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KCSD receives $400,000 USDOE counseling grant

Posted: August 30, 2013 5:54 p.m.
Updated: September 2, 2013 5:00 a.m.

The Kershaw County School District (KCSD) recently received a nearly $400,000 U.S. Department of Education grant to expand its counseling services for elementary and middle school students. Kershaw County is the only school district in South Carolina and one of only 35 across the nation to be awarded a grant as part of a $12.3 million program to establish or expand counseling services.

“School counseling services play a critical role in the well-being and safety of our students,” KCSD Superintendent Dr. Frank Morgan said. “These funds will help us decrease our elementary guidance counselor to student ratio as well as allow us to provide social work services for our younger students. This will have a tremendous positive impact.”

With more than 4,200 students in prekindergarten through eighth grade, local school officials will use the federal grant money to hire additional elementary counselors and provide leadership training for all school counselors. Funds will also be used to implement the Safe School Ambassador program to help build positive social cultures and discourage bullying behavior.

PBIS -- Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports -- will be enhanced in seven schools.

“We’ve seen outstanding results from the PBIS programs our elementary and middle schools have implemented over the past few years,” Safe Schools/Healthy Students Director Kevin Rhodes said. “The number of student discipline cases has been drastically reduced. This helps teachers and students better focus on learning.”

Local schools will also integrate the “Too Good for Drugs” and “Too Good for Violence” curricula into the guidance services and improve transition programming for students moving into the sixth and ninth grades.

“We’ve been able to do some outstanding work with our initial $5.7 million Safe School/Healthy Students grant received in 2009 and the additional $300,000 mentoring grant we were awarded in 2011,” Morgan said. “This shows that the U.S. Department of Education feels we are using our funds wisely and getting positive results.”


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