboration with the South Carolina Department of Education, honors a South Carolina counselor at each level -- elementary, middle, high -- for contributions to their students, their schools, and their communities.  Kelly will be recognized on May 17 at a banquet at the Columbia Museum of Art.  She will receive a $1500 cash award and a $3500 incentive grant for use in the school's counseling program.  We're proud of you, Mrs. Kelly!  News Release
Graybeal Is South Carolina's Recipient of Abraham Lincoln Fellowship
May 4, 2011
Daniel Graybeal, an Easley High School social studies teacher, is the South Carolina recipient of a Horace Mann-Abraham Lincoln Fellowship. Horace Mann Agent Chris Hayes made the surprise announcement and presentation to Graybeal at a faculty meeting on April 26.  The Fellowship Program includes round-trip transportation, lodging and most meals for the week-long institute.  The fifty fellowship recipients are selected based on their resume and answers to essay questions.  Judges are other educators.  Congratulations, Mr. Graybeal!  News Release from Horace Mann


Skelton Career Center, Pickens High Recognized for Achievement
May 4, 2011
At the April 25 board meeting, Pickens High School Principal Marion Lawson and B.J. Skelton Career Center Director Leonard Williams were recognized for their schools' achievements in the Palmetto Gold and Palmetto Silver awards program.  The career center received a Palmetto Gold award for academic achievement, and Pickens High received a Palmetto Silver award for closing achievement gaps.  Announcement of these awards was delayed until after high school/career center report cards were compiled and issued.  Palmetto Gold and Silver awards for the state’s elementary, middle and special schools were announced in January, and principals were recognized at the February board meeting.
Exam Schedule for Second Semester Released
May 3, 2011
The exam schedule for the second semester of the 2010-2011 school year has been released. May 27, May 31, and June 1-2 are designated as exam days for middle and high schools. Seniors will take exams May 23-26. On May 31, June 1, and June 2 elementary students dismiss at 11:00 a.m.; secondary students will dismiss around 11:50 a.m. when busses have completed their elementary school routes.

Breakfast will be served on shortened days; however, lunch will not be served. Because lunch will not be served, students are encouraged to eat school breakfast.

The exam schedule can also be found under the Upcoming link along the top of our home page. Exam schedule

Artwork by PES Student Added to Superintendent’s Art Gallery
May 2, 2011
Katie Anderson, a first grade student at Pickens Elementary School, presented her artwork, entitled “Rainbow Seahorse,” as the latest addition to the Superintendent’s Art Gallery. The gallery has artwork chosen from the Pickens County Youth Arts display at the Pickens County Museum.  Ms. Anderson’s artwork is the sixth addition to the gallery and the first artwork by an elementary school student. Her art teacher is Susan Bridges-Smith.  News Release




Board Approves First Reading of FY12 Budget
April 27, 2011
On April 25, the board approved first reading of the superintendent’s recommended 2011-2012 General Fund Budget. The $95,302,725 budget maintains the current pupil-teacher ratio of 21.5 to 1, middle school resource officers, and programs at Simpson Alternative Center.  Increases in health insurance, utilities, and property insurance have been budgeted.  Funding for Chastain Road Elementary, a contingency for operating new facilities, and a general contingency have also been included.

The budget has been balanced by eliminating 50.5 positions, reducing supply allocations, eliminating funding for non-revenue sports, and using teacher supply card funding for salaries. Overall expenditures have been reduced from FY11 by $2,811,258.

The public hearing and second reading of the budget will be held on May 16.  Third reading and final approval is scheduled on May 23. 
Summary of FY12 Budget 
Next Steps Newsletter Available
April 26, 2011
The new Next Steps whole school reform newsletter is now available online through the SC Department of Education website.  The newsletter focuses on the Making Middle Grades Work, High Schools That Work, and Career and Technology Centers That Work programs to support career pathways.

LMS Student Places Third in National Poster Contest
April 26, 2011
Congratulations to Joshua Shuman, sixth grader at Liberty Middle School, chosen as the third place winner in the National Career Development Month Poetry and Poster Contest.  Joshua’s careers teacher, Ms. Deborah Lynn Dickerson, had students participate in the “Celebrating My Dreams” poster contest as part of Career Development Month this past November.  Joshua’s poster won second place in the state competition before it was entered in the national competition. Way to go, Joshua!



Board Will Meet at Career Center
April 21, 2011
The April 25th meeting of the SDPC Board of Trustees will be held at the career center. Executive session will be at 6:00 p.m., and the public session will be at 7:00 p.m.
Support the Teacher Forum Scholarship Fund
April 25, 2011
The SDPC Teacher Forum is giving employees a chance to support teacher cadets who plan to enter the education field.   The annual It’s in the Genes Day helps fund scholarships for teacher cadets who will enroll in college with education as their declared major. Employees can pay $5 or more and wear jeans on Thursday, May 5. Teachers of the year at each school will collect the money. Last year the Teacher Forum raised more than $9,000 for scholarships. Flier




All SDPC Schools & Offices Closed on April 18-22
April 17, 2011
All SDPC schools and offices will be closed on April 18 through 22 for spring break. Students and staff will return on Monday, April 25, which is an inclement weather make-up day.




Trash Bash Celebrates with West End Third Graders
April 20, 2011
During February and March, the 2011 Traveling Trash Bash visited all the elementary schools in Pickens County. Organized by the Pickens County Beautification and Environmental Advisory Committee, an all-volunteer group, the Trash Bash uses hands-on activities to make a difference in the environmental education and outlook of the children in Pickens County. Every year, the group challenges the students to go home, talk with their families, decide on some kind of an environmental project or task they can do at home, and return a parent-signed form describing their project.  Anytime an individual class has 100% of the forms returned, the group provides ice cream for the entire class.
 
This year, something happened that has never happened before.  Every single student in every third grade class at one of the schools returned the forms!  At West End Elementary all SIX third grade classes returned the forms!!! The ice cream celebration at West End Friday on April 15 let the students know what a great thing they have done and also focused attention on the 10th anniversary year of the Trash Bash.  Slideshow

WYFF4 Special Includes Interviews & Footage from SDPC
April 15, 2011
The next edition of the WYFF4 news magazine Chronicle will take the most comprehensive look at the current state of public education undertaken by a television station in South Carolina. Chronicle: The State of Education, a one-hour special broadcast, will air on Monday, April 25, 2011 at 8 p.m. on WYFF 4. The report investigates whether public schools are making the grade in tough times. The show will be hosted by WYFF 4’s Jane Robelot, with WYFF News 4’s Tim Waller as the lead reporter in the investigation of what’s really happening in South Carolina classrooms.
 
The report includes interviews with Dr. Henry Hunt, SDPC superintendent, and Dr. Danny Merck, Easley High principal. The show will also include footage shot at Easley High, at West End Elementary and at SDPC Board of Trustees meetings. An encore presentation of Chronicle: The State of Education will be broadcast Saturday evening, April 30 at 7 p.m. WYFF 4 News Release

SDPC Accepting Bids on Kitchen Equipment
April 15, 2011
The School District of Pickens County is accepting bids for surplus kitchen equipment.  Items include walk-in coolers, a walk-in freezer, three deep fryers, a 60-gallon mixer, a braising pan, a tray line, two exhaust hoods, a 20-gallon mixer, a 4-door storage cabinet, a 3-compartment sink, a work table, and two exhaust hoods.  Closing date for the bidding is April 26, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. For details and information, go to Procurement—Solicitations & Awards on the SDPC website.


SDPC FIRST Robotics Team 2751 Declared Regional Champions
April 12, 2011
We are pleased to announce the SDPC FIRST Robotics Team 2751 returned from the North Carolina Regional competition this past weekend as regional champions. As champions out of the field of 53 high school teams, Team 2751 qualifies for the FIRST Robotics Championships to be held in St. Louis from April 27-30. The North Carolina Regional competition was held in Raleigh last Friday and Saturday. Congratulations to all the team members and mentors on this accomplishment!





We Remember Former Superintendent Gettys
April 11, 2011
The SDPC family mourns the loss of Richard H. Gettys. He was principal at Easley Junior High and Easley High School before serving as superintendent from 1991-1994. Richard H. Gettys Middle School is named in his honor. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time.



SDPC Invites Public Input for Federal Projects
April 11, 2011
The School District of Pickens County invites public input regarding its 2011-2012 federal projects.  A public meeting is scheduled at the Curtis Sidden Administrative Building at 1348 Griffin Mill Road, Easley on May 6, 2011 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.   The meeting will focus on the Title II project on Teacher Quality, the Title III project regarding English Speakers of Other Languages and the Carl D. Perkins Vocational-Technical Education Act and the McKinney-Vento legislation regarding homeless children.  The meeting will also focus on the Title 1 project entitled “Improving the Achievement of the Disadvantaged.”  The Title I project serves students in schools that have the highest percentage of students receiving free or reduced lunch and who may, therefore, be at a disadvantage educationally in the areas of English language arts and mathematics.  If you would like to comment on these projects, please send your comments in writing to Sharon Duffy, 1348 Griffin Mill Road, Easley, SC  29640.  You may also send comments by email to Ms. Duffy at sharonduffy@pickens.k12.sc.us.

Turner Named Superintendent in Orangeburg
April 8, 2011
Brenda Turner, assistant superintendent of instructional services, has been named superintendent of Orangeburg Consolidated School District 4.  The Orangeburg board announced its decision following a meeting last night. “I am excited to have the opportunity to work with the Orangeburg 4 staff and to serve the parents and students,” said Turner.  “I envision a bright and promising future for Orangeburg 4 and for our students.  Individually and as a team, our focus will be the pursuit of excellence with an emphasis on high student achievement.” Turner became assistant superintendent of instructional services for the School District of Pickens County in July 2007.  She had previously worked for over six years in district administration in Lexington School District Two.
 
Dr. Henry Hunt, SDPC superintendent, said, “I want to wish Mrs. Turner much success as she takes this new step in her career.  Orangeburg 4 is fortunate to have her as its leader.  For the past four years, Mrs. Turner has worked tirelessly to provide a sound instructional program for the students of Pickens County, and I am sure she will continue to do this in her new position.” According to Hunt, reorganization plans for the district administration are being developed. News Release

PES Featured in Upstate Parent Magazine
April 8, 2011
Pickens Elementary and third-grade teacher Marge Moon are featured in the April issue of the regional publication Upstate Parent. The article, "Watch it Grow!" is all about gardening with kids. The HOPE Garden at Pickens Elementary is a 9,000 sq. ft. living classroom that occupies one courtyard at the school.  The garden was designed by PES students in 2000 to reflect the natural habitats of Pickens County.  The garden contains over 150 different plant species, many of which are native to this region of South Carolina.  The garden is used by the whole school and is maintained by Ms. Moon’s students. Congratulations!


Two SDPC Schools Earn Palmetto Gold and Silver
April 6, 2011
Two more SDPC schools – B.J. Skelton Career Center and Pickens High School – have earned recognition in the Palmetto Gold and Palmetto Silver awards program.  The South Carolina Department of Education announced today that the career center has received a Palmetto Gold award for academic achievement.  Schools received general awards for overall performance based on both their absolute and growth ratings and the growth index found on school report cards.  Also announced is the news that Pickens High has received a Palmetto Silver award for closing achievement gaps.  High schools received closing the achievement gap awards for on-time graduation rate performance by students who fall into four subgroups – African-American students, Hispanic students, students participating in federal free or reduced-price lunch programs and students with non-speech disabilities. 
 
Announcement of these awards was delayed until after high school/career center report cards were compiled and issued.  Palmetto Gold and Silver awards for the state’s elementary, middle and special schools were announced in January of this year. News Release

Position Eliminations Will Impact Everyone
April 5, 2011
Dr. Hunt has provided employees and community members with details about board action eliminating 84 positions in the School District of Pickens County. 

In an email to employees and an op-ed submitted to local papers, Dr. Hunt said, “I presented the board with a plan that could provide a balanced budget with the least impact to our instructional program while also preserving jobs.  I asked the board to use $1.3 million of the General Fund reserve to maintain all assistant principals, all guidance counselors, all media specialists, and all reading interventionists.  The board did not approve my recommendation…."

"The budget has not been approved – only position eliminations have been approved.  The process will continue with a workshop on April 11.  The situation can always change, but we will move forward with the RIF process based on the board’s action last.  I feel this is the only fair way to treat our employees….Everyone in the district – staff and students – is impacted in some way.  Please continue to keep everyone in your thoughts and prayers.” 

Read Dr. Hunt’s Op-Ed ... Cost Reductions/Position Eliminations Since 2008

April 4 Board Meeting Time Changed
March 29, 2011
The next SDPC Board of Trustees meeting will be a called meeting on Monday, April 4 at Liberty Middle School Auditorium.  The board will convene the meeting at 6:00 p.m. for public input. Check for the most recent agenda under Board of Trustees/Meetings on the SDPC website.


We’re Building Futures!
April 4, 2011
As of the end of March, our entire Building Futures program is more than 50% complete! Five schools--Pickens High, Liberty High, Dacusville Elementary, Chastain Road Elementary, and the Pickens County Career & Technology Center--are on track to open for classes this September. The remaining two new schools are also on schedule; Easley High is due to open in January 2012 and Daniel High in August 2012. Renovation projects at McKissick Elementary and Edwards Middle should be complete by the end of the year.
 
You can read more about our progress on the Building Futures website at the “Building Progress” Updates page. We will post an update each month. You can also follow the links on the left of the home page to see floor plans and pictures of the construction or renovation at each school. Watch us as we build futures for the students of Pickens County! March 2011 Building Progress Update

Elementary Choral Festival Concert on Thursday
March 30, 2011
The annual School District of Pickens County Elementary Choral Festival will be held on Thursday, March 31 at Brushy Creek Baptist Church in Easley. Under the direction of Alan Reed, more than 300 children representing each of the district’s 15 elementary schools will participate in a day-long choral workshop and evening concert. At the concert, children will perform multicultural, folk, spiritual, and patriotic music. The free concert will take place at 7:00 p.m. March 31 in the Brushy Creek Baptist Church sanctuary. The public is invited.

SDPC Calendar Revised After Four Inclement Weather Days Waived
April 1, 2011
Pickens County students will not be required to make up all six days missed this year because of inclement weather.  At the March 28 meeting, the board approved waiving four days. Students will make up one day on Monday, April 25 as originally scheduled.  Earlier in March, they made up another one of the six days. Adjustments have also been made to scheduled half days.  Students will attend half days on May 31, June 1, and June 2.  The final day for students will be the half day on June 2.  News ReleaseRevised 2010-2011 Calendar




SDPC Board Meeting Location Changed
March 25, 2011
The SDPC Board of Trustees meeting on Monday, March 28, will be held at 7:00 p.m. at the B.J. Skelton Career Center, 1400 Griffin Mill Road, Easley. The board packet is available under Board of Trustees/Meetings.

LunchBox Access Restored
March 17, 2011
The  upgrade of the LunchBox system that allows parents to access and manage a student’s lunch account online is complete. Internet access to student accounts through the Student Nutrition Services website has been restored. If you have questions, you may contact Student Nutrition Services at 397-1167.




Shine the Spotlight on Our Schools
March 28, 2011
You can find out what’s happening at our schools several ways. You can visit each school’s website and explore the announcements, newsletter, classrooms, and other links. From the SDPC website choose Our Schools/Websites for links to school websites.
 
You can also check out the Spotlight on Schools from the SDPC website—go to Our Schools/Spotlight on Schools. There you’ll find brief news stories and pictures of events at our schools, submitted by a School Communications Team member at each school. And don’t forget to click over to Building Futures from the SDPC website to learn more about the construction of our seven new schools!

Most Improved Seniors Named
March 25, 2011
The Pickens Area Society for Human Resource Management recently honored four SDPC seniors with the 2011 J.B. “Red” Owens Most Improved Student Award. Award recipients are Timothy Merrell (Pickens High), Shannon Sauer (Easley High), Alexica Thomason (Liberty High) and Andrea Starnes (Daniel High). Congratulations to these outstanding students! Slideshow





DHS Absolute Rating Corrected to Excellent
March 24, 2011
Daniel High School is one of fifteen high schools and four school districts that saw their 2010 report card ratings improve after the South Carolina Department of Education discovered inaccuracies in their ratings.  The schools and districts were affected by “rounding” errors, SDE officials said.  In the case of the high schools, their absolute index scores of 3.399 should have been rounded up to 3.40, the minimum necessary for an Excellent rating.  After the inaccuracy was corrected, the DHS Absolute rating was upgraded from Good to Excellent.  The SDE said that the schools’ and districts’ online report cards would be revised to reflect their improved ratings.
SDPC Retirees Honored
March 23, 2011
Retired employees from all over the School District of Pickens County are returning to school this month to celebrate their many contributions to our district. The schools and facilities of SDPC will each hold a special "Welcome Back" event for retired employees.  We recognize the many retired members of the SDPC family and thank you for all you've done to help us build success beyond the classroom! Pictured are Mrs. Avannah Lewis, Dr. Danny Merck, and members of the Easley HS leadership class who served lunch to the EHS retirees.



Dacusville MS Reads Across America
March 21, 2011
Students at Dacusville Middle joined more than 45 million readers across the country in celebrating the ninth annual National Education Association's (NEA) Read Across America Day on March 18. The goal of the Read Across America celebration is to show students the joy of reading and build a nation of readers. The day-long celebration at DMS included more than 50 readers from the upstate area—including teachers, authors, athletes, law enforcement officers, ministers, and businessmen. Slideshow




SDPC Ratings on SC Report Card Improve
March 17, 2011
Both the Absolute rating and the Growth rating on the School District of Pickens County’s annual report card improved from Average to Good.  2010 ratings were the highest since the district began a decline from Excellent/Excellent on the 2004 report card. “The district ratings affirm that everyone is working together and making student achievement a priority,” said Dr. Henry Hunt, superintendent.  “In the past few years, we’ve concentrated on professional development to help teachers analyze data and then target instruction to students’ strengths and weaknesses.  Increased achievement has been the result.”

On high school report cards, Easley, Liberty, Pickens and the career center maintained their Absolute ratings.  Daniel dropped one step from Excellent to Good.  Growth ratings for each of the four high schools fell from the 2009 rating of Good. Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services Brenda Turner said, “Although high school ratings didn’t improve, strong teaching and learning are taking place.  All high schools have implemented the High Schools That Work strategies to increase rigor and expectations.” News Release2010 SDPC Report Card  … 2010 Report Card Statistics …  2008-2010 Comparison2009-2010 Comparison

SDPC Students and Their Teacher Winners in Essay Contest
March 16, 2011
The SC Dialogue Foundation recently honored 6 SDPC students and one teacher as winners in the Art & Essay Contest. Students entered essays that address the theme “Empathy: Walking in Another’s Shoes.” Essay winners in the middle school division, all from Gettys Middle, were 3rd place winner Hallie Smith, 5th place winner Wesley Sutton, and Honorable Mention winners Lindsay Ferrell, Luke Ross and Breanna Mikell.  Elizabeth Cison, Easley High, placed fifth in the high school division and also placed fifth in the overall regional competition of five southeastern states. In addition, Tiffany Ackerman, Gettys Middle, was honored with the Outstanding Teacher Award. Congratulations!

Administration Recommends FY11-12 General Fund Budget Options
March 15, 2011
Dr. Hunt presented the administration’s initial 2011-2012 General Fund recommendations at a budget workshop on March 14.  “We do not have final budget figures from the General Assembly, and the Education Finance Act of 2011 could change the way South Carolina schools are financed,” said Hunt.  “Because of so many unknowns, information can change and will in all likelihood change.  Our first goal is student achievement, and we have kept that goal foremost in planning.”  Among Dr. Hunt’s recommendations are implementing furlough days, eliminating teacher supply cards, eliminating funding for non-revenue sports, implementing instructional fees, and increasing student/teacher ratio to 22:1.  The SDPC principals have endorsed the recommendations.   Superintendent's Recommended Budget
PASS Writing Assessment Begins March 22
March 15, 2011
The Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (PASS) writing tests will be administered to all fifth and eighth graders in South Carolina on March 22 and March 23. In addition to writing, PASS includes tests in English language arts, math, science and social studies.  Those tests will be administered to students in grades three through eight on May 9, 11, 12, and 13.

The writing test will consist of one extended-response item administered on the first day and multiple-choice items administered on the second day.  Each student’s extended response will be scored in four domains:  content and development, organization, voice, and conventions.  News Release ... PASS Information from SDE

Report to the Community Published Online
March 14, 2011
As mandated by the Educational Improvement Act of 1984, each school district in South Carolina must publish by April 30th an annual report detailing financial and academic information for the preceding academic year.  We are pleased to present the 2009-2010 Report to the Community.

To save costs, we will only print a limited number of hard copies.  We hope that our community members will access the electronic publication to see summaries of our academic achievement, finances, successes and building program.




SDPC Students Semifinalists in SC Geography Bee
March 14, 2011
Two SDPC students, fifth grader Preston Finley from Six Mile Elementary and seventh grader Samuel Greene from Liberty Middle, have been notified by the National Geographic Society that they are semifinalists in the 2011 South Carolina Geography Bee. Each school-level winner took a test and submitted it to the National Geographic Society to qualify.  The National Geographic Society invited the students with the top 100 scores to compete at the state level. The 2011 South Carolina Geographic Bee will be held at the SC State Museum in Columbia on Friday, April 1. Congratulations to you both!

Mrs. Debbie Ellison (sponsor)
Preston Finley
Six Mile Elementary
Samuel Greene
Liberty Middle

Wear Jeans and Support Chastain Road ES
March 9, 2011
The PTO and School Improvement Council at Liberty Elementary School are heading up a fundraiser to buy books for the media center at Chastain Road Elementary School.  We want to give support to SDPC’s new school, so please join us as we raise money.
 
To get things started, next Wednesday, March 16, will be a district-wide “Jeans Day.”  For a $5 donation SDPC staff can wear jeans on March 16. Give your cash or check donation to your school’s bookkeeper.  Make checks payable to your school.
 
We will have more fundraisers as the year progresses, so look for more information in upcoming issues of Connecting… and on the Liberty Elementary website.  Click on the “Chastain’s Road to Reading” link on the top right.  Jeans Day Flier

SC Teacher of the Year to Speak to Teacher Forum
March 3, 2011
Kelly Nalley, the current SC Teacher of the Year, will be the guest speaker at the SDPC Teacher Forum meeting on March 10 at 4:00.  The meeting has been moved to the Career Center because of roof problems at Central Services. Teacher Forum members and induction teachers have been invited to this special opportunity to hear Kelly speak about her experiences as South Carolina’s public education ambassador. Read more about Kelly and her career as a teacher at the SC FutureMinds and CERRA websites.

LunchBox Program Updates on March 14
March 8, 2011
SDPC Student Nutrition Services is upgrading the current LunchBox program.  The upgrade will go live on Monday, March 14.  After the upgrade, only a history of LunchBox transactions from March 14 forward will be available; parents will not have access to a report of transaction histories prior to the upgrade. Parents who want to see older transactions should download or review an online report before Friday, March11.  If you have questions, you may contact our Student Nutrition Services at 397-1167.



DHS Volleyball Coach Named SC Coach of the Year
March 8, 2011
Congratulations to Joy Stewart, volleyball coach at Daniel High School, for being named SC Coach of the Year by the National Coaches Federation.  This organization picks one coach from each state for this honor.  The winning coach is then entered into a Regional (Southeastern) category and, finally, a National Coach of the Year is then chosen. Coach Stewart has led the Lions volleyball team to two straight Region titles and to the state championship in 2009. Great job, Coach Stewart!




Become a School Breakfast Detective
March 7, 2011
National School Breakfast Week is March 7-11, and Pickens County schools will be celebrating with this year’s theme--School Breakfast Detectives: The Search for Super Energy!  Sponsored by the School Nutrition Associations (SNA), National School Breakfast Week (NSBW) was launched in 1989 to raise awareness of the availability of the School Breakfast Program (SBP) to all children.

This year’s campaign allows students to "clue into" the importance of school breakfast and will demonstrate how eating school breakfast prepares students for a busy day at school. At the SNA website students can enter a design contest or work a number of nutrition puzzles so they can become school breakfast detectives for themselves.

We’re Building Futures!
March 4, 2011
As of the end of February, our entire Building Futures program is nearly 50% complete! Five schools--Pickens High, Liberty High, Dacusville Elementary, Chastain Road Elementary, and the Pickens County Career & Technology Center--are on track to open for classes this September. The remaining two new schools are also on schedule; Easley High is due to open in January 2012 and Daniel High in August 2012. Renovation projects at McKissick Elementary and Edwards Middle should be complete by the end of the year.
 
You can read more about our progress on the Building Futures website at the “Building Progress” Updates page. We will post an update each month. You can also follow the links on the left of the home page to see floor plans and pictures of the construction or renovation at each school. Watch us as we build futures for the students of Pickens County! February 2011 Building Progress Update

Bojangles' Honors Sheila Beasley
March 4, 2011
SDPC Teacher of the Year Sheila Beasley was all smiles as she accepted dozens of books from Bojangles’ on March 4.  The presentation, part of a partnership with South Carolina Future Minds, honors teachers across the state who make a positive impact on their students and the future of South Carolina through their commitment to education.  To honor achievements of every district teacher of the year, Bojangles’ is donating more than 3000 books to media centers throughout the state.  Along with East End Principal Tammy Day, Mrs. Beasley’s husband, mother, and sister joined her at the Easley restaurant.  Becky Ross, Anderson 1 Teacher of the Year, was also honored.  Slideshow
Youth Arts 2011 Award Winners Announced
March 4, 2011
Congratulations to this year’s Pickens County Cultural Commission Awards for Youth Arts!  Winners in the High School Division are 1st place—Megan Tomberlin from Pickens High; 2nd place--Easley High School's Althea Knapp; 3rd place—Sinead Haughey from Daniel High School; and Honorable Mention--Liberty High School's Conner Mann.
 
In the Middle School Division, awards went to 1st place--Edwards Middle School's Seth Turner; 2nd place—C. J. Roach from Dacusville Middle School; 3rd place--Gettys Middle School's Angie Padgett; and Honorable Mention—Anaston Broom from Pickens Middle School.
 
All participating students in the Elementary School Division received an Award of Participation from the museum and the participating schools.

The 708 pieces of artwork by SDPC students will be on display at the Pickens County Museum through March 24. Contact the museum at (864) 898-5963 for more information.
Slideshow ... Pickens County Museum News Release

District Winners in State Writing Program Announced
March 3, 2011
Paul Greenstein and Emma Gravely have been named district winners in the 2010-2011 State Superintendent’s Writing Awards Program.  Paul, an eighth-grade student at Edwards Middle School, and Emma,a fifth grader at Pickens Elementary School, will receive plaques recognizing them as district winners at a state-wide awards ceremony.  The ceremony will be held in Columbia in May.  Congratulations to both Paul and Emma!  News Release ... Paul's Essay ... Emma's Essay




PHS Coach Chosen as AAA Coach of the Year
March 2, 2011
Congratulations to Pickens High School Coach Butch Morris, selected as the girls basketball Region I AAA Coach of the Year for 2010-2011.  Coach Morris has also been selected to coach in the North/South All Star basketball game this year.  He has been coaching the girls basketball team at PHS since 2000 and has made the playoffs every year.





Principals Honored for Palmetto Gold and Silver Recognition
March 1, 2011
At their February meeting the SDPC Board of Trustees recognized the Palmetto Gold and Silver award schools. The awards recognize schools for general school performance as well as for progress in closing achievement gaps.  This year, twelve elementary and middle schools received awards in either general performance or in closing achievement gaps.  Eight of those schools received awards in both parts of the recognition program.  Awards for high schools and career centers have not yet been announced.
 
Pictured with their awards are  principals Darian Byrd, Forest Acres; Gary Culler, Edwards; Carlton Lewis, Ambler; Tracy Boyles, Crosswell; Ken Weichel, Clemson; Donna Harden, Holly Springs; Tammy Day, East End; Karen Jackson, Hagood; Tom Polidor, A.R. Lewis; Clif Alexander, Six Mile; and Andy Hooker, Dacusville Middle. Lowell Haynes, Liberty Elementary, was not present.

Music Lasts a Lifetime
March 1, 2011
March is Music In Our Schools Month (MIOSM®). The purpose of MIOSM is to raise awareness of the importance of music education for all children – and to remind citizens that school is where all children should have access to music.
 
Schools and communities throughout our district, state, country and even overseas celebrate MIOSM with concerts and other activities based on this year's theme: Music Lasts a Lifetime. The celebration includes the World's Largest Concert (WLC), which airs on SC ETV March 10. This sing-along concert links 6 million students, teachers and music supporters around the world through music. MIOSM Website

SDPC Board Meeting Time Changed
February 25, 2011
The board of trustees has approved a new meeting time effective February 28. All regular monthly meetings are now scheduled at 7:00 p.m. rather than 7:30 p.m. as in the past.  Meetings are held at the Curtis A. Sidden Administration Building, 1348 Griffin Mill Road, Easley.  Please check the website calendar for times of called meetings or changes to the regular schedule. Because of roofing problems in the boardroom, the meeting on February 28 will be held at the B.J. Skelton Career Center, 1400 Griffin Mill Road, in the multi-purpose room.

Trash Bash Travels to SDPC Schools
February 28, 2011
The 2011 Traveling Trash Bash will be visiting all the elementary schools in Pickens County during February and March. Organized by the Beautification and Environmental Advisory Committee, an all-volunteer group, the Trash Bash uses hands-on activities to make a difference in the environmental education and outlook of the children in Pickens County.  Slideshow of Trash Bash at A.R. Lewis Elementary





Four Students Named National Merit Finalists
February 25, 2011
SDPC is proud to recognize the National Merit finalists from our district. Of the more than 50,000 students nationwide who qualify for the National Merit Scholarship, about 16,000 are named semifinalists. Of that group, approximately 15,000 qualify as finalists.  Scholarships will be awarded to around 8,400 finalists. This year’s finalists from SDPC are Connor Beckerle, Fouzan Alam, Wimberly Miles, and Nathan Sitaraman from Daniel High School. Congratulations!




Pickens County Youth Arts Month
February 23, 2011
March is Youth Arts month as well as Music in our Schools month. SDPC will join the Pickens County Museum of Art & History in celebrating Youth Arts Month with a reception at the museum on Saturday, February 26 from 1:00 until 4:00 p.m. A special presentation for our elementary schools will be made at 1:30 p.m.; an awards ceremony for the middle and high schools will be held at 2:30 p.m.
 
Student works from SDPC art programs will be on display beginning February 26 and continuing through March 24. The Pickens County Museum is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.; Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.; and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. For more information, contact the museum at (864) 898-5963.

Dacusville ES Dedication Date Set
February 28, 2011
Save the date! The dedication of the first of five new schools to open this fall is planned for Saturday, May 21 at Dacusville Elementary. The celebration begins at the current Dacusville Elementary, 2671 Earls Bridge Road, Easley. Dacusville Elementary, home to students for more than 100 years, invites everyone to a school homecoming from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. At 2:00 p.m. the activities move to the new building at 200 Cherokee Trail, Easley, for a ribbon cutting and open house. Contact Dacusville Elementary at 859-7429 for more information.



EHS Coach Chosen as Basketball Coach of the Year
February 25, 2011
Coach Grant Stallard, Easley High, has been chosen as the Region I, AAAA Boys Basketball Coach of the Year. Congratulations, Coach Stallard!








SDPC Students Selected for Young Writers’ Conference
February 23, 2011
Ten SDPC students will be among a select group of South Carolina’s finest young authors at the 2011 Young Writers’ Conference on March 19.  In addition to participating in small group sessions of sharing and learning with other young writers, the students can also attend large group sessions featuring nationally recognized authors and/or illustrators.  Scheduled to appear are James Ransome, Lisa Ransome, Steven Swinburne, Anthony Fredericks and Sneed B. Collard, III.
 
After reading stories submitted for the competition, a committee selected the following students to represent SDPC at the conference:
  • Dante Teets from Central
  • Thomas McCoy-Bruce from Dacusville Elementary
  • Gwyneth Waddington from West End
  • Matthew Kyle from Crosswell
  • Hannah Willis from Forest Acres
  • Jaymee Morgan from Pickens Elementary
  • Rosa Kome from Edwards
  • Paul Greenstein from Edwards
  • Edric Griffin from Edwards
  • Brye Moss from Pickens Middle
Congratulations to these talented students! News Release
SC TRAC Launched
February 23, 2011
The SC Commission on Higher Education has launched a Web portal designed to improve college course transfer and articulation in the state. The Web portal, called SC TRAC (the South Carolina Transfer and Articulation Center), can be accessed online at www.sctrac.org. SC TRAC assists students and supports college and university staff members by providing online tools that make it easier to transfer academic credit as well as to evaluate how higher education coursework will transfer among South Carolina’s public colleges and universities. Department of Education News Release

Dr. Hunt Announces Changes at Liberty High
February 22, 2011
At the February 21 board of trustees meeting, Dr. Henry Hunt, superintendent, made the following statement:

“Last Friday afternoon, the district began a review of school records, including financial records, at Liberty High School.  As the review of records progressed on Saturday, the decision was made to put the principal and secretary/bookkeeper on paid administrative leave. 

Mrs. Lori Gwinn, assistant principal, has been placed in charge at Liberty High.  A member of the district’s Financial Services staff will be at the school this week to handle bookkeeping duties.  I met with the faculty and staff this afternoon to let them know about these changes.
 
Meanwhile, the review of records is continuing.  The process will take time and patience as we look at all details.  We will be thorough and fair throughout the process.  Getting facts out is important to us, and when we have additional information that can be made public, we will do so at once."

Author Robert Morgan Visits PHS
February 21, 2011
When PHS English teacher Christie Dunson discovered that many of her students had never met a real author, she invited her favorite author, Robert Morgan, to address the students of Pickens High School. Morgan, author of Gap Creek and several collections of poetry and essays, visited PHS last Thursday and spoke to the students. After school he shared his ideas about teaching writing with SDPC English teachers. Pictured are Morgan and Dunson at Pickens High. SlideshowRobert Morgan website




EMS Hosts Shadow Mentors
February 21, 2011
As part of SDPC’s Job Shadow 2011, Edwards Middle School hosted several community members who explained and demonstrated their careers or interests to students. Jeremy McCollum, who is an electronics craftsman for SDPC, shared his love of music with the Edwards students and staff. Thank you, Jeremy!






McKissick Teacher Honored by PalmettoPride
February 16, 2011
Karen Fisher, McKissick ES, received the Spirit of PalmettoPride in Education for all her work with PalmettoPride, the SC anti-litter program.  Ms. Fisher has assisted in updating the curriculum to meet the current SC Department of Education standards and has been a consultant on various educational programs.  She is a grant reader as well as a three time grant recipient. Kudos, Karen, for helping keep SC clean!





WYFF's Beth Brotherton Speaks to Assistant Principals
February 15, 2011
She’s one of the most familiar faces in local television, and today Beth Brotherton of WYFF shared her expertise and experiences with SDPC assistant principals.  The session on media relations was the fourth in this year’s series of leadership workshops for assistant principals.

“Educators feel a connection to Beth,” said Dr. Kelly Pew, assistant superintendent of human resource services.  “Through the years she’s been such an advocate for education that we almost feel as though she’s one of us.  She had some valuable tips and insights for assistant principals as they work with the media and develop relationships.”

In addition to media relations, topics for this year’s leadership series have included special education, the legislative process and funding.  Future workshops about poverty, personnel issues and board relations are scheduled.  News Release... SDPC Assistant Principals ... Building Success in Leadership


National Study: SDPC Provides "High Return on Investment"
February 10, 2011
A national study measuring the productivity of every school district in the country rated the School District of Pickens County as providing a “high return on its investment” — one of only 12 South Carolina districts to earn the report’s highest marks.  Return on Educational Investment: A district-by-district evaluation of U.S. educational productivity is the first-ever attempt to analyze the productivity of almost every major school district in the country. The Center for American Progress study, released in January, measures the academic achievement a district produces relative to its educational spending, while adjusting for factors outside a district’s control such as cost of living and students in poverty.   

“I’m extremely pleased to see the outstanding efforts of our staff and students recognized,” said Dr. Henry Hunt, superintendent.  “SDPC works diligently to be good stewards of taxpayers’ money while providing quality learning opportunities for all students.  The data from this study affirms that we are succeeding.”   News Release ... South Carolina Data ... SDPC Report


Adult Learning, Tri-County Offer Bridge Program
February 9, 2011
The Adult Learning Bridge program, a unique program offering GED study and WorkKeys certification, will allow Pickens County residents who have not completed their high school credentials to gain skills for entering the workforce.  Offered through SDPC’s Adult Learning Center and Tri-County Technical College, the bridge program builds a seamless transfer from the time a student enters SDPC’s adult education program through completion of TCTC's QuickJobs program.  Individuals who successfully earn the two credentials can then gain more specialized training through “QuickJobs” training at the QuickJobs Center, located beside the new Easley TCTC Campus.

For more details about upcoming classes and entry into the program, contact Dr. Mary Gaston at the Adult Learning Center (864-397-3825 or
MaryGaston@pickens.k12.sc.us).  TCTC News Release
PMS Named a South Carolina School to Watch
February 7, 2011
Pickens Middle School is one of five South Carolina middle schools named a 2011 School to Watch®.  The Schools to Watch® program honors high-performing middle schools that implement best practices in academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity, and organization.
 
Dr. Libba Floyd, principal, said, “Pickens Middle School is truly excited to be one of South Carolina’s middle schools to receive this award.  We are proud of the committed efforts of our teachers, staff, students, parents and community members for their work in making this award possible.  Pickens Middle is really a School to Watch!”
 
Pickens Middle will present its program and receive its state award at the South Carolina Middle School Association Conference March 4-6.  The school will also be featured at the annual National Schools to Watch Conference in Washington, DC, June 23-25.  Pictured are PMS Schools to Watch® steering committee members Lynne Romanczuk, Meghan Greer, Cathy Ashton, Dr. Floyd, Megan Childs, Cathy Bridges and Ricky Evans.  Lydia Trotter was absent when the picture was taken. News Release

Twelve Elementary, Middle Schools Earn Palmetto Gold or Silver
January 31, 2011
Twelve of Pickens County’s elementary and middle schools have earned recognition for achievement or for closing achievement gaps in the Palmetto Gold and Palmetto Silver awards program. Gold and Silver General Awards are given to schools for attaining high levels of absolute performance or steady growth demonstrated over a minimum of two consecutive years. Gold and Silver Closing the Achievement Gap Awards are given to schools that show substantial progress in closing achievement gaps between groups of students.

Schools recognized for 2010 are Ambler, Clemson, Crosswell, East End, Forest Acres, Hagood, Holly Springs, AR Lewis, Liberty, and Six Mile elementary schools.  Dacusville Middle and Edwards Middle were also recognized. Schools recognized for general performance receive an award flag and a certificate from the South Carolina Department of Education. Schools recognized for closing achievement gaps receive an award certificate.
News Release ... SDE Release

New Aerial Views of School Construction Posted
February 9, 2011
New aerial slideshows of work on the new Dacusville and Chastain Road elementary schools and the new Easley, Liberty, and Pickens high schools as well as the new Career & Technology Center have been posted to the Building Futures website. You can find the slideshows on the Our Progress in Pictures page of the website.






Middle School Students Shadow Mentors
February 7, 2011
Each year, SDPC middle school students have the opportunity to participate in job shadowing. The district’s Job Shadow 2011 officially began on February 4 as Pickens Middle students shadowed workplace mentors across the county.  Other SDPC middle schools will hold their events throughout February. In Pickens County, hundreds of businesses mentor to SDPC middle school students. Businesses include Baptist Easley and Cannon Memorial hospitals, Pickens County Sheriff’s Department, Clemson University, and many local governmental departments. 
 
“The district’s participation in the national job shadowing program provides an opportunity for our middle school students to explore a career they are interested in by talking with a career mentor and going into the workplace,” said Danny Fahey, school-to-work facilitator.  “It is a great experience, and we invite students, parents and businesses to participate.” News Release

SDPC YouTube Channel Debuts
February 4, 2011
SDPC now has its own YouTube channel.  Geared toward middle and high school students, the site provides links to tutorial videos in the core academic subjects. Each three to five minute video provides a quick lesson overview.

“We hope this site helps students who are struggling with homework or who’ve been absent from class,” said Barbara Nesbitt, coordinator of instructional technology.  “We’ve just started, so you won’t see many videos yet. However, we’re hoping over the next year to have a video link for each major lesson in math, ELA, science, and social studies in grades 6 through 12.”

Nesbitt added that several SDPC teachers have already created videos and shared links to existing YouTube videos that match South Carolina Curriculum Standards. 

“This is a great new resource for students and their parents,” Nesbitt said.  “We encourage everyone to check out the SDPC YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/SDPickensCounty.  Our teachers are doing a great job creating videos that will help students.  It’s really exciting.”


A Liberty Middle School Welcome!
February 7, 2011
Liberty Middle School and Donivan Edwards, principal, welcomed Elliot Southard, newly named principal of Chastain Road Elementary, and Leonard Williams, director of the Skelton Career Center, to the Liberty community at a recent luncheon. They were joined by Wanda Tharpe, LMS Assistant Principal, and Mike Constance, school resource officer, as well as Liberty Elementary Principal Lowell Haynes and Liberty High Principal Randy Gilstrap.




Beckerle Selected US Presidential Scholar Candidate
February 3, 2011
Connor Beckerle from Daniel High School is one of 61 South Carolina high school seniors identified as candidates for the 2011 U.S. Presidential Scholars program.  The U.S. Presidential Scholars program honors young people for outstanding academic achievement, artistic excellence, leadership, citizenship and community service.  The candidate pool consists of some 3,000 students with high SAT or ACT scores. A review committee will narrow that list to about 500 honorees in the semifinal round.   Approximately 120 students will make the final round and be invited to an awards program in Washington, DC, this summer.  Congratulations, Connor!  SDE News Release


Dr. Hunt Addresses Employees about Budget
February 3, 2011
To help them understand the budget situation facing SDPC, Dr. Hunt addressed all employees through a video presentation in mid-January.  In the days following his address, Dr. Hunt and Senior Leadership Team members met with employees who wanted to give suggestions, ask questions, voice opinions, or make comments at optional follow-up sessions.  Employee feedback will be used in budget planning.  The budget process will continue during three called board meetings on February 7, 14, and 21.  Text of Presentation ...  Reductions 2008-January 2011 



GE Awards Grant to East End
February 1, 2011
The GE Volunteers Foundation has awarded a $4777 grant to East End Elementary School so that the school can establish a FIRST LEGO League (FLL) team.  Henry Wilson in Engineering Operations - Resource Management at the Greenville GE plant presented the award to Tammy Day, principal. Pictured are Ron Webber (SDPC Coordinator of Career & Secondary Education), Danny Fahey (SDPC School-to-Work Facilitator), Tammy Day and Henry Wilson.
 
East End Elementary will be the first SDPC elementary school with a LEGO Junior robotics team.  “Our school district is moving quickly to ensure that our students have the STEM (Science, Technology Engineering, and Math) experiences that they need to prosper in the 21st Century,” said Ron Webber. “We are gaining momentum in an area that I think is important.” Additional information about STEM initiatives in the School District of Pickens County can be found on the district’s website under Instructional Services/Instructional Technology/STEM InitiativesNews Release

SDPC Offers Seamless Summer Feeding Program
April 15, 2011
During the summer, school-age students up to 18 years old can have free meals through the Seamless Summer Feeding Program.  The program is free to all children in Pickens County regardless of family income.  Meals will be served at West End Elementary and Pickens Elementary, and we hope to add more locations.  Meals will be served Monday through Friday from June 6 – August 19.  Breakfast will be served at 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.  Lunch will be served at 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. No meals will be served on July 4. For more information, visit the SDPC Student Nutrition Services website or contact Sally Nicholson at 864-397-1166.





Middle School Teams Will Compete in FIRST LEGO League Regional Tournament
January 27, 2011
Six teams from SDPC middle schools will compete in a regional qualifying event for FIRST LEGO League (FLL) teams on Saturday, January 29 on the Pendleton campus of Tri-County Technical College.  The third annual Tri-County Technical College FLL Regional Tournament begins at 9:00 a.m. in the Marshall J. Parker Auditorium located in Oconee Hall. Participating in the competition will be two teams each from Dacusville and Edwards middle schools.  Gettys Middle and Pickens Middle will each be represented by one team.
 
“Our school district is moving quickly to ensure that our students have the STEM (Science, Technology Engineering, and Math) experiences that they need to prosper in the 21st Century,” said Ron Webber, coordinator of career and secondary education.  “FIRST LEGO League is the middle school level robotic competition. With six teams involved this year, we are gaining momentum in an area that I think is important.”
 
Additional information about STEM initiatives in the School District of Pickens County can be found on the district’s website under Instructional Services/Instructional Technology/STEM Initiatives. Additional information about the tournament can be found in the Tri-County Tech news release. SDPC News Release ... SDPC FIRST LEGO League Website

A.R. Lewis Students Win PSA Contest
January 31, 2011
A.R. Lewis Elementary 5th grade students Sierra Bergholm and Rachel Elrod recently won a competition sponsored by News Channel 7.  The Student Public Service Announcement (PSA) Contest asked students to create their own storyboards and scripts to address the many issues that students have to face throughout their growing stages of life. Sierra and Rachel’s PSA discussed how students can handle bullying.  News Channel 7 will come to A.R. Lewis to film the PSA, and A.R. Lewis’ Quest students will act in it.  The completed PSA will air on News Channel 7 throughout the rest of the school year. Congratulations!


All-County Bands Clinic, Concert Scheduled
January 24, 2011
The Pickens All-County Bands will perform at a free concert on Friday, January 28, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. on the campus of Southern Wesleyan University in the Newton Hobson Chapel and Fine Arts Center. The concert concludes a clinic for the Pickens All-County Junior Band and the Pickens All-County Senior Band.  The clinic began January 27 and featured clinicians Timothy Hurlburt, Assistant Director of Bands for Clemson University and Susan Alexander, Ashley Ridge High School, Charleston.  

On January 6, 210 students auditioned before the School District of Pickens County band directors for seats in the all-county band. With representation from all five middle schools, 76 students were seated in the Pickens All-County Junior Band.  The Pickens All-County Senior Band includes 60 students from all four high schools. The concert on Friday is free and open to the public.  Southern Wesleyan University Map
... News Release

CERRA Staff Help Out at Clemson Elementary
January 28, 2011
Three full-time staff members from CERRA worked at Clemson Elementary School on Friday, January 28.  Each staff member was assigned to a teacher and worked as the teacher’s aide the entire day. Students enjoyed working with the CERRA staff, and teachers enjoyed the assistance. CERRA Press ReleaseSlideshow






Career Center Holds Open House
January 26, 2011
The Skelton Career Center’s open house for students and parents will be held on Thursday, January 27 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the career center, 1400 Griffin Mill Road, Easley. Culinary Arts students will serve a spaghetti supper from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. The annual open house gives students an opportunity to explore career and course offerings that they may pursue in the 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grades.  If you have questions, call 855-8195.





Board Approves Re-Bid for Renovations at Edwards Middle
December 14, 2010
At a called meeting on December 13, the board approved the $8,984,000 re-bid from SYS Constructors renovations at Edwards Middle School.  Renovations and additions at Edwards are scheduled for completion in October 2011.

Inclement Weather Causes Changes in 10-11 SDPC Calendar
January 27, 2011
As the result of six days of inclement weather in December and January, adjustments to the 2010-2011 SDPC School Calendar have been made. No decision has been made on making up the days missed beyond those scheduled in the original calendar; however, legislation to forgive three days has been filed in the General Assembly. Pending the outcome of the legislation, other adjustments to the 2010-2011 calendar will be announced. Those will include revised dates for interim reports, the end of the third grade period, and reports cards. Revised Calendar News ReleaseSummary of Changes


Southard Named Principal at Chastain Road
January 25, 2011
At the January meeting of the School District of Pickens County Board of Trustees, Elliott Southard was named principal of Chastain Road Elementary School. 

“Opening a new school requires an experienced administrator with exceptional abilities,” said Dr. Henry Hunt, superintendent.  “Mr. Southard is the ideal leader for the new school.  He has been successful at Central, earning the respect of the staff and parents.  He has outstanding rapport with students.  His enthusiasm for learning is contagious.  He’s also a team player who is well-respected by his peers.”

A graduate of Clemson University, Southard taught third grade in Anderson before becoming assistant principal at Six Mile Elementary in 2005.  He began his tenure as principal at Central Elementary in July 2007.  He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in K-12 Educational Leadership at Clemson. News Release


SDPC Student Artwork on Display at World of Energy
January 27, 2011
Elementary, middle and high school visual art students and their teachers from Oconee and Pickens counties will be honored at a drop-in reception on Thursday, February 3 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the World of Energy, 7812 Rochester Highway, Seneca. The reception is free to the public.

This year celebrates the fifth annual Student Art Show at the World of Energy, a collaboration of the Blue Ridge Arts Council, Duke Energy, and the school districts of Oconee and Pickens counties. Student artwork will be on display Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. from January 24 through February 18. Please call 1-800-777-1004 for directions or for more information. We invite the community to come and celebrate in these students’ artistic accomplishments!

2-1-1 Available in Pickens County
January 27, 2011
Most people know that 9-1-1 is the phone number to call for police, fire or medical emergencies, but do you know about 2-1-1?  2-1-1 is  an easy-to-remember phone number that connects people with important community services and volunteer opportunities. The service offers free, confidential, information and referral service for health and human services in your community. It is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, with multi-lingual capabilities. You can also access 2-1-1 online. 2-1-1 is sponsored by the United Way of Pickens County and is the first of its kind in the Upstate.

"Finding Money for College" Airs January 30
January 26, 2011
SC ETV offers a two-hour program to assist students and parents in looking for ways to pay for a college education. “Finding Money for College” airs live from 5 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, January 30, on South Carolina ETV. Viewers from across the state will be able to phone-in questions during the live program, using a toll-free number announced on the air.  
 
The broadcast features financial aid officers from public and private colleges and universities in the Palmetto State, along with guidance counselors and representatives from the state’s Commission on Higher Education and the South Carolina Higher Education Tuition Grants program.
 
“Finding Money for College” will be recorded and repeated on the South Carolina Channel on February 6 from 6 to 8 p.m. and on ETV World on February 8 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Three Red Carpet Schools Recognized
January 25, 2011
At the January board meeting Hagood, McKissick, and West End elementary schools were honored as winners of the South Carolina Department of Education’s Red Carpet award.  The award recognizes a school's success at creating family-friendly school environments and providing excellent customer service. 
 
Pictured with Dr. Henry Hunt, superintendent, are (left to right): West End Elementary’s Allen Fain, assistant principal, and Angie Rodgers, principal; McKissick Elementary’s Stephanie Price, principal, and Jennifer Dailey, secretary; and Hagood Elementary’s Tracey Sims, data entry clerk, Jane Ooten, secretary, Kay Perry, assistant principal, and Karen Jackson, principal. Each of the winning schools received a red carpet with the state seal and will maintain their recognition status for three years. Congratulations!

Webber Recognizes American Servicemen During Flag Presentation
January 25, 2011
At a special presentation before the SDPC Board of Trustees, five United States of America flags from Operation Iraqi Freedom were presented to the students and staff of the four high schools and the career center. Lieutenant Colonel Ron Webber, the district’s coordinator of career and secondary education, made the presentations.  Webber secured the flags while deployed in Iraq from February through November 2010.
 
Webber said, “All of these flags have flown over either COPs – Contingency Operating Posts – or FOBs – Forward Operating Bases – in Iraq.”  Principals, JROTC instructors, and JROTC cadets accepted the flags for their schools. Following the presentation, the Liberty Elementary School Chorus directed by Mrs. Lisa Stone performed “America the Beautiful.” SlideshowNews Release

Board Elects Saitta as Chairman
January 25, 2011
The board of trustees elected new officers at the January 24th meeting.  Alex Saitta was elected chairman.  Also serving as officers will be Jim Shelton, vice-chairman, and Jimmy Gillespie, secretary.  We appreciate these board members' willingness to serve and support us as we "build success beyond the classroom" for all students in Pickens County.







High School Students Begin Selecting 2011-2012 Courses
January 24, 2011
Each year, high school students begin the registration process by selecting courses for the new school year.  Students complete the process in late summer when they register, pay fees, and pick up textbooks.  Each school coordinates its own course selection and registration procedures, so be sure to check your high school’s website for details.  Our High School Course Selection page has resources all students will need.   News Release





LMS Student Creates Winning Poster
January 24, 2011
Liberty Middle School sixth grader Joshua Shuman, student of Career Specialist Deborah Dickerson, won second place in the state’s Career Development Poster and Poetry Contest.  The contest is held as part of National Career Development Month, which is celebrated each November.  Joshua’s poster will be part of the national competition judged in late February.  Congratulations, Joshua, and best of luck in the national competition!




LHS a Reader Leader Again
January 21, 2011
Liberty High School is at the top of the list in not one, but THREE categories in the SC Department of Education 2010 No Book Left Unread Summer Reading Program. Liberty High was named the Reader Leader High School (for schools with enrollment of less than 750) after turning in 464,157 minutes of summer reading time. Liberty High was also the top high school in the state with the greatest percentage of students participating!
 
Junior Trey Garrison (pictured here with LHS Media Specialist Yvonne Mayo) was named Reader Leader Student for SC, logging 68,462 minutes over the summer as well. According to Ms. Mayo, this is the second time Liberty High School has been recognized at the state level for No Book Left Unread honors, but it is the first time they have won in three categories. Liberty High School will receive hundreds of dollars worth of free books and resources as prizes. Congratulations to all of the students, faculty, and staff who participated in this year’s contest!

Gettys Teacher a WYFF Golden Apple Award Winner
January 20, 2011
Mrs. Cindy Whittemore, Gettys Middle School, received a visit from WYFF this morning during 8th grade high school orientation. Beth Brotherton and her camera crew awarded Mrs. Whittemore this month's WYFF Golden Apple Award for her work teaching 8th grade English at Gettys. Congratulations Mrs. Whittemore! Click HERE for the video.






Central Student Wins National Contest
January 19, 2011
Central Elementary fifth grader Charlie Brooks-Knepfle was one of 50 winners chosen from across the country in Disney’s Magic of Healthy Living contest. Charlie wrote an essay on ways kids can create healthier lifestyles. His focus was on having healthier snacks available for kids after sporting events that they participate in. As one of the contest winners, Charlie and his family will receive a free trip to Disney World and will meet First Lady Michelle Obama! We are proud of Charlie for his essay as well as for his commitment to a healthy lifestyle. Way to go, Charlie!



Inclement Weather Makeup Days
January 18, 2011
Three days missed because of inclement weather will be made up as scheduled on March 18, April 25, and June 3.  These will be regular school days for students. No decision has been made yet on making up the remaining three days.  Since the snowstorm has affected so many school districts, the General Assembly may consider forgiving some of the missed days.  We will be talking with the Pickens County Delegation about our options.  As soon as a decision has been made, we will publicize the information. Revised exam schedule ... Revised calendar dates for end of semester and report cards


SDPC Students to Return to School Tuesday, January 18
January 17, 2011
When students return to school on Tuesday, January 18 after the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, exams will continue based on this inclement weather exam schedule.




January 9, 2011
Because of inclement weather, SDPC schools will be closed on Friday, January 14 ....  Exam schedule for day students return 

The mandatory pre-bid meeting scheduled for Wednesday at 10:00 AM for asbestos abatement services for McKissick Elementary and Edwards Middle schools has been postponed until Wednesday, January 19 at 10:00 am.  Bidders who plan to attend should contact Joe Tommie at
joetommie@pickens.k12.sc.us.



Exams Begin on January 7
January 2, 2011
Students in SDPC begin first semester exams on January 7, continuing on the 10th, 11th, and 12th.  Days will not be shortened for exams.   First Semester Exam Schedule ... In case of inclement weather, plan for day students return




SDPC Mourns Loss of LMS Staff Member
January 3, 2011

We offer our condolences to the family of Dale Bagwell, Liberty Middle School, who passed away recently. Mr. Bagwell was a custodian at Liberty Middle School and was the 2010-2011 Support Employee of the Year for the school. All the students and staff at the school will miss him.


Career & Technology Center's Logo Unveiled
January 7, 2011
When the Pickens County Career and Technology Center opens in September, a new logo, tagline, and colors will be in place. Staff members at the present B.J. Skelton Career Center were the first ones to see the new “look” when the logo was unveiled just before the recent holiday break.
 
A committee of career center instructors developed the logo, tagline, and colors. Brian Aiken, Jim Garrison, Tim Hiott, and Greg Newton, who volunteered for the project, introduced the logo, colors, and tagline at a staff meeting.
 
Rich in symbolism, the logo is made up of four squares that represent the district’s four high schools. Each of the schools’ colors is included within one of the squares. A platinum circle in the center encompasses a corner of each square. A black border surrounds the other logo elements.
 
In introducing the logo to the career center staff, Garrison said, “The circle symbolizes the four schools coming together to create one school – the Pickens County Career and Technology Center. A circle is perfect; it’s endless; and it needs a center point to be constructed.”
 
In addition to the new logo and school colors of black and platinum, the new tagline of “Connecting to Careers” was introduced. Pictured are committee members who developed the logo, tagline, and colors: Greg Newton, Jim Garrison, Tim Hiott, Brian Aiken. News Release  ... New Logo

Duke Energy Supports SDPC
December 18, 2010
Duke Energy has made a difference for this year’s district honor roll teachers and support employees. With shrinking revenue, the SDPC could not recognize the accomplishments of honor roll members with monetary rewards as in past years.  Duke Energy, looking for a way to help us, generously donated money for these outstanding employees.  Dr. Henry Hunt, superintendent, said, “Duke Energy’s willingness to support our efforts clearly shows the value placed on children, our teachers, employees, public education, and the future of our county.  We sincerely appreciate those at Duke Energy who were responsible for making this decision.” Pictured is Addie Bradshaw, communications representative from Duke Energy, presenting the check to Dr. Hunt. News Release

Kindergarten Registration Begins January 10
January 1, 2011
The School District of Pickens County will conduct registration for four-year-old (4K) and five-year-old (5K) kindergarten beginning January 10, 2011.  Children must register at the school in the attendance zone in which they reside and must be registered by their parent/legal guardian.  Registration hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. each day. A child who is four years old on or before September 1, 2011 may register for four-year-old kindergarten; however, the child must qualify for the program.  School choice is not available for 4K.  A child who is five years old on or before September 1, 2011 can register for five-year-old kindergarten. More Information ... Enrollment Guidelines ... Mark the Date 2011

Thanks to Our Board Members Who Speak Out for Public Schools!
January 1, 2011
Each January during School Board Recognition Month, we salute and extend our appreciation to our board members.  Their commitment to service and to public education affects the present and future lives of our children and our communities. This year's theme — School Boards Speak Out For Public Schools — reflects the efforts of thousands of men and women who advocate and shape the direction of our state’s public schools. Thank you, school board members, for helping ensure that every child in Pickens County will succeed beyond the classroom. 


Inclement Weather Day Will Be Made Up on March 18
December 16, 2010
Schools were closed on December 16 for inclement weather.  The day will be made up according to the SDPC School Calendar on March 18. Friday, December 17, will be an “A” day for all high school students. When students return from the holidays on January 3rd, the regular schedule will resume.  January 3rd will be an "A" day.  This plan does not alter the exam schedule. The end of the quarter/first semester will be January 12, 2011. Report cards will be issued on January 20. All dates remain as published on the 2010-2011 SDPC School Calendar.



LHS Class Holds Annual Christmas Reception
December 17, 2010

The special education class at Liberty High School held its annual Christmas reception for friends, family and district staff. The celebration featured a Christmas tree with decorations made by the class and presents for the students. Students from Michelle Hawkins’ digital imaging class created a slideshow with the special education students in holiday poses. Also present were students from Sherry Haithcock’s civic responsibility class, who partner with the special education students during physical education classes each week. Slideshow





SDPC Notifies Liberty Elementary Students of 11-12 School Assignment
December 17, 2010
The opening of Chastain Road Elementary School in September 2011 means that the Liberty area will have two elementary schools for the first time.  SDPC officials are communicating early to let parents know which school their children will attend.  On December 17, Dr. Henry Hunt notified Liberty Elementary parents of their child’s 2011-2012 school assignment. 

“We understand that some parents who live in the Chastain Road zone may want their children to remain at Liberty Elementary,” said Hunt.  “Likewise, parents who live in the Liberty Elementary zone may like for their children to attend Chastain Road.  They have an opportunity to request a change.”

The district will begin accepting 2011-2012 school choice applications on January 3, 2011. The application must be submitted no later than January 31, 2011.  The district will give priority to students who live in the attendance area and who submit applications by January 31.  After January 31, choice will be opened up for students outside of the Liberty attendance area if space is available at either school.

School choice applications are available at Liberty Elementary School.  News Release


Eighteen SDPC Teachers Earn National Board Certification
December 15, 2010
Congratulations to Amanda Crum, April Christopher, Carl Joye, Denise Hodges, Emily Simmons, Joy Skelton, Kelly Gilstrap, Kristin Batson, Lesli Hendricks, Michel Justus, Sharon Finley, Sondra Hennessee, Susan Hilyer, Susan Nunamaker, Trina Stephens, Virginia Ragsdale, Leslie Pearson, and Sonya Boyles for earning  National Board Certification!  SDPC ranked sixth in the state in number of teachers earning certification this year. 

Like board-certified doctors and accountants, teachers who achieve National Board Certification have met rigorous standards through intensive study, expert evaluation, self-assessment and peer review.  You can read more about National Board Certification at the
National Board website or at the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, & Advancement (CERRA) site. CERRA News Release
GMS Teacher a Social Studies Leader
December 15, 2010
Tracee Simpson from Gettys Middle School has been elected president of the South Carolina Council for the Social Studies for 2011-2012. We’re proud of you, Tracee!









SDPC Teachers are Social Studies Educators of Distinction
December 18, 2010
Congratulations to social studies teachers Ashleigh Evatt (Central Elementary), Tracee Simpson (Gettys Middle), and Joy Skelton (Liberty High) who received Palmetto Awards for District Social Studies Educators of Distinction at the South Carolina Council for the Social Studies (SCCSS). Great job!






FY12 Budget Process Begins
December 15, 2010
Following a called board meeting on December 13, the district administration met with the board’s Business Oversight Committee to begin planning for the 2011-2012 General Fund Budget.  Faced with a loss of over $5 million in stimulus funding, the board and administration will explore all options in planning next year’s budget.
 
Dr. Henry Hunt will address all employees on Tuesday, January 11.  Employees who want to give suggestions, ask questions, or voice their opinions can meet with Senior Leadership Team members at optional follow-up meetings.  Feedback will be used in budget planning.

Throughout the budget process, we will post all information on the FY2011-2012 Budget Planning page under Financial Services.
A.R. Lewis Elementary Teacher Is a Hero!
December 17, 2010
Safe Kids Upstate presented one of two 2010 Hero Awards to Sue Phillips, A.R. Lewis Elementary.  Sue has led the school’s safety patrol program for a number of years. As a result, A.R. Lewis Elementary has achieved the Safe Kids Safe School award for the past four years. Congratulations, Sue!






SDPC Holds Career Fair
December 13, 2010
More than 1250 middle school students from the School District of Pickens County gathered at Rock Springs Baptist Church for a career fair on Thursday, December 9. Students signed up to attend presentations by more than 30 guest speakers. Careers represented included construction, energy, education, modeling, cosmetology, medicine, law enforcement, and banking.

Thanks to the community members who shared their knowledge and expertise, students in SDPC were able to learn firsthand about careers they might want to pursue. Thank you for helping our students build success beyond the classroom! Slideshow

Jordan Recognized for Lifetime Achievement in Social Studies Education
December 8, 2010
Teaching social studies to children of Pickens County has been a lifelong passion for Rosie Jordan.  In recognition of her long career, her peers in the South Carolina Council for the Social Studies (SCCSS) have presented her with the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award.  Jordan taught geography and history for sixteen years in the School District of Pickens County and also worked as an instructional coach at Liberty Middle.  She was the SDPC Coordinator of Social Studies for several years before she retired at the end of the 2009-2010 school year. Currently working as an ESOL tutor at Liberty Elementary, she continues to instill her love of geography, history, and cultures to Pickens County children.  News Release


Adult Learning Center Honored by State
December 10, 2010
SDPC’s Adult Learning Center was one of four programs in SC receiving the Palmetto Pride award for meeting or exceeding federal performance measures for English as a Second Language services.  The ALC was also one of four programs in SC receiving the Correctional Education Award for awarding WorkKeys Career Readiness Certificates to inmates in a county jail.  In addition, the Adult Learning received an award as one of the programs issuing the highest number of Career Readiness Certificates during 2009-2010. Congratulations! Pictured is Dr. Mary Gaston, director of the Adult Learning Center, receiving the Palmetto Pride Award.


Board & Administration Meet with Delegation
December 8, 2010
The SDPC Board of Trustees and Administration met with the Pickens County Delegation on December 8.  The administration presented a list of requests that will help SDPC maintain our existing program in 2011-2012.  The administration also presented options that could minimize job losses as stimulus funding ends. In addition to asking for relief for next year, the administration asked for long-term solutions which include revisiting Act 388 and establishing a stable funding stream for public education.  Delegation members are open to constituents’ suggestions for funding public schools and encourage you to contact them with your opinions.  We appreciate our delegation members and the support they provide.
ALC Instructor Recognized for Service
December 12, 2010
Congratulations to Leverett Bruner, instructor for the Adult Learning Center'sYoung Adult and Diploma Program. He was recognized for having over 10 years of service at a statewide "Celebrating Success" awards luncheon.







SDPC Hosts Career Fair 2010
December 7, 2010
All eighth graders will have firsthand learning opportunities at the third annual SDPC Career Fair to be held at Rock Springs Baptist Church in Easley on Thursday, December 9. Students will choose and attend three sessions representing over thirty careers. Professionals from construction, nuclear energy, education, cosmetology, medicine, manufacturing, and the arts are among those who will lead sessions.

“We have a great program for our students,” said Danny Fahey, school-to-work facilitator. “We are including Brittany Barger from Pickens County United Way in our welcome session. She has such an incredible story to tell about the importance of education and perseverance. I think the kids will really identify with her message.”

Aligned with the South Carolina Education and Economic Development Act (EEDA), the career fair is designed for students to increase awareness about the many education and career pathways available. Students from Gettys and Dacusville middle schools will attend the first session from 8:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Edwards, Liberty, and Pickens middle students will attend the second session from 11:35 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The sponsor of Career Fair 2010 is Duke Energy.

SDPC Family Mourns Loss of LHS Student
December 6, 2010
Our sympathy is extended to the family, friends and classmates of Tabatha Kelley, a ninth grade student at Liberty High School. We all send our condolences.

Holly Springs Nominated as a National Blue Ribbon School
December 6, 2010
We congratulate Holly Springs Elementary School on its recognition in the 2011 National Blue Ribbon Schools Program. Holly Springs is one of five South Carolina schools nominated for academic gains among disadvantaged students. We are proud of the Holly Springs students, staff, and community for making student achievement a priority.  Winners will be announced in the fall with an award ceremony in Washington, DC in November. SDE Press Release





National Influenza Vaccination Week
December 6, 2010